Recommendation: Missions (French series)

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    I’d been wanting to watch this forever, but only recently did Amazon add it with English subtitles. The series was made in France, and so nearly all dialogue is in French (though American characters speak English among themselves and Russian characters speak Russian, unless they’re trying to interact with the French characters). Regardless of the tongue being spoken, be ready for some F-bombs and a little bit of nudity.


    The show’s creators are said to have patterned the series somewhat after Lost, at least in terms of teasing out the show’s mysteries and occasionally playing with time in terms of flashbacks, etc. It deals with a Mars mission that goes all kinds of wrong, and the reappearance of a historical figure from the Soviet space program who shouldn’t be on Mars, or even alive, at all. Much like National Geographic’s “Mars” series, there’s a very Elon Musk-esque character behind everything. Kind of funny how, 40-50 years ago, the basic assumption was that the military would be exploring space…and now? The basic assumption is that the Elon Musk types, or more broadly private aerospace, will be the only ticket to Mars.

    It’s really intriguing. I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far. I didn’t know what to expect from French-produced sci-fi – really the only previous specimen I’d seen was Metal Hurlant Chronicles – but it’s really slick, and while by all accounts it was produced as cheaply as possible, it doesn’t look cheap. The episodes range from 20-30 minutes, which is a rarity for a drama series, much less sci-fi, these days. I’ve started a guide here, which I’ll probably finish in the next few days*: [LINK]

    * because Missions is carried on a premium channel, “Shudder”, which allows for a one-week free tryout on Amazon.

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