Sean Penn takes the lead in Hulu’s space drama The First. The series follows the life of a man preparing to command the first human expedition to Mars. Within the first 10 minutes of the series, the audience watches as a hopeful spaceship explodes moments after launching. After the failed launch, Sean Penn’s Tom Hagerty is brought back to command the next Mars attempt.
While the plot is driven around the mission to Mars, the story itself is populated with a cast of raw, brilliant and ambitious characters. While preparing to go to Mars, the audience watches as Tom tries to balance the mission and his concerns about his daughter Denise, a recovering addict. While Tom wants to be the good guy and put his daughter before the mission, he keeps allowing his ambition to pull him back to toward Mars. Denise, played by the formidable Anna Jacoby-Heron, allows the audience to gain more insight about the strained relationships Hagerty has with his family. Natascha McElhone is brilliant as Laz Ingram, the scientist and director of the Mars mission willing to sacrifice it all for the potential discoveries.
Viewers witness the sacrifices the astronauts make, the training and the time away from their loved ones, in the hopes of getting to sit in their rocketship. The series also gives the audience a peek behind the political curtain as the astronauts fight for continued funding for the project after the tragic explosion.
While the series is titled The First, it focuses on the journey that the characters will hopefully take. They don’t don their space suits until the last episode as they prep for launch. Will the astronauts make history as the first humans to travel to Mars? You’ll have to watch to find out.
The First has eight episodes available on Hulu. For audiences looking to have a few more adventures with astronauts, try Netflix’s Lost in Space, which follows the Robinsons’ misadventures after they are separated from their fellow space travelers.