Making it on Mars: Character Descriptions: 1. Max

Some very quick casting ideas for the lead role in my new dark comedy, Utopian sci-fi series concept, Making it on Mars.

1. Max (Female Protagonist, Any Ethnicity)

Max is that quintessential leftist, socialist, liberal minded, sustainable farm girl, bisexual, polyamours, community minded, environmentalist, social justice warrior, hippy type, your conservative grandparents warned you about. She is very bright, highly social, well educated, and strong willed. She has an argument for everything, and a pension for sounding like she knows exactly what she’s talking about, even when she’s totally full of shit. 

Max is an urban planner by trade, she started out in architecture and sustainable design. Then she moved into the public sector as a planner, after doing her masters degree. After post grad, she settled in Hamilton, working as a city planner. And, while attending a sex party in Toronto one night, she met Alex, a Russian-Canadian rocket scientist and inventor. They hooked up that night, and then started an open relationship. Eventually they married, but have always kept their relationship open. 

She became known and loved at the city of Hamilton as a planner, and eventually became the director of planning. And, as the city came out of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, she came up with a plan for creating a brand new model for government, city planning, and economic stability that completely transformed the place. Helping to restore the city back to a level of economic boom that hadn’t been seen since before the crash from its steel-town days. This eventually won her a position as the mayor. 

Her controversial, but highly successful restructuring of the city government allowed the city to come back from their economic downturn much quicker than any other city in the country. This is when the Federal Government began to take an interest in her progressive ideas. 

In the years following the pandemic she met with the Canadian prime minister Joseph Gagnon regularly, keeping him up to date on the statistics of her pilot restructuring project in Hamilton. They eventually formed an alliance and she became like his right hand woman, in an alliance between parties the country had never seen before in government. 

However, Max’s plan was extremely polarizing, as were Gagnon’s rather socialist measures taken during the crisis. Many people became angry and protests became larger, demanding the lockdown be ended, and the economy be put back to normal. Things only became worse after the crisis ended, and many of the socialist strategies put into place during that time, were continued indefinitely. 

This caused an even greater divide in Canada, between the Liberal and Conservative sides of governments, and their supporters. During the 2023 election year, the results were deemed too close to call. Even after multiple recounts, there was still no clear winner. People were equally divided, for and against, the Max/Joseph plan of complete government and economic restructuring of Canada.

In the end, Max and Joseph’s Liberal/Green alliance, was forced to share power with the Conservative candidate, George Wilson, with no prime minister chosen. Things became violent and intense during this time, with death threats and attempts on the life of Joseph, Max, and many of their supporters and colleagues. 

Canada was not the only country to see a sudden massive line drawn in the sand between the left and the right, the rich and the poor. In America, the results of a similarly too close to call election, in November of 2020, led to Jack Fortune illegally assuming permanent control of the country, although it was not clear that he was the rightful winner of the election.

This eventually led to a civil war in the country, with a number of states most notably California and New York, seceding from the rest of the country, and creating their own government alliance against the more conservative states. This did not go over well, and the country was a total mess, and remains so to present. People had to sort out which side of the divide they were on, and how to recover from the economic and social collapse of their country. 

Because of Canada’s fairly socialist response to the situation, they, along with a number of other European countries, began to have an advantage over a divided and depopulated America. Canada, under the Gagnon Liberals, moved very quickly towards a much more socialist system of government, especially after allying with Max and her Green Party inspired strategy. 

Canada eventually put into place a permanent guaranteed income policy for all. After the pandemic ended, and they were able to safely reopen their economy, they increased the minimum wage to $20/hr across Canada, and an additional increase to $25/hr in all urban centres. Post secondary education was made free, for all Canadians and permanent residents. And, many were retrained into new and more practical essential fields, under this new program helped people to realize their natural skills and abilities towards new areas.  

This did not please those who had held the economic and political power in the time before the crisis. Many rural based or affluent urban Canadians, wished to join the republican states of America, and this caused a lot of difficulty between citizens. Similar instances of civil unrest and division started to pop up in the rest of the countries of the world, too. A world divided on how to come back from the collapse.

At the G20 Summit of 2025 all of the Liberal and Conservative leaders from each of the country’s, came together to discuss how to move forward. It was clear the divisions were too deep, and many countries just couldn’t continue to function without clear leadership. The will of the people was too divided, civil unrest was a problem all over the world, and something had to be done. 

This is when Joseph asked Max to present her plan for the Mars Mission to the assembly. There were many presentation and ideas raised that day but the decision to go with her plan was unanimous. Max would be the new president of the Mars Democratic Socialist Colony, and Joseph would stay on earth and continue to represent the Liberal Canadians left on earth. Max’s first ship would prepare the new planet for the eventual relocation of all the self-proclaimed liberal minded people of the world to eventually join them. 

