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Brokaw: ‘Constellation’ is an unsettling story of space travel

By Francine Brokaw - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Feb 24, 2024

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"Constellation," starring Noomi Rapace and Jonathan Banks, premiered Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, on Apple TV+.

The new Apple TV+ psychological thriller “Constellation” takes viewers into a dimension where they might feel like they are in the twilight zone. It’s a strange story that is a bit unsettling. It begins like a normal space travel show but soon spins itself into a new dimension for the viewers.

Noomi Rapace stars as Jo, an astronaut on the International Space Station. When an accident occurs on the ISS, most of the crew evacuate and return to Earth; however, Jo stays to try to fix the problem. She is basically alone in the station. Alone in space. Her husband and daughter anxiously wait for word about her situation knowing that time is running out. Her oxygen supply is dwindling and she must fix the batteries in the Soyuz capsule in order to return to Earth.

The accident occurred almost at the same time an experiment was being conducted using lasers. What happened to the experiment and what happened to the ISS? While the ground crew is keeping the faith that Jo will return safely, they are also insisting she return with the experiment in tact so they can learn about the “secret” of space. There are many secrets being kept and those on the ground are anxious to get to the bottom of some of them.

When Jo manages her return to Earth with no time to spare, she discovers a world that is different from the one she left. Things are not the same. What happened on the station and why are things different at home?

As the series progresses, viewers see disturbing situations and little by little might be able to put the pieces together; however, it is not until the finale when everything is settled, albeit unsettlingly. The main crux of the show is the effect space travel has on humans. The show is definitely a psychological thriller in the true meaning of the phrase.

Starring alongside Rapace are Jonathan Banks as Henry, who is overly insistent the experiment returns with Jo; James D’Arcy as Jo’s husband, Magnus; Julian Looman; Barbara Sukowa; Rosie Coleman and Davina Coleman, who play Jo’s daughter Alice; Lena Kudrjawizki as Sergei, the main connection on the com with Jo; and William Catlett as another astronaut on the ISS with Jo. It is rather a small cast and the time frame in which the story unfolds is relatively short.

“Constellation” premiered Wednesday on Apple TV+. There are a total of eight episodes in this very strange limited series.


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