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[personal profile] shadowkat
Raining. Back aches, or rather neck. Tired of the rain. I'm one of those people who requires sunlight. I feel like a plant. A carnivorous plant. Less so than before. As I get older, red meat is harder to digest for some reason. Actually a lot of foods are harder to digest. What's up with that?

Finished watching the six episode series Mars on the National Geographic Channel. It's available on demand -- if you have cable and want to check it out. Do I recommend? Eh. It depends on what you like. The series is oddly told -- or has a rather innovative, if jarring, narrative structure. It's based on the book "How We Populate Mars", along with "Packing for Mars", and intertwined with the "scripted" narrative about a trip to create a settlement on Mars in 2033, is a present day documentary detailing how they got there - specifically the science behind the fiction, or what would be required to get to Mars, what risks are entailed, and what is currently being done to make this happen. In short, it's a bit like watching television novella with academic and scientific footnotes. Very odd experience. I found it a bit jarring, much in the same way that I find reading books with footnotes jarring. Mainly because I'm incapable of ignoring the footnotes, and so disrupt my reading to look at them. Here, you don't have much choice. At various breaks in the action, you jump back in time to a documentary explaining the science behind it.

In the second episode, we have the death of the commanding officer on Mars juxtaposed with the deaths on the Space Shuttle Columbia, Apollo 13, and a man who is spending a year in space, while his daughter explains how much she misses him. This is interspersed with interview footage of the team journeying to Mars. I got a bit lost in that episode, or rather my attention kept wandering.

It does get better. The series is at its best when they are problem solving. The human relationships feel a bit stilted. Mainly because the format doesn't quite lend itself to human relations. Way too much telling and not enough showing in that area. But with the problem solving, the juxtaposition of documentary with scripted story -- of what it would be like to go to Mars, does work. Like I said, it's a bit similar to reading a sci-fi novel with footnotes.

Captivated me enough to stick with it. Partly because I am a bit of a space nerd. I find the whole idea of journeying to a distant planet fascinating. And the science behind it -- compelling.
But I'm not sure you'd enjoy it if you weren't a space nerd.

Okay, off to bed. I'm up writing past 9 again. Can't help myself. I write better at night for some reason. Takes a while for my thoughts to gell, and they tend to do it best when I'm relaxed, which is at night.
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