The latest season of For All Mankind is too beautiful to spoil.
But we have a preview for you from the creatives and cast who share thoughts leading into For All Mankind Season 3.
We’ll also have interviews for you throughout the season discussing particular events, so there’s a lot to come.
Ronald Moore (Co-Creator, writer, producer)
Can you tease the general atmosphere coming into the third season?
Well, the big thing is that we moved into the 1990s. So a lot has happened since Season 2 ended in the ’80s. And we do our traditional catch-up montage at the top of the show to orient the viewers on what’s been happening in our alternate history.
And it’s always important for us to play, ‘what are the big things that happened in this era?’ So what are the big things that were happening in the ’90s to touch on both in politics and world history, but also in just fun pop cultural stuff?
And for the characters themselves, they’ve evolved and changed in certain ways, as we always try to do.
And the first episode is a chance to really catch up and touch base with all the characters or virtually all the characters and see where they are in their lives.
Joel Kinnaman (Ed)
How would you compare Season 3 to those that came before?
Well, I think they are escalating on pace. It’s like the first season was very methodical, laying the groundwork for the characters and the show, and I thought it exuded a lot of confidence in the way that storytelling. It wanted to take its time; it demanded patience from the audience.
It started to pick up the pace a little bit more in the second season. The audience has now gotten to know the main characters, so we don’t have to take that much time. We still have long scenes, but it’s picking up, and the show is also revealing itself to the audience for what it is. We’re jumping in time quite rapidly. It’s moving.
And then the third season, I always said this in the interviews after the first season. You’re not really going to understand what this show is until the third season because this show is not like a madman in the NASA environment in the late 60s.
It’s going to be the most grounded Sci-Fi show of all time. And after, I don’t know, five or seven seasons, it’s going to be the unofficial handover to Star Trek. It’s like how we get from the Space Race to Star Trek.
And I think in Season 3, that’s where it really picks up the pace. The scale is becoming pretty epic, and the last four episodes of the seasons could each be a season finale on a normal show. So it’s really exciting.
In my opinion, the writers have always been super impressive when it comes to character development and really portraying complicated characters and people that behave in ways that we don’t expect, and it’s surprising.
I keep getting very surprised by the character movements, but it’s the same kind of surprise that you feel in real life when you get to know someone, and you see them behave in a way that’s completely out of character, but that out of character move actually is the thing that sort of defines that person and that’s how I see how they are writing these characters as well.
So, they’ve always had that, but this season, it moves. The first episode is like a disaster movie and has a lot of pace, and then the rest of the season just kind of follows that pace.
Matt Wolpert (Co-Creator, writer, producer)
As the ten years goes by between Season 2 and Season 3, what is the societal impact of Tracy and Gordo’s deaths? How did that impact society?
Obviously, their deaths inspired the world, I think. They showed what people who are willing to put themselves on the line for the greater good can do.
And I think in terms of the other events, with the nuclear standoff and the blockade of the moon, I think getting so close to nuclear war showed everyone that we need to step back.
And I think that Reagan and Andropov having that handshake at the end of Season 2 leads to kind of a step back from that encroaching militarism of Season 2 and a refocus on scientific pursuit.
It’s an optimistic vision of what’s possible if people see what could happen if we go down that slippery slope towards aggression.
Shantel VanSanten (Karen)
What kind of space we’re going to find Karen in going into the season?
We are going to find her in some kind of space. That’s what I’ll say about that. [laughs] No, it’s always so hard.
So I think that we find Karen in a space that we never in our wildest dreams or imagination could ever expect to find Karen Baldwin — the 1969 (when we meet her) housewife, mother, and wife to Ed Baldwin.
I know I was shocked and screamed out loud reading the first episode, and I’m hoping the audience feels the same way.
Krys Marshall (Danielle)
How has Danielle navigated the ten years in between seasons?
We have seen a really beautiful evolution in Danielle going back to Season 1. We watch her enter the ASCAN classroom, and she’s got her bouffant hairdo and her little sweater set, is the youngest in the group, is the only black woman in the group, and saddles up to Tracy and quietly introduces herself.
We see her throughout Season 1 start to find her sea legs and begin to find her own place in this world. And that really kind of flourishes in the Hi Bob episode when they get marooned on the moon and are stuck in the Jamestown base.
And at this point, all appearances and pretense go away when you live in a tin can with two other guys. So heading into Season 2, we see that Danielle’s husband Clayton has died of suicide from some real trauma that he experienced in PTSD and his time in Vietnam.
And so we see a broken, significantly damaged Danielle who is fighting her way back up to the top and demands to get to go back to Jamestown, and not just go back, but to become a mission commander.
So now, heading into Season 3, we’re seeing a Danielle who has sown those seeds and watered that turf for the last two decades. And now, in Season 3, we see the fruits of that labor. We see the real blossoms.
She is confident. She has commanded more missions than anybody else in the program. She is highly trained, fluent in Russian, studied aeronautics and robotics, and is a geologist and an engineer.
I mean, she is competent beyond competent. And so the Danielle that we met in the beginning, who’s questioning herself and finding herself, we now see that Danielle become more fully realized in Season 3.
Wrenn Schmidt (Margo)
Where do we find Margo at the beginning of the season?
At the beginning of the season, Margo is in charge of NASA. The only other person that has more of an input is the President. So she’s truly at the top of the food chain at NASA.
NASA’s got more going on than I think we could even try and visualize. I mean, you can visualize it in a 2022 sense when you walk into mission control and see all of the missions that have happened.
But there’s so much going on. NASA’s on the moon; NASA’s shooting for Mars. NASA is making strides in all kinds of different scientific arenas on Earth, and there’s just so much going on. And it’s profitable. So Margo’s busier than she’s ever been. Margo’s also more open than she’s ever been.
She is now more open about the fact that she lives at NASA. I secretly imagine that she has an apartment somewhere that’s never fully been furnished, but it’s in her name that she inherited from some family member. Her piano’s out in the open. She’s just, in general, more open.
She’s still probably the most private person on the show in many ways, but we’re seeing more and more of her. She’s got more of a relationship and bond with Aleida’s family. She has regular weekly dinners with them.
And she’s also gotten into a routine of sharing and back-channeling information with her Soviet counterpart at Ross Cosmos to speed up the opportunity for both of their programs to get to Mars.
For All Mankind Season 3 premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, June 10.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.