“Avenue 5” stars Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Rebecca Front, Suzy Nakamura, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Lenora Crichlow, Ethan Phillips and series creator Armando Iannucci sat down with Variety’s Michael Schneider in the Variety Streaming Room to discuss how they brought the futuristic set to life and the research behind the titular ship.
Set 40 years into the future, the sci-fi series takes place aboard a billion dollar space cruise ship known as Avenue 5. The titular vessel is set for an eight-week journey around Saturn, but when the ship suddenly encounters technical difficulties, it’s up to suave captain Ryan Clark (Laurie) and his seemingly underqualified crew to calm the disgruntled passengers and find a way to deal with the unexpected events onboard.
In order to create the futuristic spacecraft Iannucci visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.
“The first thing I was overwhelmed by was how advanced [Iannucci] was in his knowledge and enthusiasm for space travel,” said Laurie. “I thought we were going on sort of a jaunt…it rapidly became apparent that he was incredibly––is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the whole notion of space travel.”
Although the set gave the illusion of being on a giant ship, Iannucci didn’t want the space to distract from the actual scenes.
“What I wanted to do was make sure that even though we had this enormous backdrop, actually all the focus was on the intimate moments, in some of the smaller sections of the set,” said Iannucci.
Back in February it was announced the show would be returning for a second season with the premiere date still yet to be confirmed.
Watch the full panel discussion in the video above.