Apple TV + has released the trailer for the second season of For all mankind, her sci-fi drama about an alternative story in which the space race never ended. The series was the basis for the launch of Apple TV + in 201
(Some spoilers for the first season below.)
The creator of the series Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) made an attempt to keep the show relatively close to reality, despite the concept of science fiction, often consulting with NASA’s original plans for guidance and including archival footage throughout the season. Moore said the following during a panel question and answer in 2019 after an IMAX screening of the first two episodes of S1 at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington:
Our production designer, Dan Fisher, who designed all the sets for the show, recreated “Mission Control” with such demanding details that even the tiles on the ceiling [are] same as the ceiling tiles in the original mission control. When we were on set, we had technical consultants and former astronauts who were actually there to guide the cast on how to operate the command module and the lunar module. We had people talking to the background players in Mission Control, so people didn’t just press the buttons randomly – they knew exactly what the console was doing and who they were talking to on these headphones, and that permeated the entire production.
The first season focused on an astronaut named Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman), who replaced Thomas Stafford, the commander of Apollo 10 in our real chronology. His foil is fellow astronaut Gordo Stevens (Michael Dorman), the stereotypical, drunken, female fighter pilot of the all-American character of Baldwin’s “right things.” As Ars Tech Policy reporter Kate Cox noted in her S1 review, Apollo 10 was the “dress rehearsal” for the historic Apollo 11 landing, when American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
But in this alternative schedule, the decision not to land on the moon with Apollo 10 means that the USSR is defeating America to the end. Instead, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov went down in history. (The real Leonov made his mark in our chronology: he was part of the Sunrise 2 mission and was the first person to take a 12-minute spacewalk on March 18, 1965.) The United States must then work to catch up with the space race. with a view to establishing a lunar base.
With the Soviets now world leaders in space, America is struggling to catch up, even recruiting a team of female astronauts after the first female astronaut landed on the moon. During the season both countries found water on the moon and America established the first lunar base in 1974, followed shortly after by a Soviet lunar base eight miles away. In S1 there were many interpersonal dramas on both Earth and the Moon and several tragic losses. The season ended with a complex two-part episode involving the desperate launch of Apollo 25 to carry out the Apollo 24 rescue and rescue mission.
The second season begins the same year. According to the official premise:
This is the height of the Cold War, and tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union are at their peak. Ronald Reagan is president, and the greater ambitions of space science and exploration are in danger of being wasted as the United States and the Soviets go head to head to control sites rich in lunar resources. The Department of Defense has taken control of NASA’s mission, and the militarization of NASA has become central to the stories of several heroes: some fight it, others use it as an opportunity to advance their own interests, and others find themselves in the midst of a conflict that could led to a nuclear war.
The trailer opens with the ominous news that the Soviets may be trying to develop a new weapon when a new class of candidate astronauts is introduced. The United States cannot allow this to slip because “it would set a dangerous precedent.” In addition, these weapons could throw ammunition almost anywhere on Earth, so it is a major threat to national security. While Eurythmics play in the background, we encounter Pathfinder, a new, more powerful space shuttle, and it looks like Ed Baldwin of Kinnaman will be tapped for his first mission. Will a war break out on the moon or will the United States fulfill its declaration of peace “for all mankind”?
For all mankind returns to Apple TV + on February 19, 2021.
Picture of the list from Apple TV +