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Alex & Co. Radio Alex Penny on M.A.R.S.

Penny on M.A.R.S. is the upcoming Alex & Co. spin-off that will be broadcast on Disney Channel Italy on May 7, 2018 and on Disney Channel UK in June 2018.[1] The series was announced on June 29, 2017, after the premiere of the last episode of Alex & Co. Season 2 was announced on April 10, 2018 during the press conference of the first season.[2]

Plot

The series follows the adventures of Penny, a girl who has a big talent and a big passion: singing. She decides to enroll in the most famous performing arts high school, the M.A.R.S. Her passion will encourage her to fight for her dreams alongside her best friend Camilla. And soon, the arrival of a boy will complicate things.

Season 1

Penny passes the auditions to enter the M.A.R.S. high school, one of the most exclusive performing arts schools in the world. The M.A.R.S. has strict rules and is very competitive, Penny and her schoolmates have to pass a daily test. But Penny is special, she has a secret that must keep over all: she is the daughter of Bakìa, one of the biggest pop stars of the moment, who has managed to make nobody know about her daughter by enrolling her in a boarding school in Switzerland so that she could have a "normal" childhood and not hinder her career.

Now Penny is growing up and wants to follow her dream: attending the M.A.R.S. together with Camilla, her best friend, and finally live like all the girls of her age. That's why she signs up for the M.A.R.S. with a fake name, she wants to test her talent and make it by herself without having to deal with her mother's cumbersome success.

The only one at the M.A.R.S. who knows her real identity is Camilla. They are like sisters and nothing can separate them, or that's what they thought until they fall in love with the same boy at school, the charming Sebastian. And while she follows her dream, Penny will also have a mystery to solve: finding out who her father is.

