For All Mankind season 3 showed how difficult it is to achieve the Star Trek utopia

After two long Cold War seasons, For all mankind entered the tech boom of the ’90s. If the ’90s were indeed fueled by tech optimism, For all mankind explores the idea of ​​what a technology-driven utopia would actually look like. In this space-focused alternative timeline, the ’90s were filled with electric cars, camcorders, and mining activity on the moon. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But during the season, For all mankind Shows how even if the utopia of the 90s could indeed be transformed into reality, we cannot leave our problems behind.

By the third season, For all mankind’Our alternate histories have made leaps and bounds far beyond where our 90s have found us. The larger powers have reduced their military status in Vietnam and Afghanistan to focus on building military bases on the moon. The Equal Rights Amendment was incorporated into the Constitution thanks to the prominence of female astronauts, electric cars made available through investment in technology, and the Soviet Union never collapsed.

It puts its own heroes, like Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman), Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall), and Gordo Stevens (Michael Dorman) alongside Aldrins and Rides. Real life characters move around like chess pieces, with Ted Kennedy becoming president after Nixon, and Reagan after. They talk to the characters through a combination of voice actor and deep acting.

Real-world characters exist in season 3, but they start to recede from the show’s world. The proliferation of computers and the internet didn’t have much of an impact on the program, because all of the exciting technology has, for decades, been focused on sustaining life in space. Although not a one-to-one analogy, replacing “computer” with “space travel” allows For all mankind to make interesting comments. Instead of exploring Jobs, Gates, Andreessen and the culture of the 90s Wired, For all mankind ending them in Dev Ayesa (Edi Gathegi).

Dev Ayesa leans over the computer desk;  his team around him are smiling and looking at

Photo: Apple TV Plus

A charismatic billionaire who wants to go to Mars clearly has similarities with Elon Musk, but Ayesa is not the same as a super billionaire. He owns only one company, Helios, not four. He turned down titles and a corner office, working directly among his employees. Helios employees practice office democracy, conducting public voting on major company policy. And the most remarkable thing is that Elon Musk does not compete with NASA – SpaceX do intensively with the government.

Ayesa feels like the tech libertarians of the 70s to the 90s who saw technology as a means of personal liberation, historian Fred Turner called the New Socialists. As Turner describes in his book From counterculture to cyberculture, they consider “the cybernetic concept of the globe as a single, interconnected piece of information” as “deeply comforting”. The “invisible information game” will bring about “global harmony”, breaking the harsh boundaries drawn during the Cold War.

In For all mankindAyesa watched in horror as the moon became a battleground for the world’s powers and then split in half, one for the US and the other for the Soviet Union. He wants to beat both of them to get to Mars, creating a free enterprise zone that is essentially invisible to most of Earth’s population, but will challenge both ideologies. The important thing, above all, is first. And, considering how advanced space technology is at this point, he doesn’t even need to build everything himself. Taking advantage of the terrifying space hotel disaster in the first episode of season 3, he buys the technology Helios needs to use NASA and the Soviet Union in a race to Mars.

Ayesa continued to shop, poaching disgruntled NASA employees with low wages and a stifling sense of ordering. It’s hard to blame them, considering that NASA’s economic position in For all mankind has improved completely, they haven’t seen a raise in years. As employees at Helios debate company issues, like who should lead the company’s mission to the Red Planet, they begin to feel heard. A community structure and capitalist enterprise make up a romantic vision.

A space station in For All Mankind season 3

Photo: Apple TV Plus

Two astronauts in For All Mankind look out over the Martian landscape

Photo: Apple TV Plus

The President and her husband in the Oval Office, she's at the desk and he's standing across from her and looking down smiling

Photo: Apple TV Plus

Four astronauts eat in the corridor of the space station

Photo: Apple TV Plus

For all mankind co-created by Star Trek alum Ronald D. Moore, and the show deals with the franchise from time to time. Long associated with utopia, it was deemed obsolete in the 90s of season 3, where astronauts enjoyed hellish fantasies. Alien and melodramas about their own heroes. As both Helios and NASA’s very profitable promise, the unthinkable is here.

And yet, since the show constantly reminds its characters, there’s no end to the amount of things that can go wrong in space. There’s no oxygen or gravity, no atmosphere to protect from radiation, and the great distances between points of interest with no fast-moving vehicles. There is isolation from most of humanity, as well as being confined to close periods of time for many years at the same time, what will this, on a trip to Mars, lead to? NASA (in our universe) are considered “inevitable” behavioral problems. For all mankind fans have seen these issues play out on the Jamestown base alongside episodes of Performances by Bob Newhart.

The phrase “hard space” has become a standard saying in the industry that US Space Force used it in advertising. But most of all, it’s terrifying, and For all mankind do not dodge. The character dies brutally in For all mankindfrom being burned alive in a spacesuit to bleeding eyeballs after being exposed to the harsh lunar landscape.

These deaths are mourned and commemorated, but they don’t stop anyone from looking up to the sky. Neither Ayesa’s space libertarianism nor NASA’s belief in military-style structures can prevent disaster in the harshest environments imaginable, where the tiniest debris can destroy destroy the entire ecosystem. Only option, For all mankind argument, is that in the end, somehow, with all sincerity, even if only a little at first, let’s work together.

A group of astronauts looking out at Mars

Photo: Apple TV Plus

Karen and Dev are sitting in the office smiling at each other

Photo: Apple TV Plus

While the Mars mission was successful in the sense that the boots were on the ground, then it started to fail. Just like in the actual 90s, an underground movement against anti-government extremism was downplayed in For all mankind until it was tragically too late. Like Timothy McVeigh, the perpetrators of the terrorist attack at the end of the season were military veterans. Switch to the real world For all mankindspace-focused, the events of Jamestown become as radicalized as Waco siege.

The world is closed For all mankindFinal episodes: The president is openly gay, neither the Soviets nor the Americans were the first to go to Mars, it turns out, and the Johnson Space Center lies in ruins. Space suddenly became a financial and political liability, with dreamers like Ayesa and Margo Madison having to shut down their own institutions.

The heroes of Gordo and Traci Stevens couldn’t be further back in the past. As the sparkle of Radiohead’s “Everything’s in the Right Place” introduces the 2000s, the characters find their lives completely unprofitable as the age of space heroism turns into a period deeply uncertain. Thom Yorke’s haunting voice, born of his mental breakdown following the success of Computer OK, perfectly fits the quick shot of Margo waking up to a new life in the Soviet Union 2003 (not since American there was a good program like this with drops of needles).

However, in the midst of all the chaos, the show feels like a horror version of Moore Star Trek: Enterprisecheck out the earliest starting points of Interstellar Voyagelike society. The Earth may have changed, but space is still up high, calling for discovery.

Despite what any billionaire tries to sell you, the road to stardom life won’t be easy. Life will be ruined. The sense of adventure will disappear. Humanity will be dragged into the future with stoning and screaming, bringing with it the inequalities, hatreds and petty quarrels in Pale Blue Dot along with rations in their travels across the solar system. But For all mankind argues that hitting fans knows nothing of language or ideology. If someone wants to succeed in Great Beyond, there is no other choice.

For all mankind season 3 is streaming on Apple TV Plus.

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