Max has spent the past ten years in preparation for the mission to Mars. But, before all of this went down, Max and Alex were living in Hamilton, in a large home they co-owned in community with their other poly partners. Well, more correctly, Max’s poly partners… 

Alex has always felt more comfortable with open relationship himself, but he does not feel polyamorous. He has never had a problem with Max being poly, at least not that he’s ever expressed to her. But, maintaining a romantic relationship, even just with her, is often challenging enough for him. He’s just never had the emotional or social capacity to maintain more than one romantic relationship at a time. But, enjoying a more casual sexual relationship with other women on occasion, has always worked perfectly for him. 

So, they had divided up their large community home in Hamilton into three apartments, in order to share space in a way that worked best for everyone. Carrie, Max’s female, secondary partner, lived in the 3rd floor bachelor apartment of the house. Sometimes she would play with both Max and Alex, or with Alex alone. However, emotionally and romantically she is much more connected with Max. 

Max’s other tertiary partner Min, a non-binary person, also lived in their communal home, in a two bedroom apartment, on the second floor. They lived with their wife Lee, and their daughter Star. Sometimes Alex would hook-up with mins wife Lee too, but Lee is pretty straight, so Max and Lee never play together sexually. 

They are very close platonic friends though, and they spend a lot of time together. Max became like a second mama or auntie to Min and Lee’s kid, Star. She would often babysits either with Min or Lee, when the other was out with another partner, or when they were both in need of a date night, or to get away for a little while together. 

Max and Alex lived in the ground floor apartment of their community home, which included most of the basement as well. In the basement man-cave, alone, is where Alex spent most of his down time in the home, working on projects, and trying to save the world with his new technologies. 

When the series begins it is 2035, and they have all moved into their spaceship eco-village, built in a desert, in the Canary Islands, as a Mars simulator. They are in their final days before they will leave earth for the mission to Mars. 

They each have their own role to play in contributing to the mission. Each of them has their own areas of expertise, skill sets, and interests that make them all vital to Max’s mission, as well as to her emotional / love life, and she works very hard to treat them all as such. 

For the most part, all of Max’s partners get along well enough, and enjoy each other’s company, with the exception of Alex and Min. From Max’s perspective, Alex has a very backward and conservative notion about gender and sexuality, as a cis gendered, white, straight, man. This makes it very hard for the two of them to understand each other, or feel comfortable together. This has caused some tense moments in their little poli-cule over the years, and continues to be a concern as they prepare for the ship to leave earth. 

Should Max take Alex with her on her voyage as planned? Should he continue to be a part of establishing the new and highly liberal, socialist style commune on Mars? Or should she leave him behind on earth, where he can be with the more conservatively minded folks he identifies with personally and politically.

Both Max and Alex are torn on this. They love each other very much and indeed they contribute greatly to each other’s work, because of their differing perspectives. However, their values, needs and interests could not be more opposite. 

Max’s parents pulled away from her when she came out as bisexual and polyamourous. This was perhaps the most challenging experience of her whole life. She wants very much to be loved and accepted by them. But their conservative and highly religious notions of morality and family values, do not allow for them to accept her current way of life.

She will be leaving them behind, here on Earth, when she goes to Mars. She may never see her family again, and this makes her very sad. She loves them deep down inside, and wants to be accepted by them. She wishes things could be different.

Perception:

The world can and should be a better place for all human beings, it’s just a matter of when, where, and how. 

Attitude:

Gregarious, witty and fun, she is sharp, authentic and never avoids telling you what she really thinks. Under this persona, she hides that she really wants to be loved and needed by others. She acts like it doesn’t bother her at all, that some people don’t agree with her beliefs, politics, or way of being. That she doesn’t care some people think she is a dirty, slutty, hippy, hell bent on ruining the economy and the moral fabric of society.

But, it upsets her very deeply in fact. She needs, and wants this unconditional love and acceptance from others. But, she knows that this can never be, so she chooses to be true to herself, rather than conform to others/societies expectations of her. She hides her pain and sadness behind a mask of humour, wit and sarcasm. But, no matter how hard she tries, her anger sometimes gets the better of her, depending on the situation, and her level of control over her emotions, sometimes her temper can be a little… explosive. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement.

Dramatic Need:

To fix everything that she sees is wrong with the world and society, even if it means leaving planet earth in order to do so, and creating a whole new world. She has a bit of a hero / saviour complex. She collects the lonely, lost souls, weirdos, and outsiders. She gets very easily invested in the pain and struggle of others, and she feels it like her own.

She has a strong need to nurture, love and mend people; to protect, help and support everyone around her. She has massive expectations of herself and others. And, she is often left disappointed by both. She feels emotion very strongly, but she works very hard at acting from logic rather than emotion, but her true values can be seen in everything she does.

There is no doubt that she wants / needs to do the right thing, and be a good person, and she struggles with sometimes having to be seen by others as the bad guy, in order to do so.

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