For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 4 is the fourth instalment of the third season of a 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 3 picks up a decade after the events of season 2, meaning the setting is now 1992 – with a video montage that introduces us to this alternate milieu.
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Entitled “Happy Valley”, For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 4 depicts once more, how dangerous space travel is. Now, faithful readers will no doubt recall how pissed off we were at the two year time jump in the previous episode. However, we decided to analyse this episode on its merits, notwithstanding that flawed decision. As it is, we are deep into the race to Mars amongst NASA, USSR and the Helios corporation.
For All Mankind Season 3 Episode 4, as a standalone, works quite well. With its twists and turns and the obstacles forcing our characters to challenge themselves in a time of crisis, there is enough tension and conflict here to maintain a high level of engagement. Which brought our what this series has been great at – hazardous space adventures!
At the outset, it seemed that Phoenix – the Helios ship – would win the race, based on calculations. It seemed to us that the Helios crew were celebrating prematurely and true enough, the NASA craft Sojourner 1 unfurled its solar wind sail and was on course to beat Helios to Mars by a week! Then of course, the USSR took unnecessary risks to overtax their nuclear engines and wound up in grave danger of destroying themselves.
All nice and tasty drama for sure! And there were naturally more twists to come and unfortunately, deaths would be the result. Ambition vs responsibility invariably led to disaster as the dominoes fell. Certainly, by the end of the episode, it would all be about survival rather than getting to Mars first. More twists and turns to come…
Now streaming on AppleTV+
.… still there’s more …