Have you ever wondered what it takes to go to space, to be among the stars and see sights only a few humans will ever get to see? Have you ever wondered about the dangers, triumphs and mental fortitude astronauts face? Among The Stars on Disney+ places viewers at the center of one of the most compelling stories about space travel as it follows astronaut Chris Cassidy and his journey back to space.
Filled with breathtaking visuals of our planet, it is an insider’s view of the incredible people who make space missions run seamlessly. Through the six-episode journey, Cassidy guides us into the world of NASA, taking us into his mission to the International Space Station as he prepares for a dangerous spacewalk with his fellow astronauts.
Currently streaming on Disney+, Among The Stars combines unflinchingly beautiful and high tension drama with Executive Producer, Ben Turner, expertly crafting a thrilling ride where a simple repair on the ISS can turn into disastrous drowning. Lives are at stake and missions could be abandoned leaving viewers to feel each emotion.
To celebrate Among The Star’s release, The Koalition spoke to Ben Turner about creating this visual and emotion masterpiece, the many challenges he witnessed, working with NASA scientists, the importance of balancing technical aspects of the series with the humanity and instinct of survival and exploration.
“I’ve always been utterly obsessed by space. Being a filmmaker is definitely a second, if not third or fourth choice for me and I’ve used my documentary making to get myself into a position to get close to the things I love and NASA was really the dream for me. We made a lot of sport documentaries and I love sports too but I felt that there’s a format of they way those stories are told that could be applied to the stories of people going to space. Generally speaking space documentaries are either very techy and science based, which I love, or telling historical stories, which I love, but they don’t do that thing of telling the story in the now embedded with the team as they overcome the challenges and that was our ambition for this show. I think it works, I hope it does.”
Cassidy’s story is more than about returning for one last mission but also deals with the emotional toll of isolation during the peak of COVID when the world had to isolate from each other. Cassidy’s emotional struggle is captured with intimacy and care as he struggles with leaving a planet in crisis knowing this crisis is worth coming back to.
“Drama is conflict, so to make a dramatic story you need to find that somewhere. I was excited by the prospect that the conflict was human versus nature and overcoming rather than people versus people; that’s one way of making it elevated. I would like to tell this story authentically, you just have to wait for it to come to you, you can’t force it. They wouldn’t let me anyway, they got better things to do than wait for me to ask them to start throwing spanners in the works. There is one path to success and infinite ways for a mission to fail and we sort of knew going into it that everyday, every week there’s someone in one of those building who’s like ‘oh my god if I don’t get this done by Wednesday we’re screwed.’ So if we could be around it enough and meet the people and understand what those pinch points are and gain their trust so they’re happy to have us watch them in these moments of duress then we’ll have an amazing show. We went to a place where we knew there were amazing stories but we didn’t know we were actually going to find when we got there.”
To learn more about Among The Stars, check out our full interview in the video above.