For All Mankind is one of Apple TV+’s launch shows and it asks the not-so-daring question of what if the Russians landed on the moon first. At first blanch this seems a bit trivial compared to other alternate history programs where things like the Nazi’s win WWII or lizards evolved instead of apes into the rulers of the planet. However, from this trailer, it is clear that it is a science-nerd’s dream of a show, and not just because it’s from the producer of Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek.
Think about the ramifications of Russia winning the space race. American confidence is shot. Kennedy’s promise is destroyed. How does the world respond? Sadly, the trailer makes it seem like this is more of a story about NASA finding redemption than exploring the fallout of a loss of face for America, but maybe they’ll go in both directions. Whatever the direction any space nerd’s dream is that science and discovery were still “cool” and this show definitely posits that “what if.”
One of the strange historic realities is that after the U.S. got to the moon everyone basically brushed their hands off and concluded that the space race was over. It’s only recently that space travel has become more en vouge and that’s thanks to private companies, not NASA and the U.S. government. But what if we had kept pushing each other? Would we be living on the moon already?
I will not find out the theoretical answers to this because there’s no must buy show for Apple TV+ for me. For All Mankind, despite its pedigree, does nothing for me. Heck, if I didn’t watch Man in the High Castle and a streaming service I already subscribe to I’m not going to pay for this one.
For All Mankind will debut this Fall.