By Nick Romano
July 24, 2018 at 01:46 PM EDT

It’s the first The First trailer, if that phrasing wasn’t too hard to follow. Sean Penn stars in the new Hulu series from House of CardsBeau Willimon about mankind’s first steps towards landing on Mars and the cost that comes “any time people venture into the unknown.”

Penn returns to television following a film-heavy career sprinkled with small-screen appearances. This time, he stars opposite Natascha McElhone and he’s getting existential by quoting astronomer Carl Sagan. Well, paraphrasing him.

“Every human being who ever was lived out their lives… on a mound of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” the actor, playing one of the Mars-bound astronauts, says.

The footage, a reflective piece with a prickling, otherworldly soundtrack, accompanies a more disheartening plot description: Aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (McElhone) heads and space crew who must come to terms with the perils and personal sacrifices required of their historic mission to the Red Planet.

“I have such deep admiration for Sean’s immense talent and extraordinary body of work,” Willimon said in an earlier statement. “I feel very lucky to be collaborating with an artist of his caliber.”

LisaGay Hamilton, Hannah Ware, Keiko Agena,  Rey Lucas, James Ransone, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Brian Lee Franklin, and Oded Fehr also star in The First.

Hulu is coming off of a personal record of 27 Emmy nominations, which were announced earlier this month. The First now joins the home of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Looming Tower in dropping all eight of its episodes on Sep. 14.

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