‘For all Humanity’: why the start of the second season is perfect to re-engage (or discover)
The second season of ‘starts on Apple TV +For all mankind‘, a series that Due to the number of subscribers to the platform, which is smaller than that of competitors such as Netflix or Disney +, it has not had the full impact that he deserved. However, his starting point could not be more suggestive: what would have happened in the sixties – and consequently, in the entire subsequent space race – if the Russians had reached the moon earlier?
The immediate answer is that the fate of space exploration would have been very different., but this series meticulously visualizes the entire process in this alternate story. The first season told us about the consequences of the Soviet triumph, putting Alexei Leonov on the satellite (which in our reality would have been the first Russian on the Moon if the project had not been canceled). But the space race doesn’t stop there.
NASA, initially devastated, tries to take the lead and imitates some Soviet moves to promote the minority race on its show space. When Russians favor the career of female cosmonauts, NASA reacts by promoting women and ethnic minorities, as opposed to what happened in reality. Is the message of the series that if the Russians had initially triumphed, NASA would have been more egalitarian?
The conjecture is that NASA (and the space race) would have been in second place, which would have kept it from resting on its laurels. And it would have made the space race a true national priority for the country. This is an important nuance, since popular support for the space race allows that in this second season, set in 1983 during the second Reagan administration, the Cold War in space becomes important and the series acquires a perhaps more dystopian nuance. .
NASA, 1980s: the other story
At the start of the second season, NASA is self-financing thanks to the patent business and we live in about eighty something more futuristic than the real ones: there is video conference and digital mail (d-mail, they call it) very similar to the one we enjoy today. Although with a retro touch, because the music is in any reality pure mush synthetizer, so the soundtrack gives away. In any case, and continuing the progress seen in the first season, Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt) -first woman in Mission Control-, is now the administrator of the agency, something that has never happened.
In this second season we discover that space missions are the order of the day, and that the moon is disputed as a hypothetical firing range with the Earth as a target. I mean, pure Reagan fantasy. For now, in the first episode a dangerous solar storm injects the necessary dose of action and tension into the episode. Promise, perhaps, of a series in which special trips have become customary, and therefore we have more suspense and walks through zero atmosphere than in the first season. As far as we know, the end of the second season will be oriented in that direction, which apparently yields to pure spectacle.
Until then, we will continue to focus on the evolution of the Baldwin and Stevens families, we will bring back stories like Dani Poole, the first African-American astronaut, and the Cold War will heat up. In any case, this second season maintains, from what we have been able to anticipate, the balance between critical romp with true history, the drama of a special career mediated by politics, and a series of missions that differ in part or in whole from those that marked the authentic history.
If you are interested in the space race (the real one), ‘For All Humanity’ is nothing short of a must see. Getting hooked on the second season is tricky because there are too many bridges built with the first batch of episodes that should be known. But with the weekly periodicity, this is the perfect time to retrieve the broadcast episodes and catch up. And if you’ve already done so, you can fearlessly step into season two – it’s a real treat (with an eighties twist on the tip) for devotees of the space race.