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Away Season 2 - What We Know So Far

Since the Hilary Swank space drama Away landed on Netflix in early September, the series has steadily gained buzz and fans. The story of the first crewed mission to Mars feels eerily prescient — particularly in light of a present-day pandemic that has led to feelings of isolation and loneliness even among families — and at the heart of Away is Swank's Emma, the commander of the three-year mission to Mars. In the show, Emma has to leave behind her teenage daughter and her husband, who is dealing with medical issues. 

With season one ending just as the crew of familiar faces safely lands on Mars, viewers are already craving news about Away season two, and what the future may hold for Emma and her family. After all, Away sets itself apart from other sci-fi TV shows by doubling as a family drama: As a result, it serves up both intense sequences (chemical leaks that turn into fireballs!), and the kind of juicy melodrama that keeps people coming back to This Is Us every week. In the very first episode, Emma's husband Matt (Josh Charles) has a stroke, and by the end of the season, her second-in-command Ram (Ray Panthaki) admits he has feelings for her. It's a lot, and the crew is only a few months into a three year journey.

With so much story still to explore, a second season feels inevitable, even though Netflix has yet to officially greenlight the crew's next mission. For now, though, here's everything we know about a potential Away season two.

When will season two of Away premiere on Netflix?

Netflix hasn't renewed Away for a season two yet, but even if the streamer gives the space drama a second season, it likely won't premiere until the end of 2021, or later. This is partly due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is making it difficult for any production to safely get back to work. However, another production aspect that could delay season two is the sheer amount of special effects that go into creating a realistic space experience.

These two factors, particularly combined, mean Away isn't a show that can be filmed quickly without compromising its unique feel. Still, the wait would be worth it, since executive producer Andrew Hinderaker has planned out a multi-season arc for the drama. In an interview with The Cap Times, he shared, "The intention was always to start the first season and end the first season exactly how we did. But part of the reason the show is called Away is we were always interested in that journey, and what happens when they go home."

Since the crew just landed on Mars, it sounds like Hindemaker is gearing up for Away to be around for quite some time.

Who will be in Away season two?

Despite a myriad of disasters during their trip to Mars — including, but not limited to space blindness, a nasty case of mono, and a whole lot of water-related mishaps — all five astronauts survive the trip. That means if season two happens, Emma, Ram, Misha (Mark Ivanir), Dr. Kwesi (Ato Essandoh), and Dr. Lu (Vivian Wu) should be back since there's not exactly anywhere for them to disappear to in space. Additionally, viewers can expect more of Matt and his ongoing flirtation with his caretaker Melissa (Monique Gabriela Curnen), and the return of Matt and Emma's daughter Lex (Talitha Bateman) along with her teenage shenanigans.

It's a bit too early to have any intel on new characters, but showrunner Jessica Goldberg did tell Inverse that she's interested in delving into the privatized space race in a potential season two, which likely means some new faces will be introduced. The first season paints a picture of international cooperation that the world hasn't seen in years, and she's keenly aware that the private sector is where the most exciting advancements in space travel are being made.

"I do feel that's a story that's super important," Goldberg said. "Right now, we can't get anywhere without that private sector money, and I think it would be great to bring that storyline in." Adding a private space sector to the mix, would naturally lead to the addition of new characters, perhaps even one that looks a little bit like Elon Musk of SpaceX.

What will happen in Away season two?

It's safe to say that the major goal for the astronauts in season two will be establishing their base on Mars. These five astronauts will be spending more than a year together on the planet before they set off on the long voyage home, and that's plenty of time for all kinds of interpersonal issues to develop. The show already set up tension between Emma and Ram at the end of season one ,when he declared his feelings for the commander.

Panthaki is certain that this storyline is just beginning. In an interview with NME, he revealed, "He's got this shield and it takes a huge amount to break that shield away. If you break it away, he's going to give everything to that person. So it's going to be interesting how it all plays out." Meanwhile, back home, Emma's husband Matt is also dealing with Melissa unexpectedly confessing her feelings to him. These two things combined could put even more of a strain on the couple's long distance relationship.

Romantic drama aside, Goldberg is also interested in what discoveries the crew will make on Mars, and how those discoveries will affect them. She told Inverse that she's especially drawn to the idea of the crew finding life on Mars — just don't expect that life to be actual walking, talking aliens. "When I say life, I mean like a microorganism," she said. "I don't mean an alien, the show would never go in that direction."

From scientific breakthroughs to marriage drama, there are plenty of stories left for Away to tell in season two. Now we just need Netflix to give the show an official pickup, so the writers can get busy thinking up new space disasters to stress us out with.