What The Episodes of Away series all about?
The first manned trip to Mars is almost ready to take off. When a fire breaks out on their spacecraft, Atlas, and Emma Green is accused of starting it, tensions arise among her crew. Matt, Emma’s spouse and a NASA Mission Control employee, has a stroke and requires surgery. Emma considers leaving the mission, but Matt persuades her to stay. From its staging site on the Moon, the Atlas successfully leaves for Mars.
The mission’s first issue arises when one of three solar panels, which are vital for electrical power, fails to fully deploy. To clear the clog, Emma and Misha do a spacewalk outside the spacecraft. Misha, who had previously questioned Emma’s leadership abilities, has changed his mind after seeing her in action. Alexis, Emma and Matt’s adolescent daughter, is dealing with the strains of Emma’s assignment and Matt’s illness.
When it is discovered that Lu, who is married, and Mei are secret lovers, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) orders CNSA to remove Mei Chen from her job as an Atlas CAPCOM. NASA’s Jack Willmore takes Mei’s place and informs the team about Lu’s affair. Emma and Jack plan a covert phone conversation for Mei and Lu to say their goodbyes before they meet again on Earth.
Meanwhile, Matt begins physical therapy and learns that his doctor does not expect him to regain his ability to walk. Melissa, who assists Emma’s team in caring for Matt and Alexis, attempts to assist Alexis in returning to school.
During a hallucination, Ram acquires contagious mononucleosis and seeks to open the airlock. Despite the risk of infection, the team rallies to assist him. Ram recovers and tells Emma that he has been alienated from his family since he had typhus as a child and his brother died caring for him.
Matt contemplates failing his physical exam in order to take use of the hospital’s rehabilitation services, but decides against it in order to care for Alexis. Alexis meets Isaac, a fellow high schooler who rides dirt motorcycles and whose army doctor father was killed in action while serving in the military.
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Before the Atlas loses near-instant audio/visual communication with Earth as Christmas approaches, the crew makes peace with their loved ones. Misha makes puppets for a play he puts on for his grandkids and estranged daughter, Natalya, that he uses as a metaphor to explain his cosmonaut calling.
Misha’s eyesight deteriorates, so Ram advises him to spend as much time as possible in his ship’s artificial gravity field in his quarters. Matt is a wheelchair user who has been relegated to a consulting job for the Mars expedition. Alexis sneaks out to attend midnight mass with Isaac, but is apprehended by Matt when she returns home.
The Atlas’ primary water reclamation system fails, and the backup is inadequate to complete the journey. Misha proposes a dangerous plan to replace the primary filter with the backup, but he is unable to carry it out because he deceived on his eye exam and his vision has deteriorated.
The crew reassembles the backup system, but it only generates water at a 50% rate, requiring rationing and causing Kwesi’s plants to die. Young Kwesi is depicted growing up in England with adoptive parents and learning about the Jewish faith via flashback. Matt meets Isaac and advises Alexis about riding dirt motorcycles with him.
Matt gets sent to the Mars mission support team to help with the Atlas’s ongoing water problem. Ram conducts psychiatric evaluations on his fellow crew members and is concerned about Emma’s irritability. After using some of her water allotment to keep one of Kwesi’s plants alive, Emma is discovered to be dehydrated.
Alexis receives a note from Emma disapproving of her relationship with Isaac; she rides her dirt bike recklessly and crashes, but eventually reconciles with both of her parents. In a flashback, a younger Emma finds she’s pregnant while in NASA training and thinks it would jeopardise her career, but she decides to keep the baby with Matt’s help.
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Atlas’ supply ship Pegasus, which possesses a key water reclamation system required for the crew’s survival, loses touch with Mission Control. If Pegasus is lost, NASA recommends using a slingshot manoeuvre to return the crew to Earth.
The water supply finally breaks two weeks before Mars. The crew must drain water from the protective bladders utilised for radiation shielding in the ship’s walls, as per NASA’s instruction.
Atlas is about ready to touchdown on Mars. Lu, who has been awarded the honour of becoming the first person to walk on Mars at the PRC’s request, receives orders from CNSA to snap her first photo on Mars with her reflective visor down, obscuring her face.
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In the United States, Netflix’s Away had a strong showing. According to Netflix’s own rankings, the Universal TV-produced series ranked in the top 10 series for much of September, including holding the No. 1 slot for many days after its premiere.