National Geographic’s Mars, the network’s first foray into the (quasi) scripted television world, was a successful mission. Continuing a trend we’ve seen with “event series” that exceed expectations, National Geographic’s Mars season 2, from executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, returns on November 12th.
Mars will have a new showrunner for its second season. Dee Johnson, who was mostly recently an executive producer on Nashville for four seasons, will board the experimental docu-drama format series.
Season one is set in 2033 and follows a fictional narrative of the first human mission to the red planet, with the documentary portion exploring what it would actually take for human to get to Mars. Season two will focus on the colonization of Mars and private sector space exploration.
“Our next season is going to be more about actual colonization,” Howard told Den of Geek prior to National Geographic’s upfront presentation in 2017. “And there is a tremendous amount of research that has already gone on and is ongoing, and we’re covering that. But also the story and what it’s going to mean for the first human beings to actually build a new existence there. So there’s a lot of human drama.”
On the documentary side, Mars will explore how we’ve treated our own climate and whether we’re bound to make the same mistakes on another planet.
“We’re looking at a world in which they’re trying to drill in the Arctic and we’ve cleared forests,” Johnson told Den of Geek. “We have sucked so many resources and we’re in a climate change world and a lot of that could have been avoided if done with a more measured hand. [Season 2 is about] if human greed will intervene even on Mars.”
Mars is based on the book How We’ll Live on Mars by Stephen Petranek. Howard and Grazer’s’ Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia produce the series. The six-episode first season was seen by 36 million viewers globally according to National Geographic, and was their most DVR’d series in network history.
Mars Season 2 Release Date
Mars season 2 lands on National Geographic on November 12th, 2018 at 9 p.m.
Mars Season 2 Review
In our spoiler-free review, critic Michael Ahr writes:
“Mars has successfully fixed the narrative/documentary imbalance from season 1, and the unique mixture continues to be a hallmark of the series. The fact that Nat Geo is able to carry off such a compelling storyline along with the non-fiction elements that make the possibilities seem more real and attainable is something to be admired.”