Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller With A-List Star Sends You To Mars

By Douglas Helm | Published

Who doesn’t love a good space drama? If you’re looking for a TV series about humanity landing on Mars, then the underrated 2020 Netflix show Away, starring Hilary Swank, might be what you’re looking for. The first and only season is available on the streamer.

Futuristic Sci-Fi Astronaut Drama

Away is about humanity’s first crewed expedition to Mars titled the Mars Joint Initiative. The crew is made up of a Chinese chemist, a British botanist, a Russian cosmonaut, an Indian medical officer, and an American astronaut in command of the mission named Emma. Hilary Swank stars as Emma while the rest of the cast includes Vivian Wu, Eto Assandoh, Mark Ivanir, Ray Panthaki, Josh Charles, and Talitha Bateman.

Away has a solid mix of drama and high-stakes science. Hilary Swank is as great as Emma as she must prove herself to her international crew. Emma has to overcome their doubts after an incident occurs on their ship. There’s also the fact that her husband, Matt, was set to be the mission commander but is unable to due to a medical condition.

Grounded Sci-Fi

Hilary Swank Away

If you’re a fan of relatively grounded sci-fi, then Away is solid for that, too. The show mainly focuses on the struggles and obstacles the crew faces as they make their way toward Mars after launching from the moon. Some personal stakes are also at play, such as leaving friends and family behind for the mission.

A One Season Wonder

There is one caveat to keep in mind if you decide to start Away, and that’s the fact the show was canceled after only one season. Netflix isn’t shy about axing shows if they don’t meet viewership expectations, and Away was one of those victims. While the show is solid and received decent reviews, it wasn’t good enough to justify another season.

There’s An Ending

The good news is that Away ends in a way that works as an ending, though it might not be the most satisfying one.  The series is very well made, so it’s likely that the show’s budget was pretty big, leading Netflix to make the call to cut it rather than take a risk on another season. Still, the plans for the following seasons make it disappointing that it wasn’t given a chance to finish the story.

Streaming Only On Netflix

After Netflix canceled Away, executive producer Jessica Goldberg revealed that the show had two more seasons planned. Goldberg even outlined what those later seasons would be about, but we won’t discuss that here to avoid spoiling the first season. But, if you decide you’re curious as to what could have been, you can at least look up Goldberg’s interview and find out what they had planned if you finish Season 1.

It’s always tough to decide to start a show, knowing that it doesn’t have a definitive ending, but Away’s first season is solid enough to justify the watch. On top of the great performances, it’s always cool to see what it might look like if we flew to Mars, especially because that sci-fi concept is becoming a reality very soon. You can stream it now on Netflix if you’re interested.