Actor Morgan Freeman is teaming with the Science Channel to make a series on space exploration that is expected to air on the cable network early next year.
Titled “Through the Wormhole,” the series will look into such topics as the possibility of life beyond Earth, future expeditions to Mars and problems caused by the sun.
Freeman’s an astronomy enthusiast who unsuccessfully tried a space-oriented Web site several years ago. He said the topic has fascinated him since he was young.
“I got to the point where I was reading all of the science fiction writers about space, some very interesting books,” said Freeman, in an interview from South Africa, where he’s working on a movie with Matt Damon about Nelson Mandela.
Freeman will narrate the series. The Science Channel is making the episodes with Revelations Entertainment, Freeman’s production company.
The Science Channel is trying to drum up interest in its programming with celebrity participation, said Deborah Adler-Myers, its programming chief. Whoopi Goldberg is working on a science-oriented game due to launch in October, and Will Smith has tried to boost participation in the network’s Young Scientists’ Challenge.
As for Freeman, Adler-Myers said, “his passion just pops off the screen.”
Each of the eight episodes that the network has ordered so far will take a question — such as “are we alone?” — and use it as the starting point for its own explorations.
Freeman said he’s particularly interested in the idea of manned exploration of Mars.
“You know how we are,” he said. “There’s a horizon there, we’ve got to get over there and see. We can send all the probes and robots you want, but until we walk the ground itself we’re not satisfied.”