For those who haven't yet seen it, this is a six-part series that tells the story of a fictional astronaut crew on the first human Mars mission in 2033. In addition to this fictional story, the series weaves in interviews with a number of real-world space experts.
Warning - there be spoilers here!
I have to say that I am very disappointed in the series so far. Yes, the sets and special effects are very good, but the script has the characters making fundamental errors that defy belief.
1. The mission commander had to leave his command seat to perform emergency maintenance during re-entry. With only seconds to go before retro-thruster firing, instead of climbing down to safety, he tried to climb up, and when the RTs fired, he lost his grip and fell about 15 feet at high G, sustaining an injury that was eventually fatal,. If he had climbed down, he would not have fallen.
2. The crew communications back to mission control is a shambolic mess. They are unclear in what they are saying. The second in command mumbles a lot instead of making her decisions and commands clear and concise.
3. In episode three, one of the crew members finds a panel missing from a piece of equipment he is responsible for. He finds that another crew member has cannibalized some parts for another job, and has left exposed wires inside. When the crew member reaches in to find out why the equipment is not working, it sparks and he gets a shock.
4. Also in episode 3, they have to winch a member of the crew 200m down into a lava tube to look for a flat area so they can erect their living area dome. Its very, very dark when she gets to the bottom, and what does she do? She unhooks herself from the winch cable, and with spotlights only on the front of her EVA helmet, she takes a a few steps backwards and almost drops into a deep canyon.
Now, I know that there is a need for some dramatic license to make things a bit exciting for the viewers, but some of this is beyond ridiculous. These people are supposed to be highly trained ASTRONAUTS!!!
- no astronaut would make such a poor decision as the commander did;
- no astronaut would mumble incoherently when communicating with other crew members and with Mission Control,
- no astronaut would cannibalize a piece of equipment without following a strict procedure and without the express knowledge of the crew member responsible for that piece of equipment.
- and finally, no astronaut would ever, ever, ever step backwards in the pitch dark in a completely unfamiliar area.
Things might improve in episode 4, but I'm not hopeful.