If you don’t have preschoolers or very young kids, you might not be watching (or even aware of) Miles From Tomorrowland, but – I hate to say it – you’re missing out. This show is smart. Not only is it a show that I happily let my kids watch, but it’s also that rare beast: a kids show I honestly don’t mind watching myself.
(Our own Tony Nunes wrote about the show before it began. Check it out!)
Despite the name, the show isn’t directly connected to the Tomorrowland film or the Disneyland/Magic Kingdom land. However, they do all share a common thread, which can be traced back to Walt Disney himself: an optimistic belief in a hopeful, brighter future for mankind.
Miles From Tomorrowland is currently in its first season (but a second season has been greenlit), and a special Mars-themed episode premieres this weekend (Saturday, September 19 at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT on the Disney Channel).
“Space Mission: Mars” consists of two separate stories. In the first, the Callistos (that’s Miles’s family) discover that a volcano on Mars is about to erupt, endangering the artist colony where Frida (Miles‘s aunt) lives. After traveling to Mars, the Callistos split up to find Frida (voiced by Brenda Song) and warn her about the volcano. In the second story, an Explorer Exchange scavenger hunt led by Professor Rubicon (voiced by Bill Nye) turns into a rescue mission when Miles‘s friend Rygan goes missing.
Here’s an exclusive clip from the episode…
Each script for Miles From Tomorrowland is reviewed by a scientific consultant from NASA to ensure it’s as accurate as possible. In fact, the Mars episode was recently screened as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a room full of literal rocket scientists and their kids. Talk about a tough room!
I recently spoke to creator and executive producer Sascha Paladino about it, and he was thrilled to say that the feedback they got (from both the adults and the kids) was glowing and that they got everything right in the episode. There’s just one scientific inaccuracy (a geographical feature on Mars is positioned incorrectly), but I’ll leave you to find that “Easter egg” on your own.
Dr. Randii Wessen, a JPL engineer who specializes in advanced concepts for NASA’s future planetary and astrophysical missions and one of the series’ consultants, had this to say about the episode and the screening at JPL:
Mars is a very exciting place . . . and the most likely planet humans will colonize first. It’s great to get the next generation of space explorers acquainted with the red planet. . . . I love JPL and it’s a great place to work. It’s also the birthplace of robotic planetary space exploration. JPL in general and von Karman Auditorium specifically was a nice place to use as a backdrop for the premiere of these episodes.
I’ll say it again: If you’re not already watching this show, you should be. On top of everything else, it has a stellar supporting cast, including Mark Hamill, George Takei, Bill Nye, and Wil Wheaton!
Talk about your nerdy sci-fi street cred.