Warning: There are major SPOILERS ahead for the first season of The First.
So if you haven’t seen all the way through Hulu’s space epic then you should bookmark this article, finish every last second, and then return to read what its creator and writer Beau Willimon has to say about its future.
“The First’s” creator Beau Willimon has opened up about his plans for the Hulu space epic, admitting that he expects some fans to be disappointed that the first season only ended with the crew of Providence 2 making it off Earth.
I recently had the chance to speak to Willimon over the phone about the eight episode long first season, during which time I took the chance to quiz him about his plans for further seasons, too.
“I do have a plan. Certainly it is intended to go beyond the first season. I am knocking on wood right now because that is not official yet.”
“We are hoping that this show connects with enough people worldwide that we get an opportunity to continue to tell this story. I don’t want to divulge too much in terms of where it is going.”
“Clearly we spend most of the first season with the mission mostly here on Earth. The mission is front and centre and we are tackling it from angles that one might not normally tackle if you were usually doing a show about Mars.”
“We are really focusing it from the emotional journey from the characters and also on the ground with the engineering and the politics of it. The most obvious way to go with it would have been to go straight into the mission and showing the astronauts on their way.”
“But we made the choice of saying that there is a hell of a lot of work just to get to the starting line. And even when you are at the starting line something catastrophic can happen that can endanger the entire mission and then you have to get there again.”
“Lets dramatize it. Let’s show how hard that is. So that by the time we get the astronauts into space we understand them.”
“If not fully, we have a lot of understanding into their motivations and understand and contextualize what they had to give up to get their, and understand the impact it is having on the people they left behind on the ground and the ground team.”
“So it is a lot more impactful and resonant once we get them on their way.”
“Ending the season the way we do it is not unreasonable to have expectations that in season 2 we will see them on their way to Mars and potentially even get there.”
“But because we have also invested so much time in their families and the ground team, we will also be able to tell the parallel story going on on Earth.”
“And that juxtaposition of the people and the journey and those that are left behind is a rich and complex narrative challenge that will be really exciting.”
“We figured there might be some people who would rather us get right to space right away. We are asking them to really investigate a story that holds that off for a bit.”
“We hope that they find enough in the universality of these characters to be interested in them enough. Some of them won’t be, and that is a risk that we took.”
“But for those that do connect with these characters and stick with it, if we have the opportunity to make a season 2, will get richly rewarded.”
I also recently had the chance to talk to series regular James Ransone, who portrays Nick Fletcher in its first season, and he admitted that even though he doesn’t really have a lot to do in these episodes he assumes there will be a lot more for him to sink his teeth into in the future if “The First” gets more episodes.
“I am not in it a ton the first season, but I am glad to talk about the show and do whatever I can to help.”
“But in terms of if we come back, which I think we are. I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything. Then I am in it a lot more next season. I think.”
“As you can kind of see from the season so far not a lot has been done with my character. There wasn’t like a ton of character work for me to do. It was a lot of technical stuff to do.”
Ransone has nothing but praise for Beau’s patient approach to “The First,” which inadvertently actually ended up making some of the cast nervous about their futures.
“I have to hand it to Beau. It is cool to make a show about space and then no-one goes to space for the first season.”
“The cool thing about Beau is that he kept us all on our toes. No-one knew what was going to happen.”
“There was a lot of talk between the other actors of like, ‘Who is going to make it!? Who is going to get killed off!?’ No-one really felt safe.”
“The First” is now on Hulu.