Transmissions From Colony One is a science fiction audio drama set in the near-future of 2057. In 2037, the global space agency MECTI (Mars Exploration, Colonization and Terraformation Initiative) was established with the goal of starting a permanent human presence on Mars. This meant using fusion-propelled rocketry, the construction of a t space elevator to make transportation from the surface of Earth to low orbit more cost and energy-efficient, and the creation of a titanic space station that dwarfed today’s International Space Station. All of these things and more needed to be done in order for MECTI to work. Now, twenty years after the birth of agency, the first crew, MECTI-1, is about to land on the surface of Mars, in the flat expansive region of Amazonis Planitia. This will be the first manned mission to the surface of Mars, and the first of thousands of MECTI manned missions to the Red Planet.
Transmissions From Colony One chronicles the lives of the international crew of eight men and eight women, as they work to establish humanity’s first permanent foothold on another planet, and come to grips with their decision to volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars…
In 2010, series creator John W. Richter read an article detailing NASA’s idea of having the first manned mission to Mars traveling on a one-way trip – meaning whomever traveled to Mars would remain. The thought of people making this concious decision to sacrifice everything for the good of a mission intrigued John greatly, and the project was born.
Transmissions From Colony One is a project years in the making, at times in different formats. It had begun as a comic book series, then as a TV pilot. It wasn’t until 2012 when Zak White, a friend and colleague of John’s, had begun airing Murder on Skull Drive, a comedic murder mystery radio play. Upon hearing it, John realized that he could not only adapt this project as a radio drama series, but produce it for almost no budget whatsoever. It meant John would need to teach himself audio production completely from scratch, but it was a challenge he welcomed.
Pre-production for Transmissions From Colony One ran from July 2012 – February 2013. John quickly partnered with friend and colleague Dustin Weiskopf as story editor and creative consultant. Without budget limitations, John and Dustin realized they could be as ambitious as possible. The number of cast members doubled, and from locations ranging from Saint Louis to Los Angeles to Japan.
Production on season one spanned from February to May, with John directing every performance in every episode. In May 2013, the first audio teaser was broadcast on the website, along with the launch of both the official Facebook and Twitter pages. The Twitter page featured “Transit Logs,” daily Tweets from the fictional crew en route to Mars from Earth, which also follow the storyline of the series. On June 23, a video trailer was released, and on July 4, the 16th Anniversary of the landing of NASA’s Pathfinder/Sojourner Rover on Mars, Transmissions From Colony One premiered.