Cast and Characters

PennyOnMars Team

Main characters

  • Penny Mendez, played by Olivia-Mai Barrett.
    Main character of the series, she is shy and reserved but has an extraordinary musical talent that will lead her to enroll in the most prestigious musical high school, the M.A.R.S. She is the secret daughter of Bakìa, one of the greatest pop stars of the moment, but no-one should know that.
  • Camilla Young, played by Shannon Gaskin.
    Co-star alongside Penny and also attends the M.A.R.S., she is Penny's friend and helps her overcome her shyness. Both Camilla and Penny are two English friends, fans of Alex & Co. In the new episodes they will fall in love with the same guy.
    • Little Camilla, played by Karla Alexandra.[3]
  • Sebastian Storm, played by Finlay MacMillan.
    He is 16 years old, has a bewitching look, a thrilling voice and a real talent with the guitar. Sebastian has everything to become a great star and is at M.A.R.S. because music is his life, not because of ambition. Raised only with his father, also a musician, after his mother's death his existence has been all uphill and has made him be closer to others and a little wary of the world.
    He is not a talkative guy and prefers to speak only when he has something interesting to say. Since Sebastian was young, his father Mitch has found himself in a difficult situation due to a lawsuit brought against Bakìa about the authorship of a song.
  • Nik Weber, played by Damien Walsh.
  • Mike Weber, played by Luke Walsh.
    17 years old, twins, contemporary dancers, they are handsome, funny and have a contagious laugh. They often have fun exchanging identities, making those who deal with them go crazy. In these years of high school the two will have to overcome opposing and complementary challenges... especially when they will have their eyes on the same girl, Sofia. Nick is controlled, respectful and very studious, lives on music and dance and has never kissed a girl. He is reserved, profound, constant in his feelings, but slowly he will understand that he also needs to be more impulsive to have fun and get what he wants. Mike, a talented dancer, succeeds in his art even if he never took his commitment to dance seriously, just as he never took anything seriously in his life. He studies only when he feels like it, he's extroverted, funny, unpredictable and a little crazy, and feels safe with the girls.
  • Sofia Hu, played by Olivia Chan.
    16 years old, aspiring dancer, sweet, studious and disciplined, she is the emblem of the classical dancer and at the same time a wild street dancer. She is the wise one who gives advice to all her friends, so much that she is nicknamed "Doctor Heart" and will become Penny's confidant. She is a keen observer and catches all the details that allow her to evaluate the situation perfectly. The only one who she can not give good advice is herself, and remains confused about her feelings. In fact, she will lose her head for both twins. Precisely because of their contrasts, the twins seem to be the two halves of the perfect boy, in addition to the fact that Sofia can not help but mirror themselves in them. She, in fact, has two opposing and contrasting souls, but will have to understand what she really wants and make a choice: Mike or Nick.
  • Lucy Carpenter, played by Jessica Alexander.
    16 years old, singer, extremely determined and apparently a security monolith, Lucy would like to get more success than anyone else in that school and is willing to do anything. Her dream is to become a star and nothing can distract her from this goal, and to reach it Lucy does not hesitate to make bad moves to eliminate others from her path. From the first meeting, Lucy realizes that Penny, despite her insecurities and blocks, is endowed with real talent, what she fears. This is why he immediately dislikes her and aims to prevent Penny's talent from budding. Lucy obviously does not know that her bitter enemy is the daughter of the great pop star Bakia. But what if she finds out?
  • Aleksandr "Sacha" Lukin, played by Ryan Collinson.
    17 years old, of Russian origin, he is a second-year student who likes to bother freshmen. Sacha is a bully who struts through the corridors with his crew's henchmen. Lucy immediately takes him in sympathy because of her unrestrained and unscrupulous ambition, considering Penny and her friends a group of losers.
  • Bakìa, played by Merissa Porter.
    36 years old, she is the biggest pop star in the world. On the top of the wave for several years, she is the idol of generations of boys, including the one of her daughter Penny. Bakìa is very beautiful, sensual, has a bewitching voice that has bewitched the world. Because of this global success, she is an absent and distant mother. She has made most of her important decisions by following the advice of her manager, Freddy Wolf, to who she is convinced she owes all her success and who she trusts blindly.
  • Debbie Cornish, played by Hanna Christine Hefner.
    40 years old, she is Bakìa's right hand, in charge of managing her life while the singer is busy dealing with her success. Debbie, therefore, has raised both Penny and Camilla as if they were both her daughters. For Penny, she is like a second mother, much more present and understanding than the first. Rational, patient, combative, she taught Camilla to never give up. Debbie is always ready to listen and try to solve problems, in constant conflict with Freddy Wolf's management, she helps the girls to follow their dream of going together to the M.A.R.S.
  • Freddy Wolf, played by Ben Richards.
    45 years old, unscrupulous record manager, he was born from below and he built his own empire. He is the manager who brought Bakìa to success, becoming one of the big names in the sector. He urges her never to skip a tour and to always accept new professional proposals, even when Bakìa would like to stop and spend a few days with her daughter. He is the one who advised her to hide she is a mother, so as not to compromise her image as a "dreamed woman".
  • Mitch Storm, played by Charlie Gardner.
    40 years old, he is a talented musician who has seen his career collapse since Bakìa, according to him, stole the song that made her famous. Mitch filed a lawsuit, tried to tell everyone the truth, but Bakìa's lawyers have sued him for defamation and Mitch's life has been literally overwhelmed, even leading him to stay a period in prison. The choice of Mitch to fight against the powerful Bakìa has obviously influenced the life of Sebastian, with whom, however, has a sincere relationship, friendship and complicity. Mitch is convinced that Sebastian is the true heir of his talent, destined to become someone, to succeed where he has failed, and is happy that his son is following in his footsteps as a musician attending the M.A.R.S.
  • Raoul Storm, played by Joseph Rye.
    He is Mitch's older brother, the owner of the bowling where Sebastian lives for a period after his father arrest, and where the boys go to spend their free time. Raoul is a good man with a brusque, wise advisor, both for his friends and for his nephew, with that simple and straightforward wisdom that comes straight to the heart of the problem. Raoul has a gold heart and is always joking in a good mood.
  • Bruce Gold, played by Michael E. Rodgers.
    He is the manager of a toy company, former music enthusiast and old Bakìa lover. When he is proposed to produce a doll inspired by popstar Bakìa, Bruce decides to personally deal with the topic, somehow attracted by the idea of getting closer to the woman he was in love with, many years before.
  • Miss Tosca Bauer, played by Melanie Ruth Gray.
    She is a careful singer who teaches because she failed to succeed. In her method there is a lot of technique but also a lot of anger and frustration. Tosca is rigid in transferring her experience to the boys, and often puts into practice attitudes of revenge on the students, especially those who does not consider characterizing adequate to face the stage, like Penny.
  • Mr Sean Mc Dougal, played by Alton Terry.
    He is the stage teacher and a theatrical actor, with his own method, that includes improvisation and working on the emotions of the boys. More a friend than a teacher, keeps respect for the class by not judging or giving marks, but this does not mean he can not test students. He is interested in knowing deeply his kids, their character, thus finding the right way to make them react to difficulties.
  • Mr Roberto Piccolo, played by William Kenning.
    He is the modern dance teacher, elegant and distracted, funny and always lost in his thoughts. He lives of dance and all that is earthy and practical, from taking a coffee to filling in a class register, he seems out of his reach. Piccolo always has his head in the clouds, but he teaches with passion, letting himself be moved by the dance, so much that he does not realize everything that happens around him. Piccolo lives happy and unaware in his world of music and choreography.
  • Mrs Ella Johnson, played by Nathalie Rapti Gomez.
    She is the literature teacher, neither maternal nor particularly sympathetic with her students: she knows that in a school like the M.A.R.S. her subject is not as important as others, but she believes it represents the glue that holds everything else together. Like the other teachers, she is demanding with its students, she does not help them by explaining what to do, but is the teacher who is committed to making them grow and mature. Ella respects the rules as well as all her colleagues, and is very diplomatic.

