The last time Sean Penn delivered wistful voiceovers while his character looked off into the distance, all intercut with abstract images from space and nature, we got “The Tree of Life.” This time, in the new Hulu drama “The First,” it looks like creator Beau Willimon may have captured a bit of that same spirit.
“The First” is the latest Hulu original series, created by Willimon (who also brought “House of Cards” to Netflix) and starring Penn as astronaut Tom Hagerty, part of the first manned mission to visit Mars. This initial look at the series also includes Natascha McElhone, who plays Laz Ingram, a member of the financial team behind the mission.
If we’re not mistaken, there’s also a quick glimpse of Bill Camp, who at this point might just having a standing invite for a supporting role in any Hulu prestige TV venture going forward. (After “The Looming Tower,” we’re all in favor).
Not much else in the way of plot to parse out from this atmospheric look, but with those neon-colored shots from space and a direct namecheck of Carl Sagan, this looks to be a series that’s going to wrestle with the ideas of exploration, from the point of view of the people in the shuttle to those they’re leaving behind on the ground.
The ensemble also includes LisaGay Hamilton, James Ransone, and Anna Jacoby-Heron. “The First” is a co-production between Hulu and the UK’s Channel 4.
Watch the full trailer (including the obligatory chalkboard interlude) below:
“The First” premieres Friday, September 14 on Hulu.