“The world is on the brink of climate catastrophe. A research trip to Mars should provide important insights in the fight against global warming,” says the exciting trailer for the interactive radio play Mission to Mars, which we would like to present briefly in this article.
Over the course of four episodes, listeners are taken on a journey to Mars with characters from the MDR/KiKA series “Schloss Einstein” and can guide events with their decisions. The radio play has been playable since April 8, 2022 on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and on Missiontomars.mdr.de for children aged 12-17.
Schloss Einstein’s Mission to Mars – Story
The world is on the brink of a climate catastrophe, and this catastrophe can only be avoided by a trip to Mars. The space organization “Galax Pi” assembles the flight crew – This is the starting script for the science fiction radio play on MDR.
The space organization “Galax Pi” is headed up by Pia Bijak, a former student of Schloss Einstein. Also on board are Martha Pratchett, Till Hensinger, Orkan Turok and Mila Burmeister, four other former visitors to the boarding school. A VIP ticket for the Mars mission is awarded to listeners, who simultaneously take on the lead role.
Users can control the action via voice commands via the smart speaker or by entering them on the website. Knowledge about the universe and Mars is questioned in a playful way. Preventing a spaceship from collapsing is one of the least important problems in the entire mission, because not all crew members are striving to achieve the same goal…
This is how the interactive radio play came into being
“Mission to Mars” was one of the two winning projects in the upcoming MDR “Pitchday”. The format was developed and launched under project management by Kristen Schultz from The Next MDR Team. In time for the holiday season, “Mission to Mars” will also be available as a transcript on ARD Audiothek and on Spotify starting at the end of July.
What is the best moment in the project?
Florian Friedrich: The best moment for me was the day before the audio recording started. At the beginning of February, we got together with all of the actors, authors, and production company across teams and went through the final points. It was almost exactly a year to the day after we submitted our idea to the next MDR. We put a lot of time, sweat and some tears into this project that year and now there was a huge team of people to implement our idea. I think that’s when I first realized it. This is already happening now.
Nicole Schneider: Picking one moment is a little tricky because there were so many. What I found most inspiring was the exchange with planetary researcher Ulrich Koehler from the German Aerospace Center, which we had with the entire team, including the speakers. He took the time and chatted outside the box about how space research and climate research are related. Then I spoke to a few of our reps, who were totally excited and chose other documentaries on the subject. I thought this was cool, because it showed me that we picked the right topic.
How to play a mission for Mars users
- with wholesale “Alexa, open Mission to Mars” or Hey Google, talk to Mission to MarsThe application runs on a voice assistant.
- In each scene many questions are asked and a choice is given between several courses of action. By saying the respective option to the voice assistant, the decision is made.
- The radio can be paused at any time with “Alexa/Hey Google, pause”.
- With the “Replay Story” command, the radio starts up again.
One episode lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. The special thing is that the radio play can be played multiple times, the tracks branch out again depending on the player’s decision and there are always different consequences for the players and crew.
The future of the August 2022 podcast