An elite international team of astronauts must leave family and friends for a three-year crewed mission to Mars in A way, a new sci-fi drama from Netflix, starring Hilary Swank. Created by Andrew Hinderaker (Penny terrible), the 10-episode series was inspired by a 2014 Esquire article by Chris Jones about Astronaut Scott Kelly’s one-year stay aboard the International Space Station with a Russian cosmonaut – the longest space mission of American history.
According to the official synopsis:
A way is an exciting and emotional drama on an epic scale that celebrates the incredible progress humans can make and the personal sacrifices they must make along the way. As American astronaut Emma Green (Hilary Swank, I’m a mother, boys don’t cry) preparing to lead an international crew on the first Mars mission, she must reconcile her decision to leave her husband behind (Josh Charles, The good woman) and her teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman, Countdown) when they need it most. As the crew’s journey through space intensifies, their personal dynamics and the effects of being away from loved ones on Earth become increasingly complex.A way shows that sometimes to reach the stars, you have to leave the house.
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 to their daughter Alexis a gift: a necklace with three stones, representing the Earth, the Moon and Mars. “And the rope, it’s me coming back to you. So just remember, the further I go, I really get closer to you.
She also assures Matt that it’s only a three-year assignment.
“OK, I guess I won’t miss you,” he said.
Liftoff appears to be going smoothly, with people watching the live stream 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 an Indian fighter pilot; Lu Wang (Vivian Wu, The pillow book) is a chemist from China; and Dr Kwesi Weisberg-Abban (Ato Essandoh, Altered Carbon, Tales of the Loop) is a renowned botanist from Great Britain.
But all is not well with us, as we see Matt suddenly collapse in the kitchen and end up in the hospital. Emma berates herself for not being home with her family, prompting Ram to reprimand, “Do you think you’re the only one haunted by the sacrifices you made to get here?” And soon, problems arise aboard their spaceship, with an unexpected fire. Apparently Emma freezes, damaging the relationship with her teammates. Emma will therefore have to regain their confidence, because the only way to succeed in this mission is to work together.
A way debuts on Netflix on September 4, 2020.
Listing image by YouTube / Netflix