For All Mankind Season 1 is the first season of an alt-historical fantasy TV drama series streaming on Apple TV+. Created by Ronald D. Moore (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), For All Mankind reimagines the space race of the 60s/70s as an alternate reality where the Soviet Union put a man on the moon before the USA. Season 1 begins with that crucial departure from our history and brings events to a different conclusion by season’s end.
Thus, For All Mankind Season 1 focuses on the men and women in the NASA space program (and their respective spouses), their relationships and conflicts, their triumphs and losses, reflected upon the socio-political background of the times. Thus, issues like women and gay rights, the Cold War figure prominently to provide the relevant context for the story events.
Domestic affairs also take centre stage as marriages and relationships are stretched to breaking point in the face of the NASA space program testing the boundaries of human achievement and endurance. The fact that For All Mankind is series dealing with ‘what if’ scenarios allows the writers free rein to make the series relevant even to the social concerns of our modern day.
Thus, the ten episodes of this first season are jam packed with drama and high tension in space and on earth. Sometimes testing incredulity perhaps but that only adds to the enjoyment of this well-constructed series. Overall, the writing is top notch, the characterisation is consistently engaging and the riveting plot will keep the viewers wanting to know more whenever an episode ends with the inevitable cliff-hanger.
The main cast does a fantastic job in evoking the lives of that special epoch (i.e. the 60s/70s) with Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones and Shantel VanSanten representing the All-American ideals of that time. Halfway through, the key players of the NASA space program become like family to the viewers and we are able to emphatize fully with their highs and lows.
The final few episodes do come across as somewhat incredible, what with the constant mishaps faced by the various Apollo missions but like we said before, what is a story without tension and conflict? Highly recommended. Reviews of season 2 episodes to come.
Now streaming on Apple TV+
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