News & Events
William Shatner had a blast in South Australia with “Stars on Mars”
04 August 2023
Hollywood legend William Shatner had a blast filming in South Australia with FOX’s new unscripted television series Stars on Mars.
The Star Trek actor – who stars as “Mission Control” in the new reality series – filmed in the unique Outback town of Coober Pedy through April and May, with the red sands and lunar-like landscapes of the South Australian desert subbing in for Mars.
“I had a blast filming Stars on Mars in the amazing town of Coober Pedy in Outback South Australia,” Shatner said in a video about his experience.
“The South Australian desert was a totally out of this world filming location like nothing I’ve seen on Earth – it was like we really were on Mars! I now know why so many films and TV shows have chosen to shoot in South Australia; it truly is a beautiful and unique part of the world.”
Watch the video:
The fun new reality series, currently airing on FOX in the US, sees international celebrities taking part in an experiment to experience what it would be like to be a part of a space program exploring and living on the Red Planet, undergoing physical and mental challenges inspired by real life Mars exploration programs.
Among the celebrity cast are Modern Family actor Ariel Winter, Super Bowl champion Marshawn Lynch, professional wrestler Ronda Rousey, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and singer/songwriter Tinashe.
The series has proven a hit with US viewers and critics, with The Guardian describing it as “a legit reality gem” and “the celebs-go-to-space show we didn’t know we needed”. The Guardian also praised Coober Pedy as the filming location, saying “The terre battue outback vistas look as authentic as anything NASA’s Curiosity Rover has beamed home.”
Check out this incredible set build time lapse that shows Coober Pedy’s interplanetary landscape standing in for Mars:
South Australia's Coober Pedy provides the interplanetary backdrop for @FOXTV series #StarsonMars! With its expanses of red desert, unique geological formations, and otherworldly ambiance, Coober Pedy creates an uncanny double the Red Planet. https://t.co/HBYs22lbXS— SA Film Corporation (@SA_Film) June 7, 2023
The biggest TV format production ever to be filmed in South Australia, Stars on Mars has contributed to building the state’s workforce capacity, enabling training and upskilling of local crews in reality TV production work, and broadening the range of screen projects that can be made in South Australia.
The series was supported by the Australian Federal Location Incentive and the South Australian State Government through the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC).
Stars on Mars is produced by Eureka Productions, a Fremantle company. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Eden Gaha serve as executive producers, along with Charles Wachter, serving as executive producer and showrunner. Stars on Mars is an original format created by Chris Culvenor of Eureka Productions. Fremantle has international production and distribution rights to the Stars on Mars format.