Netflix's new space travel series Away wears many hats in terms of genre. Sometimes it's a thriller, sometimes it's a family drama, and other times it's a sci-fi adventure. At its core though, creator Andrew Hinderaker says it's a love story.
The series stars Hilary Swank as Emma Green, the Commander of the first manned mission to Mars, who leaves behind her sick husband, Matt (Josh Charles), and her teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman) to go on this dangerous three-year journey. Despite the ever-growing distance between Emma and her family, she still finds ways to keep her family close.
"[Away] is, at its foundation, a love story," Hinderaker told TV Guide. "It's many things. It's a story of Emma's family on Earth and her family in space. It's a story of the world working together, but it is also fundamentally, an epic love story of two people who are 30 million miles apart."
Like all good love stories, Emma and Matt's respective journeys are hindered with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. For Matt, the struggle to be a grounded astronaut, a single father, and a sick man with a terrifying disease often pushes their relationship to its limits. In Emma's case, the isolation, distance, and frequent life or death situations would be enough to crush a less-stable marriage under such intense pressure.
However, those obstacles are often made less overwhelming by the strong bond between these two spouses. Little romantic moments peppered in here and there sometimes make it hard to forget that Emma and Matt are millions of miles apart.
"Their marriage is the foundation of the show, building block from which everything is built upon," Hinderaker said. "The show is called Away because, fundamentally, it is about that invisible tether that connects our astronauts to the people they love back home, and I think that starts with Emma and of course Matt and Alexis, but fundamentally that marriage. We were all interested in exploring ways in which they're able to support each other on their respective journeys... the ways in which they're able to support each other from a distance and the ways in which they cannot and be honest about both of those things. In many ways in Season 1 [was about] taking that invisible tether and stretching it as taut as we can without ever really breaking that invisible wire and knowing that they had something so foundational that allowed them to not only endure but thrive on their respective journeys."
Away premieres Friday, Sept. 4th on Netflix.