In 2057, the international space exploration conglomerate MECTI (Mars Exploration, Colonization and Terraformation Initiative) sends the first two manned missions to Mars, in an attempt to not only land the crew safely on the flat plains of Amazonis Planitia, but to have this small collection of humans establish the first permanent foothold on another planet. These crews are the first of potentially hundreds, as MECTI’s primary goal is to create a sizable and sustainable human population on Mars.
In the late 2030s, nearly all of the world’s space agencies joined forces in order to work towards a single goal – permanent, sustainable human outposts on Mars with the intention of not only plant the seeds of colonization, but to aid in the eventual terraforming of the planet into an Earth-like environment. In the eyes of those who founded MECTI and the 6-person Board of Administrators that run it, the goal of MECTI is to use Mars as a lifeboat for the human race, just in case some unforeseen calamity were knock on Earth’s door. MECTI quickly and easily becomes the largest employer on the planet, with an estimated workforce of over 17 million people working on all seven continents with yearly budgets in the multi-trillions.
In order for permanent Mars settlements to take place, massive infrastructure projects needed to be completed. The first milestone reached was the accomplishment of controllable fusion energy, which was immediately applied to rocket propulsion tech, decreasing the Earth-Mars transit time from 7-8 months into approximately 6 weeks. A titanic space station larger than several International Space Stations named Space Station Hercules was constructed to be used as a training facility for MECTI astronauts, a base of operations/mission control for all Mars missions, and amongst other procedures, to be used as a dock for the massive fusion-propelled Maia Rockets that will take the 16-person MECTI crews to the Red Planet. Another gigantic project constructed was the MECTI Space Elevator, a fusion-powered/laser-propelled personnel and cargo transportation system stretching from the tiny equatorial Jarvis Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to an orbit station outpost over 120 miles in Low-Earth Orbit, where those supplies and personnel could use transport ships to and from Space Station Hercules. Not only does MECTI get ever closer to their goal with ease, but all space travel is now made much more accessible.
Transmissions From Colony One tells the story of these first humans, who volunteered for a one-way trip to Mars, and constantly struggle with their decision to give up everything about their past lives for a harsh existence in the most unforgiving environment imaginable.
In 2010, series creator John 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.
As research and pre-production and writing continued for years, John 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 China.
Finally, after years of preparation and production, Transmissions From Colony One premiered its first episode on July 4, 2013.