Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Season 2 of the National Geographic Channel series “Mars” is being filmed for a spring 2018 airing. The second season will jump ahead a few years from the first season, when the early years of Mars exploration were depicted, and will show what life might be like in the first Mars colony, Olympus Town.

A frontier town 100 million miles away

Olympus Town is going to have a mixed population of scientists and businesspeople. A reference is made to the Lukrum Corporation that is performing mining operations on Mars.

What the market would be for the product of Martian mines would be an interesting question to ask, besides the colony itself. In any case, the mix of scientists and miners living in the same place is going to be a likely source of conflict. The miners digging up an area too close to a scientific site is going to cause arguments.

No laws? No government?

The Deadline article also makes a reference to the idea that Olympus Town has no laws or government. As amusing as an anarchist society would be in an inhospitable place like Mars, this idea is implausible. Even a small group of humans are going to have to have a structure with which to govern themselves. The first settlements in North America struggled with that concept.

More likely the first colony in space, whether it is on Mars or the moon, is going to have some kind of founding document, like the Mayflower Compact that established the system of self-government for the Plymouth Colony in the 1620s. Running a community is not something one does on the fly if one is not prepared to court disaster.

What sort of government the first Mars colony will have is something the first settlers are going to have to decide. However, one model might be the polis of Ancient Athens, in this case, the adults meeting periodically as a legislative branch with an elected executive doing the administrative tasks. One variant of the model would be the New England town meeting.

The allure of Mars continues in modern entertainment

Ever since “The Martian” appeared at the cinema, Mars exploration has become cool again as a subject of popular entertainment. NASA’s Journey to Mars may be an underfunded, bright shiny object whose purpose is primarily a distraction, but brave astronauts have already explored the Red Planet thoroughly on the big and small screens.

Someday people will go to Mars for real. The wonder will be even greater than the fictional Mars exploration in popular entertainment because it will really be happening. Reality is always more amazing than fiction.