Mars has long been a source of fascination for everyone from scientists to filmmakers, but the Red Planet is no longer the mysterious world it once was. With NASA’s Curiosity Rover exploring the planet and Elon Musk’s Space X dedicated to planetary colonization, the dream of humans living on Mars may soon be more than a sci-fi plot line. But for now, it’s still up to the magic of Hollywood to give us a preview. National Geographic takes on this new frontier with Mars, a new six-part series that blends interviews with real-life astronauts and scientists from NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with the fictional story of a Mars landing in 2033. Developed with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the show, which debuts November 14 at 9pm ET on the National Geographic Channel, follows the international crew of the Daedalus as they attempt to land on Mars in a reusable rocket and built habitats.
Production designer Sophie Becher was tasked with creating an array of locations, from the headquarters of International Mars Science Foundation to the interior of the Daedalus to the habitat on Mars. Becher approached the projects from the characters point of view, especially when designing the extraterrestrial environments. “I become the astronaut,” she says. “What would I need to function? What sort of prop would help me keep my sanity?”