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A scant 16 minute clip was all that Apple TV brought to NYCC to showcase their November release, For All Mankind. Fortunately 16 minutes was all they needed to offer a compelling glance at their new alternate history of the Cold War space race.

Attended by the producers, including showrunner Ronald D. Moore [of Battlestar Galactica renown] and the central cast, the NYCC panel shared the little they could without spoilers. In a world where Russia beat NASA to the moon. Joel Kinnaman leads the cast as Edward Baldwin, commander of Apollo 10; resentful of his colleagues that will lead 11 and prone to take out his frustrations at home. His mission counterpart Gordo (played by Michael Dorman) faces upheaval when his wife joins NASA as an astronaut candidate without his knowledge. Mission control disciple Margot (Wrenn Schmidt) lives and breathes her role at NASA, but struggles with the opportunity to step out of her mentor’s shadow and lead. Despite hilarious stories of the difficulty in filming in to-scale ship modules and inabilities to cry on cue, the actors admit that a heavy theme in their roles and show is traditional masculinity confronted by up-ended gender roles decades before our current history. Sarah Jones (playing Gordo’s wife) credits Moore with finding these extraordinary outer space circumstances to showcase the rather everyday struggle of a wife and husband grappling with their roles in their relationship.

It’s an intriguing time to release a show touching on breaking workplace barriers and international rivalry. Producer Ben Nedivi relishes this is an opportunity to showcase the potential of human beings (American or otherwise) to take their failures and turn it into a drive to succeed beyond the realms first imagined. It’s an optimistic look into a past of understanding and enlightenment we never had, although it bears mentioning that the main cast of this heroic universe is still predominantly white. A glimpse of a family in Mexico during the clip implies some diversity may come in future storylines, so the jury remains out.

It's appealing to erase the US’s troubled past and imagine if pushed we would have gotten over our conflicts to explore space. In the pessimistic face of the present I find it hard to believe such a future is possible.

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About The Author
Karin Crighton
Staff Writer | Lunatic
Karin doesn't know anything about movies, but has a lot of time and opinions to yell into the void. When she's not directing plays in and around NYC, she's watching every horror movie on every streaming service. And probably talking to a cat.
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