The story follows the crew of the International Space Station, who, after retrieving a sample from Mars, discover that it displays signs of life, and proves to be more intelligent than expected.
Rebecca Ferguson plays Miranda North, on loan to the mission from the Centers for Disease Control. By the book and focused on her work, she is there to keep everyone on the crew and back home on Earth healthy – no matter what they encounter in space.
“Miranda is a microbiologist sent up to protect everyone on Earth from whatever this is that we find,” Ferguson explains. A rigorous scientist, she has set up multiple firewalls to protect themselves and Earth from possible contamination. “The firewall is, first, the container that the specimen was in. And then the room. And then the station itself. She has to do whatever she can do to protect Earth, because we don’t know what this life form is.”
Ferguson says that each of the characters responds to the moment of discovery – and the threat it represents. “We all have our own relationship to this creature. Some of us love it, we nurture it. Some of us want to kill it off in the beginning. And that creates an incredible tension in the group,” she says.
“It is claustrophobic being in the spacesuit and it’s very heavy, but the design is incredible and it’s very manageable because it actually moves,” says Rebecca Ferguson, who wore Beavan’s IVA suit. “It’s an incredible feeling when you want to put a glove on and it goes ‘click.’ You feel like you’re really getting into astronaut mode.”