National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” is an ambitious thing, a series that’s part documentary, part drama about the first human Mars mission. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers, with Everardo Gout directing, weaving together the interviews with space experts and the fictional narrative of the crew of the spaceship Daedalus as they attempt to set up a habitable colony on Mars.
NatGeo partnered with content studio Variable to create a 30-minute prequel to the series. Variety has an exclusive clip of the first few minutes below.
In the prequel, “Before Mars,” viewers meet Hana and Joon Seung, young girls moving to a new town. Hana will grow up to be the pilot of the Daedalus’ crew in 2033; Joon will be the capsule communicator for Mission Control during the journey. Though they grow apart during their adolescence, their love of space brings them back together.
The impetus behind “Before Mars” was twofold: “It presents a heartwarming, early narrative to ‘Mars’ and reflects our desire to encourage all young people — especially young girls — to engage in science and exploration,” said Andy Baker, SVP and global creative director for National Geographic Channels.
“Before Mars” will premiere on just about any platform you can name on Oct. 24: NatGeo On Demand, the NatGeo site, iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Hulu, and YouTube. And they’re making it available on Facebook and Twitter on Oct. 26. “Mars” premieres on NatGeo on Nov. 14.