This September, Hulu prepares to go where no human has gone before with The First, a new drama about the first manned mission to Mars. Along with Sean Penn, the series features an impressive cast that includes Natascha McElhone, LisaGay Hamilton, James Ransone, Hannah Ware, Melissa George, and Oded Fehr. If its acting pedigree wasn’t enough to pique your interest, it’s also created and written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, marking his first foray into scripted television since leaving the Netflix series ahead of season 5.
Though it primarily functions as a drama about human ambition and the drive that it takes to overcome the obstacles — technological, financial, and political — that come from undertaking a task as monumental as trying to put a group of five human beings on the Red Planet, it also includes some casual science fiction elements, just to let you know it’s taking place in the near future.
The new trailer makes a point to showcase some of the future tech that’s on display in the series, like the communications devices and some slick-looking holographic imaging. It’s an interesting addition to the series, in that most of the tech on display seems not only plausible, but also within the grasp of human development within the next 15-20 years or so. What’s more interesting, however, is how well Willimon and his crew have managed to integrate those science fiction-y elements into the series, so as to be aware of them without calling too much attention. Check out the trailer below:
The series will be something of a test case for Hulu, as it will not only premiere on a Friday — which is when chief competitor Netflix debuts its newest original offerings — but it will also be available as a binge watch, meaning all eight episodes will stream on the same day. This is an interesting move for the streaming service, as it has typically preferred to dole out its series on a weekly basis, typically following a two- or three-episode premiere that, more often than not, happens on Wednesdays.
Hulu most recently tried its hand with the all-at-once strategy with season 4 of Casual, though that was that series’ final season and not the premiere of a series starring a two-time Academy Award winner. Whatever Hulu’s strategy is, it will be interesting to see if it pays off come award season, as this could be a contender.
The First premieres Friday, September 14 on Hulu.