I just finished watching the National Geographic miniseries, Mars, which completed airing last night. I loved the miniseries, but there are a few things that really bothered me about it. I know they did most of these things to ramp up the drama, but The Expanse proves that you can create compelling drama in space without having to resort to breaking the laws of physics or introducing space monsters.
Also, in case it isn't incredibly obvious, this is going to contain spoilers for the series. So if you haven't watched it yet and you're planning to, please, read the rest of this post later.
Things that were awful
- Rooms don't instantly depressurize when exposed to vacuum or extremely low air pressure. I know, it's not as catchy as "jet fuel can't melt steel beams" but they did this TWICE and it was so unreal both times that it completely shattered my suspension of disbelief.
- It's 2033 and apparently radios that work with direct line of sight over a range of 200 meters no longer exist.
- Similarly, apparently in 2033, video cameras are impossible to integrate into spacesuits. (Come on, The Martian nailed this.)
- We're going to send a crew to set up a colony on another planet without knowing exactly where the colony will go. Sure.
- Are you SERIOUSLY telling me that anybody would approve a door directly to the outside? Without an airlock? Are you fucking kidding me?
However, like I said, I loved the miniseries overall, so I'm going to finish this with a few of the things I think went well.
Things that were not awful
- All of the footage of the SpaceX booster landing attempts. Especially the footage of Elon Musk running outside to watch the first successful booster landing.
- Actually, almost all of the current/past footage was great.
- Killing off a major character in the first episode was unexpected and really set the tone properly.
- They did not introduce any wacky Martian space monsters to crank up the drama.
- The special effects were fantastic. Way better than I expected for a National Geographic series.
- I loved the mission patch for the Daedalus crew. The flags from multiple nations integrated into the rocket plume was a nice touch.