The idea from Dutch billionaire Bas Lansdorp was hailed as a concept for “the ultimate reality series”: a group of people trained for a one-way mission to Mars to create the first human colony, reports Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.
But now the idea is becoming an actual reality TV show, Andreeva writes. Liongsate TV is working with Lansdorp’s Mars One for an unscripted TV series to track the mission. Lionsgate won the project in a “competitive situation,” the report notes. The untitled project will be shopped to networks soon.
“Mars One calls for new groups of four to be sent to Mars every two years, beginning no later than 2024. Announced last year, the scientific project already has received almost 300,000 applications from all all over the world, which are being whittled down. Lionsgate TV is expected to start its own casting search, with the two selection processes ultimately merged,” the story notes.
The series would track progress over the next several years, including different stages of preparation and selection of the finalists, who will undergo eight years of training.
“This is a social experiment that focuses on the people that would sign for something like this — they have to agree to participate and be willing to go on a one-way mission, knowing that if you go, you can never come back,” producer Roy Bank told the publication.
He added that the commitment to Mars One “is so much greater and much longer than TV season(s) would last; even before they would ever be put on a rocket, they need to be willing go for a longer period of time if not forever. Nobody knows if they will pull it off.”
But that also leads to ethical questions, Bank noted. He added, “Would a show like this be involved in promoting a suicide mission?”
Social experiments are hot on TV right now, with Fox recently committing to “Utopia,” which is about a group of people building a society from the ground up. Space travel is also becoming popular, with NBC recently picking up “Space Race,” about contestants competing for a slot on Richard Branson’s commercial spaceline, the story notes.