For All Mankind executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis discuss Season 2’s big time jump and the heightened Cold War themes.
The acclaimed Apple TV+ original series For All Mankind‘s second season will jump forward in time to 1983, with Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union reaching a fevered pitch under the Reagan Administration. And with the Space Race continuing on in the show’s alternate history well after the moon landing, the military’s reach has spread throughout the cosmos.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, series co-creator Ronald D. Moore and executive producer Maril Davis talk about jumping into the ’80s for Season 2, increasing the military presence in the story and tease what to expect as the series moves further into the future.
In Season 2, we’re nine years past the halcyon days of the Space Race and into the ’80s. Why did you want to jump that far ahead in this alternate history you created?
Ronald D. Moore: From the beginning, the idea was let’s do the space program that we were promised but didn’t get and to see it blossom. And the only way to really tell that story is to do it over the course of years and decades because if you kept the show in the 1970s, you’d only get so far and I wanted to see this program grow and develop big changes and moon bases and space stations and [go to] Mars and so on.
So right from the beginning, part of the concept of the show was every season or so, we were going to jump roughly a decade or so it would take us into the ’80s, which was an interesting time. Reagan is President, the Cold War is heating up and the space program has been pulled into the military confrontation between the Soviet Union and United States.
To build off that, you guys go darker this season, with the military-industrial complex coming to space. What did you really want to do with Season 2 in comparison with Season 1?
Moore: We sort of said when we were mapping out the show overall, after [we’ve caught] up with the Soviets and put women into space and set up a moon base, then the coming of Reagan and the Cold War, it felt much more natural that you’d have a militarized component to NASA. NASA and the military were sort of joined at the hip from the inception. There was always a very strong bond between the two of them, and that meant the story could get much bigger as well as we got to the ’80s. So we said that Season 2 is going to be a Cold War piece.
Maril, what was something you were keen on adding with your voice to this alternate history in the show?
Maril Davis: I think for me, certainly in the first season, I felt it was so important that the female voice was heard. I think we were all so distraught to see the Mercury 13 program for female astronauts was shelved and never came to fruition. I think it was important for us to realize those women’s desire to go to space. And I think in Season 2 even more, we see that the women are coming to the forefront. Not only females but also in [overall] diversity, it was important for us to see that there was inclusion, not only Season 1 but moving forward, because the alternate reality wasn’t just in terms of technology but also in terms of a more inclusive society.
Created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, For All Mankind stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt, Jodi Balfour, Krys Marshall, Sonya Walger, Cynthy Wu, Coral Peña and Casey W. Johnson. Season 2 premieres on Apple TV+ on Feb. 19.
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