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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 14, 2018
The First Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Summary: Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone) heads up a crew that attempts to become the first humans on Mars in this sci-fi drama series created by Beau Willimon.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Sep 4, 2018
    The middle section of Season 1 features some of the best character development, perspective shifts, and overall writing this year.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 14, 2018
    This is an ambitious, bold, beautiful, occasionally trippy, big-picture sci-fi drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 14, 2018
    For now, you’re advised to ride out The First, sluggishness and all. There are enough bright spots to bring it all home, with Mars very gradually getting closer to becoming more than just a talking point.
  4. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Sep 13, 2018
    The First is a glossy, often-inert tale of devotion and spaceflight. Its first two episodes treat inevitabilities as questions, and unfold with the zip of a DVR-ed sporting event for which you already read the box score. ... But The First does get better after its first two episodes (before getting worse again) by jettisoning inevitability. ... As flawed as I found the first season, I’ll admit, it hooked me enough that I’m interested to see how they live life on Mars.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 14, 2018
    The First does a credible job of contemplating the costs of space travel, where, to quote an old line, no one can hear you scream. But wading through season one of this stiff but earnest series, it's possible someone will hear you snore.
  6. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 12, 2018
    The show isn’t a disaster by any means, and it features a few strong performances. But it lacks forward momentum as it lingers indulgently in some of its least interesting conflicts.
  7. Reviewed by: Adam Chitwood
    Sep 4, 2018
    At every turn, The First is far more interested in lingering shots of Tom in pensive thought, or delivering a monologue about man’s destiny for space travel, or grieving for his dead wife. And perhaps that would’ve been fine if the show had something else to offer, but it also misses the mark in telling a genuinely compelling story about space travel.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 19
  2. Negative: 7 out of 19
  1. Oct 16, 2018
    A bit slow at points but episode 5 is as stirring and surreal of television I've seen in a long time.
  2. Sep 23, 2018
    Fantastic brilliant show nice to see sean penn back at what he does best. Cant wait for season 2
  3. Sep 16, 2018
    Amazing show and amazing performance from Sean Penn. I can understand those who give it a unfair low score, just because the show is not asAmazing show and amazing performance from Sean Penn. I can understand those who give it a unfair low score, just because the show is not as they expected, not because of the show itself. It's not a Sci-Fi it's a wonderful drama. Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2018
    If you expect to see a fast sci-fi series forget it, because The First isn’t that kind of science fiction, and also because there’s not muchIf you expect to see a fast sci-fi series forget it, because The First isn’t that kind of science fiction, and also because there’s not much sci-fi (the first episodes and the last).
    But sci-fi can also be in the background if there is a good idea, which this series reaches in half.
    Behind everything there are the feelings of the characters (and their families) who are involved in the mission that will take them to Mars.
    Sometimes this kind of style (like Malick) works very well, thanks to actors such as Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in a state of grace, but other times no and it becomes trivial, boring and in which the dialogues become just chatter for commercials.
    There are characters that we've seen a few hundred times (like Denise Hagerty).
    Of others characters (like Sadie Hewitt) we understand the fate from the first episode, and they are there… don’t know why.
    The episode 7 doesn’t have any logical sense.
    But still, The First has its charm thanks as I said to the protagonists, a great photography and beautiful music.
  5. Sep 15, 2018
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am giving it a four because some of the acting was good. Penn is good and intense in his roles. He was good as the dad. I was expecting a movie about space exploration. But after streaming five episodes I realized that this has more to do with personal struggles on Earth than it has to do with seeing people on Mars. A lot of social issues, family issues, couples issues, politically correct issues, people getting drunk and singing, people swimming with dumbbells........I stopped after episode 5...... Expand
  6. Sep 20, 2018
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. May Contain Spoilers* I love every part of the science, the training, space possibilities, space problems and all the NASA parts. If that was it, it would be an awesome 10 out of 10 series. But, then you have the drama parts. If there was just a little bit of it like, “Martian” that would be great but there isn’t just a little bit of useless drama but a ton of it. You also have to deal with a lot of useless family garbage as well. There will be so much of it that you will only get about 10 minutes or less per episode when it comes to anything to do with space. Now, if you were to splice only the NASA parts together then oh it would be wonderful. In fact maybe someone will do it in the future. Also, if that wasn't enough, the trailers and commercials only shows NASA / Science parts to suck you in to watching it. Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2018
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I like Sean Penn. the actors in the series were famous. I did not find the series interesting though. There was drama, but not a lot of real technical data. Sure it showed the SLS and dramatized the risks. If the person in question had so much personal distraction drama, they would have been grounded from a flight. I am sure there will be a second season because there is a lot of unfinished questions.
    What was the deal the old-fashioned dial phone??? is that a terrorist plot???

    I do hope the second seasoned delves further into the technology and less on the sappy emotional stuff (bah)/

See all 19 User Reviews

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