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The First on Channel 4 Sean Penn show delivers Mars voyage twist | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

The First on Channel 4 Sean Penn show delivers Mars voyage twist | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

The First launched on Channel 4 this evening with Sean Penn in the lead role of Tom Hagerty. 

During the show, fans were expecting to see the first craft land on Mars.

And it all seemed to be going to plan, with the bold crew stepping forward for their manned-mission to the Red Planet. 

The craft took off as the fictional world held their breath to see if the rocket would clear the atmosphere. 

But in a shock twist, the ship exploded in the air instantly killing everyone on board. 

Naturally, viewers were in disbelief over the moment and flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts. 

One said: “Did NOT see that coming!! I mean, it’s the first episode and lots gone to s**t already.”

A second added: “#TheFirst Get the feeling they are not going to mars any time soon.”

A third gasped: “#TheFIRST Well that was over quickly.”

A fourth wept: “#TheFirst They didn’t last 2 secs! This is the start! OMG!”(sic).”

With Mars seemingly a long way away in The First, the show’s creator, Beau Willimon, has spilled on the bold decision to kill off what appeared to be the lead cast.

The House of Cards creator told Radio Times how important it was to show how high-stakes a mission to Mars would be. 

“If everything had gone off without a hitch from the get-go, I don’t think we would have felt really the amount of anger that’s involved in an endeavour like this,” he recalled.

But, it seems there is hope for Laz Ingram (played by Natascha McElhone), who is desperate to put men on Mars.

Fans will see in the coming episodes how Tom will be chosen to take one of the first steps on the Red Planet.

But nevertheless, The First won’t shy away from death as the show’s shock twist is reminiscent of a real-life event. 

In 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven members of the crew.

The televised event left millions in shock, something that Natascha has never forgotten. 

She added to the publication: “That Challenger moment: tattooed in my mind is, I suppose, the image of something going up in smoke. I didn’t really get the point of: what were the rest of those families’ lives like after that?” 

The First continues on Channel 4 next Thursday at 9pm.

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