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Mars TV pilot wraps New Mexico filming

The pilot for a Mars-set TV series has finished filming on location in and around Albuquerque in New Mexico.

Made for the CW television network in the US, the as-yet-untitled production tells the story of a group of explorers who travel to Mars to join an established colony, only to find everyone has disappeared.

Space-based science fiction is popular once again following the success of films like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and, of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The rebooted Star Trek franchise has also been a hit and Star Trek Beyond is due out in July this year, while the brand is also returning to television.

New Mexico offers desert locations suitable as a stand-in for Mars and the state also offers a generous 30% TV filming incentive. 

The state also recently hosted sci-fi movie The Space Between Us, about a boy who has grown up on Mars but then travels to Earth to track down the true love he meets online. Location filming took place partly at Spaceport America, which is a base for Richard Branson’s company Virgin Galactic.   

Mars was put front and centre as a setting last autumn by Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which was a huge international hit. The film’s production team built a Martian landscape at Korda Studios in Budapest, but also shot scenes in the deserts of Jordan.  

For more on filming in New Mexico see our production guide.