The Spanish-French-Swedish co-pro zooms in on the Centauri Dream, a spaceship carrying 100 passengers set to leave the Earth to create the first human settlement on Proxima Centauri in 2175.

Defining Destination: Proxima Centauri as an ambitious, futuristic project would probably be too simplistic. The new 2x52 doc series, a co-production between Spain’s Somadrome, France’s Morgane Productions and Sweden’s Nordic Eye Production, unfolds in 2175, and is set to be pitched at the upcoming non-fiction market Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, Nouvelle Aquitaine (24-27 June).

In detail, the series follows the first hibernated crew’s interstellar voyage departing from Earth to Proxima Centauri on board a nuclear-fusion-propelled, AI-controlled spaceship. The destination is Proxima b, an Earth-like exoplanet that orbits around our closest star, Proxima Centauri, at a distance of 4.22 light years. Once there, 100 hibernated passengers will awaken to create their first human settlement. Scientists at the forefront of physics and biology are now working on ultra-fast propulsion and life support that will allow us to make this possible.

“To illustrate that first trip, a fiction storyline is intertwined with the documentary as a narrative driver throughout the two episodes, in a proportion of 80% factual/20% fiction,” the show’s team tells NFTVF.

“The fiction storyline will be shown in a hyper realistic 3D CGI – with no actors – that is being designed by world-renowned visual space artist Erik Wernquist. This fiction is built over a simple storyline driven by one sole character, an AI virtual captain, who reports to Earth periodically in a logbook style.”

“The Centauri Dream is in fact our main character, a unique and exclusive design for this documentary, the truly iconic visual concept of our show. It was designed with the scientific advice of Dr. Harold Sonny White, Advanced Propulsion Theme Leader of the NASA Engineering Directorate, and Limitless Space Institute’s director.”

In the press notes, the co-directors further explain: “Several space agencies, including ESA and NASA, have on-going projects for permanent settlements on the Moon. Both also have research and missions underway to create them on Mars, including simulations on Earth recreating the Martian habitat.”

“If technology allows us to go a little further, why should we stop at Mars? The question is not why we’re going to settle on a planet in another solar system, but how we’re going to do it. Answering this question is what NASA, DARPA and other institutions around the world are doing. As in previous space explorations, the first step will be robotic exploration, in order to pave the way for human exploration. This will probably be carried out in a much safer way than in any other migration of the past, when tens of thousands of human beings died in order to reach new places.”

The mission’s main goal, the co-directors add, should be that of exploring a new habitat rather than abandoning ours: “As in Antarctica, where human settlements have scientific purposes, those first settlements on other planets or satellites will have scientific purposes.”

“Aware of the interference that human artefacts imply in another ecosystem, today the maximum precautions are taken to sterilise any space probe that leaves Earth. Something similar would be done in the case of settlements on other planets; there’ll be minimal intervention protocols in the ecosystem of those unexplored worlds.”

The creative team behind Destination: Proxima Centauri includes Spanish producer Alphonse de la Puente, co-director, producer and screenwriter Ruth Chao, French producer Sophie Parrault, Swedish producer Rasmus Åkerblom, co-director and DoP Frank Kraljlic as well as co-director and screenwriter Luis Juanes.

British firm Espresso Media International is in charge of the doc series’ global distribution.