netflix away

Jason Katims
Joe Seer /

Netflix is on a roll and has ordered another new science fiction program straight to series.  This one comes courtesy of Jason Katims, producer of such hits as ‘Roswell’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Parenthood’.  He also produced ‘The Path’ for Hulu, which lasted for three seasons and was just recently cancelled.  His most recent roject, ‘Rise’ lasted for only one 10-episode season on NBC.

The new Netflix series is entitled ‘Away’ and depicts the first manned trip to Mars.  Katims co-wrote the pilot screenplay with Andrew Hinderaker with whom he previously collaborated on the CBS series ‘Pure Genius’ and ‘The Path’. Hinderaker may be best known as a writer for the Showtime supernatural series ‘Penny Dreadful‘.  The concept originated with an article written by Chris Jones which was published in Esquire magazine in 2014.

Katims will executive produce with Matt Reeves, who co-created the series ‘Felicity’ and has written ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and the in-development ‘The Batman’.  Reeves also serves as an executive producer of the ‘Cloverfield’ films, the most recent of which, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox‘ premiered on Netflix earlier this year.  Hinderaker will be credited as a co-executive producer.

The series revolves around Emma Green, an American astronaut who must leave her
husband and teenage daughter behind in order to command an international space crew
embarking upon a treacherous, yearlong mission. Away explores themes including hope,
humanity and how people need one another if we are to achieve impossible things.

Jones’ Esquire article followed astronaut Scott Kelly’s year aboard the International Space Station, which was one of the most ambitious space missions ever.  The TV series obviously differs in that the astronauts in that are travelling to Mars and not just orbiting the Earth.

It’s not surprising that Netflix is pursuing another science fiction program, as “Science Fiction and Fantasy” now ranks as the streaming service’s top genre.  The recent release, ‘Lost In Space’, was the most expensive Netflix original program ever produced, but the streaming service has already ordered a second season so it must have been worth it.  And, of course, ‘Stranger Things’ is a phenomenon with a huge fan following and a score of merchandise, with everything from toys, clothing, and housewares available to purchase.  Netflix has also earned buzz from series like ‘Altered Carbon’ and ‘Black Mirror’ and movies like ‘Mute’, ‘Bright’ and ‘Annihilation’.  In February, Netflix picked up the rights to Universal’s ‘Extinction’ which was previously intended to be a theatrical release.

The first season of ‘Away’ will consist of 10 episodes.  No word yet on when we can expect it.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Jason Katims
Joe Seer /