I like the comment where someone said this isn't science fiction but science future. It does take relevant clips and interviews from the past and present which provide educational information and sometimes opinions.
Will we go to Mars? Hell yes. Do we need to? No. Should we? Hell yes. Think how much the world benefited by the challenge we faced by going to the moon and how much technology was developed from doing so.
Going to Mars is just a first step and there is so much to learn from taking on the challenge. We may very well learn to solve some of the present or future problems that we will be facing here on earth by looking for solutions to living on Mars.
Now my comments on the story side of the show.
I am a fan of Elon Musk but why do I get the feeling like this is a one big commercial for the SpaceX program? I have to agree with some comments in that the story line is weak in that much of the planning and contingency planning that would normally be done is not represented in the show. So far with two episodes I have given up on questioning why things are happening as they do and just accept it at face value for the entertainment aspect.
The budget for the show may be limited but National Geographic is providing some great links for the show as well from http://natgeotv.com/mars which includes cast information and interviews, recaps, online viewing, and the Before Mars episode to get folks engaged with the actors.