What if the Soviets reached the moon before the U.S.? That’s the question Ronald D. Moore’s new sci-fi series For All Mankind seeks to answer, and judging from the trailer, it looks like that would have been… a good thing?
The basic idea behind the series is this: If the Soviet Union had landed on the moon in 1969 instead of the U.S., it would have driven American ingenuity to further heights than ever imagined. In actual history, the Space Race effectively ended when Neil Armstrong took that first step/giant leap onto the moon on July 20, 1969. Since then, no other nation has set foot on the moon, and no person at all has done so since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. But in the world of the show, the Soviets don’t win the Space Race by landing on the moon — they just win that portion of it. The U.S. then spends the next several decades blasting off farther and farther into outer space, as the race between the two nations just keeps on going forever, for the overall benefit of all mankind (see what they did there?).
Moore is, of course, well-known to sci-fi fans thanks to his work on various Star Trek series and, more notably, his creation of the highly-acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot. And while For All Mankind can still technically be considered science-fiction, the space-faring epic is far more down-to-Earth than Moore’s previous works, no pun intended. There are no aliens, and it’s not set in the far-off future. Instead, the series reimagines the past to create a more aspirational history for the U.S. space program; one that involves an earlier introduction of female astronauts, moon bases, and plans to touch down on Saturn. That level of grounding compared to Moore’s other works may be due in part to his co-creators on the new series, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, who previously acted as writers and producers on the North Dakota-set crime drama Fargo.
For All Mankind will debut on Apple’s upcoming streaming service, Apple TV+, presumably this fall when the service launches.