Channel 4 and Hulu are to broadcast The First, a drama set in the near future about the first human mission to Mars.

“We are thrilled with this team. Hulu and Channel 4 have demonstrated a commitment to bold, high-quality story telling. Their creative insight, wealth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit make them ideal partners for this series. IMG’s success in bringing premier content to the rest of world ensures this story will have a strong global audience.” – Jordan Tappis, Westward Productions

The series is created and written by Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award-nominated Beau Willimon, who also serves as executive producer alongside his producing partner Jordan Tappis.

The First explores the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonization. The drama follows the story of the human race’s indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons and how the experts work toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history, making a home of Mars. The production will also take viewers down the human cost of that vision, from the danger and sacrifice to the emotional, psychological and physical efforts that’s required to achieve it. How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.

“The show will have a diverse ensemble cast, focusing not only on the astronauts, but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth. “The prize is Mars, but the story is about the humans trying to get there,” – Westward Productions’ Beau Willimon.

Westward – an independent film and television studio founded by Willimon and Tappis, not linked with the former ITV regional broadcaster WestWard Television, will own and produce The First. The series will be co-financed by Hulu, Channel 4 and IMG and will premiere on Channel 4 in the UK and Hulu in the US. IMG will handle sales in all territories The eight part series will begin production later this year and is provisionally scheduled to air in 2018.

“The first interplanetary colonisation will be the greatest pioneering feat in history, the pinnacle of human achievement spearheaded by true visionaries. [It] will herald a new chapter in the evolution of our species. Beau Willimon is the perfect storyteller to bring this epic story to life. We are proud to be backing the bold, creative talent working on The First and to be partnering with Beau and Jordan at Westward, alongside Hulu and IMG, on this ambitious and thrilling project.” –  Simon Maxwell, Head of International Drama at Channel 4.

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