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Recommended: For All Mankind Season 3 on Apple TV+

The alt-history of the space race is as engrossing as ever as America tries to settle Mars.
  • Krys Marshall and Joel Kinnaman in For All Mankind season three. (Photo: Apple TV+)
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    For All Mankind Season 3 | Apple TV+
    Hourlong Sci-Fi Drama (10 episodes in Season 3) | TV-MA

    What's new in Season 3?

    The acclaimed alt-history of the space race between the Soviets and the Americans leaps forward to the 1990s, as both countries strive to be the first to settle Mars. Now, however, the two countries have competition.

    Who are the new and noteworthy characters?

    Season 3 prominently foregrounds female characters. Key players include:

    • Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt). A trailblazing female engineer in Season 1, she has now ascended to the top of NASA and is rallying the troops to get a person to Mars by 1995.
    • Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall). Another low-ranking woman in the show's early going, she has risen to commander and pilot. She may get the call to lead the Mars mission.
    • Karen Baldwin (Shantel VanSanten), the wife of legendary astronaut Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman). She's an entrepreneur whose newest venture is a themed hotel in space. God bless America!
    • Ellen Wilson (Jodi Balfour) is the former NASA chief who's now running for high-profile political office, and she's taking on anti-Mars Governor Bill Clinton. Who doesn't love a good deepfake presidential debate?
    • Among the new male characters, the most prominent is Dev Ayesa (Edi Gathegi), who is modeled after 21st-century space tycoons Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. He's a tech CEO who wants to disrupt the Cold War by beating both superpowers to Mars.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    If you aren't yet on the For All Mankind rover, and you like good story-driven drama, then get on board. Season 3 is poised to be one of the TV events of the summer, and since there are only 20 episodes in the first two seasons, you've got time to get caught up while Apple TV+ is still dropping new installments.

    Some of the best science fiction is less about technology and more about how humans respond to stresses brought on by changes in their environment. For All Mankind tackles this theme on a macro scale, showing the pressure Americans are under to step up their space game. But the show also goes small, depicting how national expectations roil the lives of those on the inside. While this dimension of the series isn't as strong as its alt-history, this is still a project by Ronald D. Moore, who set the space opera standard with the revival of Battlestar Galactica. To that end, every episode usually has some crisis that raises the stakes for the characters and draws us into their stories.

    Pairs well with

    • Away (Netflix), the unjustly maligned space drama starring Hilary Swank as an astronaut who leaves her hubby (Josh Charles) behind on a long mission to Mars.
    • Counterpart (Prime Video), starring J.K. Simmons in a tantalizing dual role centered on a cold war between parallel universes.
    • The Man in the High Castle (Prime Video), whose first two seasons are a gripping alternative history about the Allies losing WWII.

  • For All Mankind (Season 3)
    Premieres June 10 with new episodes dropping Fridays through July 29 on Apple TV+.
    Created by: Ronald D. Moore, Ben Nedivi, and Matt Wolpert.
    Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Wrenn Schmidt, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour, Krys Marshall, and Edi Gathegi.
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    TOPICS: For All Mankind, Apple TV+, Ben Nedivi, Edi Gathegi, Jodi Balfour, Joel Kinnaman, Krys Marshall, Matt Wolpert, Ronald D. Moore, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt