People will tell you Severance or Ted Lasso are the best shows coming out of Apple TV Plus, and while they’ve certainly had excellent receptions and won a few rewards, they are not the best show on Apple TV Plus. That honor falls to For All Mankind, a science fiction alternate history from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron D. Moore.
I know this is controversial to say. Everyone loves Ted Lasso’s blend of optimism and humor. They adore what Severance has to say about our work-home life balance and are curious about the baby goat room. I get it. These shows captivate you, and the first few episodes of For All Mankind absolutely pale in comparison. But the back half of the first season of For All Mankind and the entire second season of the show were sharply plotted, full of mystery, humor, and really cool action sequences.
And they also included war on the Moon.
The show started as an almost rote alternate history, where the USSR beat the USA to the Moon, and in a bid for a Cold War PR win, the US opted to send a woman to the moon to search for water. After that moment, the show embraces science fiction as much as it does alternate history. For every moment pulled from a real headline — and slightly warped — there’s another like, again, war on the Moon or widely adopted video chat in 1983.
The first season tracked Space Program from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s. The second season focused on the mid-’80s. Judging by the use of Soundgarden in the trailer, the third season should kick off in the ’90s. But the Space Program of this alternate ’90s seems to look a lot more like the Space Program in 2022, complete with the involvement of big talking billionaires.
The new season of For All Mankind premieres on June 10th, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up with one of the smartest and most entertaining science fiction shows airing.