Last minute addition. Mission psychiatrist Jeanne Renoir (Hélène Viviès)

The other day, my attention was caught by a flag for a show called Missions on Amazon’s sub-channel Shudder. The description was very spartan, but today the Beeb have announced they will be airing it on BBC Four next year. The ten-part series hails from France and is the channel’s first international drama acquisition with a sci-fi theme.

Part of the plot reminds me of an excellent and spooky French comic serial, The Chimpanzee Complex by written by Richard Marazano and illustrated by Jean-Michel Ponzio (there is an English language edition available from CineBooks). I don’t believe there is any connection beyond the space setting and being French products. 

The show is set in a not-too-distant future, the first ever manned mission to Mars is launched by an eccentric Swiss billionaire William Meyer (Mathias Mlekuz). Meyer himself forms part of an eight-strong crew, which also includes a famous married Astronaut couple (played by Giorgia Sinicorni and Christophe Vandevelde) plus mission psychiatrist Jeanne Renoir (Hélène Viviès) - a last-minute addition to the team.

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After 10 months of space travel, the crew is one day away from reaching Mars when they receive bad news - they’ve been overtaken by a rival American mission, and will no longer be first to land on the planet.

When a message of distress is then received from the American crew, the French team’s exploration mission becomes a rescue attempt.After a chaotic landing on Mars, the team discover a survivor. But he is not from the American mission. He’s Russian - a cosmonaut named Vladimir Komarov, who died on a mission to space in 1967…

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Missions was created by Henri Debeurme, Julien Lacombe and Ami Cohen. Now if I can only be patient.