• 19 Sep - 25 Sep, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly

At one point in Away, Netflix’s new drama about the first manned mission to Mars, NASA commander Emma (Hilary Swank) asks her ship’s chief scientist Yu (Vivian Wu) how Yu copes with being millions of miles away from her loved ones. Yu, aware of how much Emma has struggled with the separation from her own family, admits that her heart would break apart if she thought too much about spending three years from her son. Over the course of the 10-episode first season, Emma and Yu are set up as spiritual opposites: Emma emotional and often distracted by drama involving her engineer husband Matt (Josh Charles) and their teenage daughter Alexis (Talitha Eliana Bateman), and Yu cool and professional, at times to a fault. Away tries to find a happy medium between the two as it balances the story of the mission and its many crises with what Matt, Alexis, and everyone else left back on Earth is up to. Too often, though, it feels that the show, like its main character, is looking the wrong way. It’s not just that outer space scenes are more complicated and expensive to film, particularly when you aspire to this level of casually convincing special effects.

– Compilation