January 2, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas

Alternate Space Timeline

Alternate timelines are all the rage these days. I guess it’s because our own reality seems such a dumpster fire that we crave any fantasy that allows us to escape. The premise of For All Mankind is that the Soviets landed on the moon first, extending the Cold War space race even further and highlighting the cracks in the American Dream. I think the premise is what makes this fantasy, but the science-fiction elements soon take center-stage as the our history begins to diverge with this alternate time that is more progressive in some ways; e.g., the ERA was ratified in 1974 under President (Ted) Kennedy. I’m almost finished with the first season, and I’ve enjoyed the excellent performances, great writing, and stunning visuals.

One of the more interesting plot points makes the most intriguing thematic element of the show: a woman becomes the second cosmonaut to walk on the moon, prompting the US to add a cohort of woman to the Apollo program. The societal resistance is predictable and played out well in the show. It’s not just the space-race machismo that finds this difficult, but many of the women who play the well defined feminine role of Astronaut Wife are also offended and resistant. This plays out over a couple of episodes, resulting in the first women astronauts to go to the moon. This reality seems to indirectly lead to a political witchhunt for homosexuals within NASA. This issues promises not to be resolved so quickly.

The season is currently caught up in family drama, but I expect to see some major political event concluding the first season. Maybe I’ll find out tonight.