TV

Everything we know about new sci-fi show 'The First’

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Tom Victor
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Beau Willimon, the man behind ‘House of Cards’, has an exciting new show on the way later this year. Here’s all we know

With all the drama of the World Cup and Wimbledon, you’ve suddenly realised you have no idea what to do with your days without the distraction of live sport.

There are a few summer films for you to tick off your list, but what then? You need something new to get excited about, and we don’t just mean more seasons of existing TV shows.

Thankfully, we might have found the answer, in the form of mission-to-Mars drama The First. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

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Who stars in it?

There are two big-name leads in The First, in the form of Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone.

It is Penn’s first TV role – excluding cameos as himself – since he played Eric in Friends more than a decade and a half ago. McElhone, meanwhile, last starred as a regular in Designated Survivor.

Other cast members include LisaGay Hamilton (House of Cards) and James Ransone (The Wire).

Who is involved behind the scenes?

The First is the latest creation of Beau WIllimon, creator of House of Cards.

The sixth season of House of Cards will air in late 2018, after those involved in the show decided to continue without season 1-5 lead Kevin Spacey.

Spacey was fired by the show after allegations of sexual misconduct and a poorly-received apology. The First had already been picked up before the allegations against Spacey surfaced and before Netflix confirmed the political drama’s sixth season would be its last.

What’s The First about?

According to Willimon, The First is “A story about the human spirit”. In more precise terms, it’s set in the not-too-distant future, and it concerns the astronauts hoping to become the first humans on Mars.

“[It’s] about our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history,” the creator added when describing the show in 2017.

“And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice — emotional, psychological, and physical — that’s required to achieve it. How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”

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What Channel can I watch it on?

It will air on streaming service Hulu in the United States, and previous Hulu shows have been unavailable, or difficult to access, for British viewers.

However, that does not apply to The First: it is a co-production between Hulu and Channel 4, who will air it in the UK.

When will The First be on TV?

It is due to air in the United States from 14 September, though Channel 4 is yet to confirm whether it will come to UK TV at the same time.

A release from the broadcaster confirms a 2018 premiere for the show, but had nothing more specific.

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(Images: Channel 4/Getty)