TV Show Review: For All Mankind

Footprint on Moon
Photo courtesy of NASA.

One might find themselves looking up at the stars, picturing the moment man first stepped on the moon. But, in a twist of fate, what if those first steps belonged to a Russian cosmonaut, and not an American astronaut?

“For All Mankind,” exclusive on Apple TV+, encounters just that. The show portrays an alternate reality, in which the “space race” never ended. With a Russian having been the first person to walk on the moon, this prompts NASA to conquer every other achievement themselves.

Since this show occurs in an alternate timeline, women are promoted to astronauts much sooner than what actually occurred in American history. With this, lunar missions are much more diverse and break down the gender barrier of NASA while discovering the secrets the moon holds.

In the two seasons that have been released, viewers will follow the dramatic and intense lives of the astronauts, highlighted by main characters Ed Baldwin and Gordo Stevens. The actors provided me with such honest realism, that it could have easily been filmed in the days of the space age. The special effects to film the scenes in space and on the moon left lasting impressions of the beauty of traveling the cosmos. Not just that, but NASA’s Mission Control room was so strikingly accurate, as if the set reverted back to the sixties and on.

Due to the alteration of America’s timeline, global events took place that never occurred in real life. This results in not just alternate missions to the moon, but alternate American presidencies and historical events as well. So, every time you wonder what could have happened, just wait, because “For All Mankind” might actually portray that vision.

After being captivated by the first two seasons, my opinion is that this TV series is definitely worth watching. It pushes down gender barriers in American science, while also painting a vivid picture of the depth in lunar exploration. The show truly encapsulates the viewer in the time it’s portraying, from the retro mission control room to the Apollo spacecraft modules. With memorable characters and relationships, it adds to the picturesque view of the notorious space age.

It received mostly positive views from critics, but one might not like the idea of a TV show rewriting NASA’s original history. To counter this, however, “For All Mankind” accomplishes this alternate reality with ease and respect, allowing the viewer to wonder what could have been if events happened differently.