The Earth is full. Human population growth has accelerated the space exploration programs, and in the past 50 years, several planets have been identified in neighboring star systems that harbor a potential for that unattainable goal of space colonialism. A forward crew of scientists, engineers, city planners and sociologists have been assigned to scout the planets, hoping to bring back good news, that man can spread it's fingers into other systems. Initial contact on the first planet, Hera, seems nearly too good to be true, lush vegetation, an appropriate atmosphere, no apparent intelligent life... Things take a turn for the dangerous when communications stop coming from Earth, and the promised ship of relief and supplies fails to show up. Our forward crew of scientists may just have become unexpected settlers themselves.
Dr. Elizabeth McBride (Olivia Williams)
Dr. McBride is the medical doctor for the expedition. Her original job was to ensure that there were no unexpected pathogens or other threats to human health on Hera. Her history is in infectious diseases, and she has spent the last decade addressing various pandemics on Earth and is considered one of the experts. She actively sought the assignment on the Mary Rose not only because of it's unique opportunity to study new diseases, but also for more personal reasons. Elizabeth leaves behind on Earth a man who wanted to marry her. She'll say nothing more about why that promise fell through.
Captain James "Jimmie" Leonard (David Thewlis)
James "Jimmie" Leonard is Captain of the Mary Rose, science and exploration ship surveying several planets in neighboring star systems, hoping to find a location for Earths first colony. He has a vested interest in finding this new planet, like most long haul captains, his family lives on bored, a luxury made especially sweet by his son's acute asthma, exacerbated by the decaying environment on Earth. Jimmie is a no nonsense type of Captain with a dry sense of humor. He's intensely private, highly professional, but takes his role as caretaker of the ship and it's inhabitants very seriously.
Carla Bettino (Maggie Gyllenhaal)
Carla is an inventive and ingenious young engineer. She's a thrill seeker, a work hard party hard type of woman. She found success everywhere she turned on Earth and the idea of being the 'first' in the stars was more then she could pass up. She's there to work with geologists, architects and others to identify ideal locations to build settlements. Faced with life as a settler, once they reach Hera, rather then as the celebrated engineer she had envisioned, Carla is torn between frustration with loosing her big chance to make the history books, and excitement of being the first in a way she had never imagined.
Maahir Bhati (Rumpinder Nagra)
Maahir is an urban planner and a city boy. He grew up in Dubai, and was instrumental in the reorganization that has recently shaped Dubai into a model city devoid of the slums and ruins that had characterized it since the 20th Century. His success put him at the top of his business, consulting all over the world. He was highly sought after for the planning survey, governments and corporations alike have an interest in creating a colony to match the propaganda and expectations. Maahir is into his comforts and luxuries, but the survey job was an offer he couldn't refuse. Living on the spaceship was adjustment enough for him, he certainly has no aspirations of actually becoming a colonist.
Dr. Sharon Goldman (David Krumholtz)
Dr. Goldman was part of the recent biological survey of our own solar system. He's a seasoned space traveller, and intensely invested in studying alien biology. The discovery of Hera, Hestia and Demeter came as the culmination of hopes and dreams for him from his childhood. He has been prepping for this survey since the call came, and he is not only preparing the biological portion of the survey, but has several pet projects of his own that he anticipates might turn into ground breaking reports. His excitement and anticipation is tempered with his professional attitude and experienced demeanor, but inside, he's a kid headed to the candy store of his dreams.
[Options A & D]
(So... after I had this all designed and worked out, my husband discovered 'Earth 2', an old single season show from the 90s that is... basically my story. Guess there really is nothing new.)