An elite international team of astronauts must leave family and friends behind for a three-year crewed mission to Mars in Away, a new science fiction drama from Netflix, starring Hilary Swank. Created by Andrew Hinderaker (Penny Dreadful), the 10-episode series was inspired by a 2014 Esquire article by Chris Jones about astronaut Scott Kelly’s year-long sojourn aboard the International Space Station with a Russian cosmonaut—the longest space mission in American history.
Per the official synopsis:
Away is a thrilling, emotional drama on an epic scale that celebrates the incredible advancements humans can achieve and the personal sacrifices they must make along the way. As American astronaut Emma Green (Hilary Swank, I Am Mother, Boys Don’t Cry) prepares to lead an international crew on the first mission to Mars, she must reconcile her decision to leave behind her husband (Josh Charles, The Good Wife) and teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman, Countdown) when they need her the most. As the crew’s journey into space intensifies, their personal dynamics and the effects of being away from their loved ones back on Earth become increasingly complex. Away shows that sometimes to reach for the stars, we must leave home behind.
The trailer opens with Emma’s NASA engineer husband Matt playing the opening bars of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” on a piano, as she presents their daughter Alexis with a gift: a necklace with three stones, representing Earth, the Moon, and Mars. “And the string is me making my way back to you. So just remember, the further away I get, I’m actually getting closer to being back to you.”
She also assures Matt that it’s only a three-year mission.
“OK, I guess I won’t miss you,” he says.
The liftoff seems to go smoothly, with people watching the live feed from all over the world, and Emma’s team settles in. Misha Popov (Mark Ivanir, For All Mankind) is a Russian cosmonaut and engineer; Ram Arya (Ray Panthaki, 28 Days Later) is a fighter pilot from India; Lu Wang (Vivian Wu, The Pillow Book) is a chemist from China; and Dr. Kwesi Weisberg-Abban (Ato Essandoh, Altered Carbon, Tales From the Loop) is an esteemed botanist from Great Britain.
But all is not well back home, as we see Matt collapse suddenly in the kitchen and end up in the hospital. Emma berates herself for not being back home with her family, prompting a rebuke from Ram: “You think you’re the only one haunted by the sacrifices you made to get here?” And soon trouble arises aboard their spacecraft, too, with an unexpected fire. Apparently Emma freezes, damaging the relationship with her crewmates. So Emma will have to earn back their trust, since the only way this mission will be a success is if they all work together.
Away debuts on Netflix on September 4, 2020.
Listing image by YouTube/Netflix