Recurring characters

Episodes

Season Episodes Italy flag Originally aired (Italy dates) UK flag UK aired
First aired Last aired First aired Last aired
Season 1 (2018) 16 May 7, 2018 2018 June 2018 2018
Season 2 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Songs

Songs from Alex & Co.

Italian dub credits

Character Original actor Italian voice actor
Penny Mendez Olivia-Mai Barrett TBA
Camilla Young Shannon Gaskin Erica Necci
Bakìa Merissa Porter TBA
Freddy Wolf Ben Richards TBA
Technical credits
Audio post-production Disc to Disc Productions Milano
Dubbing director Marcello Cortese
Translator/Adapter
Italian dub by DREAM&DREAM

International releases

Country Channel Premiere date Title
Italy flag Italy Disney Channel Italy May 7, 2018 Penny on M.A.R.S.
UK flag United Kingdom Disney Channel UK and Ireland June 2018
Ireland flag Ireland
France flag France [8] Disney Channel France Autumn 2018

Trivia

  • In its script and clapperboards, the series is called "Penny on MARS", without dots.
  • This series' director and some writers are the same as Alex & Co.
  • This series also contains some songs from Alex & Co. such as Live It Up (in its full version) and The Universe Owes You One.
  • The first album of the series will be released on April 27, 2018.[9]
  • The Italian voice actors of the characters that already appeared on Alex & Co. (Penny, Camilla, Bakìa and Freddy Wolf) were changed in this series.
  • Although the series is in English, it is shot in Milan, Italy.
  • The first promotion of the series aired on June 29, 2017. As the series hadn't started being filmed yet, it is a 15-second video with Penny and Camilla explaining briefly the plot and Alex announcing more details coming soon.
  • On March 2, 2018, the first trailer was released, announcing the series for May 2018.
  • On March 27, 2018, the full trailer was released, announcing the Italian airdate: May 7, 2018.
  • The cast had the first table read on September 20, 2017.[10][5]
  • Filming for the series began on September 28, 2017 and ended on December 15, 2017, one week before the planned date.[11]
    • The first rehearsals were on September 22.[12]
    • On September 28 there were dance rehearsals.[13]
    • Olivia-Mai Barrett started filming on September 29.[14]
    • The first scenes at the M.A.R.S. were shot on October 6.
    • Jessica Alexander recorded an unknown song on October 13.
    • The last scenes of the first episode were shot on October 19.[15] They were shot in the vicinity of Torre Hadid, a skyscraper in Milan.
    • On October 30 the cast had a promotional photoshoot and shot a videoclip.
    • On November 6, another song was recorded by Shannon Gaskin, Olivia Chan and Damien Walsh.
    • Ben Richards finished filming on November 24.[16]
    • The last episode includes a performance named M.A.R.S Big One. These scenes were the last ones to be shot and they were filmed on December 14 and 15 in Teatro Fontana of Milan.
    • On December 16, all the main cast had a promotional photoshoot and recorded some interviews.

Video Gallery

Penny on M.A.R.S

Penny on M.A.R.S. promo

Penny on M.A.R.S

Penny on M.A.R.S. - A new story arrives (Trailer)

Penny on M.A.R.S

Penny on M.A.R.S. - New series (Full Trailer)

Penny on M.A.R.S

Penny on M.A.R.S. - Sneak peek The secret of success

Penny on M.A.R.S. - Backstage 1

Penny on M.A.R.S. - Backstage 1. Italy

Penny on M.A.R.S. - Backstage 2. The M.A.R.S

Penny on M.A.R.S. - Backstage 2. The M.A.R.S.

References

  1. Claudio Norza: "The airing in England has already been scheduled for June"
  2. "A second season will be shot"
  3. "Congratulations to Karla Alexandra, chosen for the TV series Penny on M.A.R.S."
  4. Actors in Italy: Katie McGovern
  5. 5.0 5.1 Martina Di Giacomo: "First table read for season one of Penny on MARS!"
  6. Abigail Hercules: "Currently co-producing my song 'Never Doubt I Love'"
  7. Abutail Hercules: "The cast vocals are down on my tune. Thanks Olivia and Finlay"
  8. Claudio Norza: "We're distributing Penny on Mars to France and other countries"
  9. Information about the release of the first album
  10. Jessica Alexander: "First Penny on MARS read through"
  11. Filming information by MotoreCinema Facebook page
  12. Luke Walsh: "Day of rehearsals over"
  13. Choreography rehearsals on Jessica Alexander's Twitter profile
  14. Olivia-Mai Barrett: "My first day of filming tomorrow?!"
  15. Episode 1 behind the scenes pictures
  16. Ben Richards: "That's a wrap for me"