Returning December 21st, Marsfall’s complex imagining of a group of human colonizers on Mars is rife with conspiracies, well-executed action, and classic science-fiction discussions of ethics and artificial intelligence in ways that don’t alienate their audience. Marsfall is, frankly, a work of art: realistic and naturalistic dialogue, sound effects and scaping that create a deeply immersive environment, and music composed by Samuel Boase-Miller specifically for the show. The actors are skilled at their craft, playing off one another and embodying their characters so fiercely, it becomes impossible to tell whether it’s even been scripted for them. Even, in a sense, ANDI the artificial intelligence, who still feels and acts and sounds so much like a real person with the constraints given to AIs in robotics that it’s hard to not fall in love and empathize.
The one thing that cannot go unremarked upon when discussing Marsfall is the music, which results in being far more central to its conceit by the finale than previously imagined. I’ve saved parts of the show where the music is strongest to my podcast bookmarks, because the cello is so moving and so heart-wrenching that I keep going back to it. I’ve cried until my chest heaved just from Marsfall’s score. It heightens all the emotion in the story, until you think you can’t possibly stand it any longer, and brings you back down to a more comfortable level of being so you can process -- until the next time they steal your breath.