Netflix’s House of Cards creator to make Channel 4 series about the first human mission to Mars

Beau Willimon will write The First – a sci-fi drama chronicling interplanetary colonisation in the near future

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Beau Willimon – the man behind Netflix’s House of Cards – is making a new extra-terrestrial series for Channel 4.

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The First is set in the near-future about the first human mission to Mars and will explore the challenges of interplanetary colonisation with a human story at its heart.

“It’s a story about the human spirit,” said Willimon. “About our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history. And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice – emotional, psychological, and physical – that’s required to achieve it.

“How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”

The First will focus not only on the astronauts, but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth. “The prize is Mars, but the story is about the humans trying to get there,” added Willimon.

It is the latest passenger on the Red Planet bandwagon – what with The Martian having been released in 2015, and Life hitting cinemas earlier this year.

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The eight-part series will go into production later this year and is set to premiere on Channel 4 in 2018.