Review of The First: A gripping and gritty tale of Mars exploration

Creating The First, a gritty new TV space epic about the complexities of getting a crew to Mars, was an enormously detailed – and soul-searching – job

Sean Penn and LisaGay Hamilton

Sean Penn and LisaGay Hamilton look to the future in The First


The First, created by Beau Willimon, starts on Channel 4 this week. Also available in the US on Hulu

FOR reasons that remained mysterious by the end of episode one, veteran astronaut Tom Hagerty (Sean Penn) has been grounded. This left him watching helplessly as a launch accident wipes out his former crewmates, bound for Mars on a rocket bankrolled by prickly space visionary Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone). By the episode’s end, the disaster has taken a huge psychological toll, not least on Ingram …

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