For All Mankind takes us back to the time when the Great Space Race was at its height and man was heading to land on the moon… and it rewrites history because the Russians got there first, leading to the first episode’s title being Red Moon.
But what happened to Apollo 11 getting there? That hasn’t set off yet…
It’ll also give the press another excuses to blame Nixon for something. And why not? 😀
Before Apollo 11 came Apollo 10, a mission just to test getting to the moon, but without actually touching down. Who led that mission? Edward Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman), so now, Mr Kinnaman has come second to the Russians, just as he came second to Peter Weller when it came to make a Robocop movie… Yes, even Robert John Burke comes third, because Robocop 3 was even worse than Kinnaman’s Robocop reboot.
We then get to see how Apollo 10 went, in this drama at least. I haven’t looked too far beyond the basics into the real mission, so I don’t know how much this dramatisation compares with that in real life, but then I came to For All Mankind for drama, and not a history lesson. And in this drama, as well as the Russians winning the moon landing first, JFK is also looking for election again, for when 1972 comes round, so this is a similar but very different 1969.
This first episode does a great job in getting across Ed’s frustration and bitterness about his Apollo mission’s outcome, as well as the Apollo 11 landing. No spoilers about that, so all that I’ll say is that it’s gripping to the last. In fact, it’s amazing how this opener manages to be so engaging, whereas 2018’s First Man was dull as ditchwater.
Acting-wise in this, everyone is fine. However, it’s the story and direction where the strength lies, and I’m really looking forward to checking out more of this, and I’ll update review scores below as I go.
Rather than streaming all ten episodes at once, Apple are streaming episodes 1-3 from November 1st, and then each episode launches weekly on a Friday, so episode 4 is on November 8th, and so on, with the last one airing on December 20th..
For All Mankind is one of the new flagship series for Apple TV+ and begins on November 1st.
Episode 1 Score: 9/10
Episode 2 Score: 9/10
Series Directors: Seth Gordon, Meera Menon, Allen Coulter, John Dahl, Michael Morris
Series Writers: Ronald D Moore, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert, Nichole Beattie
Creators: Ronald D Moore, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert
Music: Jeff Russo
Edward Baldwin: Joel Kinnaman
Karen Baldwin: Shantel VanSanten
Ellen Waverly: Jodi Balfour
Margo Madison: Wrenn Schmidt
Gordo Stevens: Michael Dorman
Molly Cobb: Sonya Walger
Deke Slayton: Chris Bauer
Octavio Rosales: Arturo Del Puerto
Tracy Stevens: Sarah Jones
Danielle Poole: Krys Marshall
Bill Strausser: Noah Harpster
Pam Horton: Meghan Leathers
Tim ‘Bird Dog’ McKiernan: Nick Toren
Aleida Rosales: Olivia Trujillo
Buzz Aldrin: Chris Agos
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.