For All Mankind: Boldly Going Where No Individual Has Gone Before

For All Mankind: Boldly Going Where No Individual Has Gone Before

Disclaimer: I would just like to start this off by letting you know that AppleTV has made this show’s entire first season, consisting of about 10 episodes, free for public viewing. To do so however, you will have to make a free account with AppleTV. Just a forewarning.

                Growing up, I was always in awe of outer space, but more specifically, of the people who went up in the capsules and the rockets that hurtled thousands of miles an hour just to break through the atmosphere, and then took these brave pioneers on a journey that 99.8% would never be able to do and take them to exotic locations that were truly out of this world. Of course, it certainly didn’t hurt that my father worked for first Lockheed Martin, and then Jacobs so as a kid I had my fix for space quite properly satisfied. As I got older however, my love for space also quickly turned to a love of fiction set in space and so everything I could get my hands on, or my DVR could help me record, I watched in earnest. Indeed from Capricorn One to 2001, from Apollo 13 to The Right Stuff, and of course, from Flash Gordon to Star Wars and Star Trek, I was the kid who was fascinated by space and all of its, alleged occupants and just where mankind fits into it all.

That is why I was so excited to get the opportunity to watch the first season of this show called For All Mankind. Indeed billed as an alternative reality where the space race never ended due to the USSR, rather than the US, being the first to the moon, For All Mankind makes for an intriguing entry in the spectrum of fiction set around the idea of space exploration. This is because For All Mankind may be set in an alternate 60’s and 70’s, but not only does it actually incorporate a lot of the actual astronauts around at that time as characters within the narrative, but just the idea of the US, in order to play keep up, bringing in women and minorities to train as our next batch of astronauts feels somewhat timely given the current changing climate of the world around us. Indeed, more than ever, space exploration shouldn’t just be limited to one particular race or group of people, but should be one that everyone with the right training should get to witness and be a part of for themselves. To that end, I feel this show does a great job of focusing on that right off the bat by making sure that one of its main characters is a female astronaut having to work alongside her husband’s cranky best friend (played fairly well by Joel Kinnaman) and having her struggles to be accepted in this final frontier if you will be a huge component of the core of the show.

Also I must point out that even though this is supposed to be set in an alternate reality, I definitely felt, having grown up knowing the history of NASA at this particular time, in absolute awe at how wonderful of a job the show’s creators have done at making you feel like you are walking around NASA as it was during that time because the attention to detail is absolutely spectacular. Ultimately though I think one of the crowning achievements that this “what if?”- show does brilliantly is it shows us quite potently just what could have been. Indeed a problem with fiction of this nature, save for perhaps Watchmen and a handful of others, is the alternate reality we are supposed to be embracing is just too far-fetched to do that.. Yet with this one that isn’t a problem because they only tweak specific key details, and that manages to make all the difference in terms of audience acceptance and thus you find yourself actually willing to immerse yourself in this world. Ultimately though there may be a few nuts and bolts that are a little loose, but this is only the first flight, and a second season has been confirmed so hopefully they’ll be able to straighten those things out for a smoother lift-off. Taken on its own however, this may be a bumpy ride, but For All Mankind is optimistic enough to make you watch, riveting enough to make you watch with undivided attention, and extraordinary enough to remind those of who watch these shows and movies why we do, and maybe introduce a new generation to the incredible dream of space, the final frontier…….  

Now as a special treat for you all I am including a link below this that was sent to me courtesy of the incredible team at AppleTV for each and every one of you to access the first season of this dynamic show, but as stated at the beginning you will have to make a free AppleTV account to do so. Thank you to the team at AppleTV for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to seeing what the cast and crew are able to accomplish next season! Ag