What if the USSR had reached the moon first?

It is 1969. All eyes in the world are on television, where a live broadcast captures what will be one of the most momentous events of our era: the arrival of the first man on the Moon. The image sent from outer space is that of an astronaut descending the ladder of his ship until he finally steps on the lunar surface; However, in doing so he does not exclaim the famous phrase « a small step for man, a huge leap for humanity. » The cosmonaut comments on something indecipherable to the American public… expressed in Russian. The subsequent appearance (on screen) of a hammer and sickle flag only confirms the obvious: the first successful moon landing corresponds to the Soviet Union, not the United States. The story has been rewritten and is the responsibility of the space series For All Mankind delve into the consequences.

The « would » does exist

It seems that Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert Y Ben nedivi, creators of For All Mankind, followed Quentin Tarantino’s path by drastic alteration of historical events. However, unlike Inglorious Bastards or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, that is not the end, but the starting point.

The hypothetical triumph of the Soviet Union in the race to the Moon is just the prologue of this drama series, launched in November 2019 by Apple TV Plus. The rest of the first season is focused on exploring how, from that event, a chain reaction composed of other surprising events (political, social, technological or cultural) that slowly modify the narrative of the 20th century as we know it.

«It was fun to speculate and participate in a great game of ‘what if’«, Comments Ronald D. Moore to Cinema PREMIERE. What if this happened? What if the equal rights amendment passed? What if John Lennon was still alive? You start asking yourself all these fascinating questions when you play that game. « 

And he adds, as if explaining the rules of dynamics:

« Then you have to go ahead and take one more step: ‘Well, if this happened, then would this still happen or would it also change?’ There is always a Domino effect Of the things that you changed You have to think about how that would change the rest of the world, how it would alter US politics, international politics, or culture. « 

In Far All Mankind, female astronauts become involved in the American space program much earlier than in real life.

In terms of space exploration, NASA’s manned trips made their last landing on the moon in December 1972, which closed the number at twelve astronauts (all males) who have stepped on our natural satellite. Would it have been the same if, three years earlier, the Russians defeated Neil Armstrong? For All Mankind answers no. From that point of inflection, the chain reaction – exposed since the first season of the series – includes a greater governmental interest of the USSR and the United States towards their respective space programs, which leads the arrival of the first woman on the Moon and the establishment of the first lunar base in 1973.

“What we always kept in mind was to make sure that as we changed things, they felt like events that could actually have been affected by the space race«, Share us Matt Wolpert. “It wasn’t just about changing things just for the sake of it. It was really about showing that butterfly effect by tracking the changes in the story.

From factual to science fiction

First of all, For All Mankind arises as a period series where historical figures such as Deke Slayton (member of the Mercury Seven), Werner von Braun (pioneer of aerospace technology) and the original crew of Apollo 11 are represented, who develop differently from what happened in reality. On the entirely fictional side, characters such as Edward Baldwin -interpreted by Joel kinnaman-, one of the astronauts responsible for the discovery of water on the Moon and, later, for protecting the lunar base established by NASA. All this, even within the critical context of the Cold War.

« This historical alternate timeline gives us the ability to use whatever we want to use from the story, but at the same time we can change what we want, » Kinnaman tells Cine PREMIERE. « There is an enormous amount of freedom there, creative freedom, that the writers, of course, take advantage of. »

Joel Kinnaman (The Suicide Squad) is Edward Baldwin in For All Mankind.

After a first season whose setting lasts until the mid-70s, the new episodes of For All Mankind take a time jump of almost a decade. It is now the year 1983 and an accelerated development makes lunar colonization more feasible. On the other hand, the political tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union manage to impose themselves on the merely scientific interests of space programs, for which the militarization of the Moon becomes a priority. As he tells us Ben nedivi, the audience enters « into a much darker period in our history [donde hay] moments that show the worst of us, of what we are capable.

Regarding the technological field, this society of the 80s already has its own version of mobile phones, electric cars and laptops. Highly advanced devices are being produced that took longer to see the light of day out of fiction, or that don’t even exist yet. For example, the rocket Sea Dragon that we see take off in the tenth episode of the series and that, in reality, it never happened to be a project in the study phase. In this way, For All Mankind – with its alternate timeline and domino effect – gradually exceeds historical conventions to encompass more and more possible scenarios of fine-tuned verisimilitude.

«It is the emerging science fiction series that is slowly building, but is very well founded«Declares Joel Kinnaman about this original Apple TV Plus content. «[A partir de la segunda temporada] audiences will see the beginnings of the greatest vision of this show, which is quite remarkable. Slowly leading to a science fiction era, a science fiction space. But I think that having made this very sustained trip will make it feel very plausible to reach those places.

For All Mankind has already been renewed for a third season and it is the wish of its creators that more deliveries follow. After all, they long for the series expand into a potential future of the 21st century, beyond our present time.

«Part [de la idea] of the show is that we skip a decade each season“Says Matt Wolpert. «[Se trata de] see the extent of the changes resulting from the butterfly effect of that thing that changed in the first place, which was the Soviet moon landing. Our hope is really to be able to tell this story with the great reach of many decades.

Composed of ten episodes, The second season of For All Mankind debuts this Friday, February 19 through Apple TV Plus; a new chapter will premiere every week. In addition to Joel Kinnaman, its cast is complemented by Shantel VanSanten (Karen Baldwin), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens) and Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), among others.

apple tv plus For All Mankind season 2

Toño Guzmán I have a very bad memory. Out of solidarity with my memories, I choose to lose myself too. Preferably in a movie theater.