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For All Mankind

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Anyone seen this show yet? It's my current favourite on TV. It imagines a world where the Russians reach the Moon first and, as a result, the historical timeline of the US (and world) changes to accommodate for a proper space race, with both countries building bases on the moon. For instance - and this is a wee bit of a spoiler from the first couple of episodes - Nixon ends the Vietnam War early with a peace treaty so that the US can concentrate on exploring space! How is that not amazing? Also, the space programme brings women (and even one black one) into it early, spurring on the modern women's rights and civil rights movements much earlier and with a stronger message. 

It's really, for me, just a great alternate timeline where it imagines the best of humanity. Simply, it makes me feel good and hopeful. Here's a review:


Note: This review contains spoilers, including some from episodes that haven’t been released (as of the date of publication).

At the start of 1966, in the heat of the space race between the US and the Soviet Union, NASA was spending about $5 billion annually and providing work for 420 000 people. Yet even before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon, the White House had started squeezing NASA’s budget and cutting the workforce. In the decade following the Moon landing, NASA’s direct workforce would shrink considerably as the US economy went into a recession, costs associated with Vietnam increased, and NASA floundered without a defined long-term goal. The Soviets never sent anyone to the Moon, and the space competition between the two superpowers faded.

But what if Armstrong hadn’t been the first person to step onto the lunar surface? What if the Soviets had perfected their N1 heavy-lift rocket and Alexei Leonov (who died last month) had walked on the Moon in June 1969? That scenario forms the basis of Apple TV’s new alternative-history series, For All Mankind, developed by former Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. Moore along with producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi.

The 50th anniversary of the real Moon landing seems an appropriate time to enjoy a family drama with good scripts, music, acting, and special effects. Moore and his writers have done a remarkable job examining the possible implications of a Soviet flag being planted on the Moon, creating a future that’s more optimistic than typical alternative-history fiction. Not every episode in the 10-part first season is perfect, but many of them are very good, and space-history buffs will have great fun speculating what NASA and its employees will do next as the alternative future unfolds.


If anyone gets a chance, it's well worth the watch. 

Edited by ExpandMyMind

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