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What if the Space Race of the 1960s had never ended? Or happened in an alternate universe in which the Russians touched down on the Moon first, an event that would always be known in infamy (at least in the US) as "Red Moon"? This is why the cast of For All Mankind landed at NYCC.
"We decided if that had happened, it would have challenged and angered the US… at that point, you’re gonna forget the Russians had beat us in every category," Creator and executive producer Ron Moore told SYFY WIRE's Tara Bennett. If there was a "first in space" record during that era, Russia already shattered it.
With the space race on again for the Moon, and now Mars, For All Mankind couldn't have come at a better time. Wrenn Schmidt (Margo Madison), Shantael Van Santen (Karen Baldwin), Jody Balfour (Ellen Waverly), Michael Dorman (Gordo Stevens), Sarah Jones (Tracy Stevens) joined Moore for a journey through this alternate history—at least as much as they were allowed to tell us about it.
Because Moore wanted to give an idea of NASA as a whole, he decided to bring actors who were playing characters who were both astronauts and on the ground. Michael Dorman touched on the world the astronauts and their wives live in on the show, a bubble in which you have to be perfect because you're constantly in the public eye. Astronauts like Gordo had to give the public what they wanted in terms of what a relationship was supposed to be.
Remember that there was no YouTube or TikTok to give people instafame back then. Astronauts were thought of as superheroes who could do no wrong. While they really were (and are) superheroes, they're also human.
"They have to represent and embody an idealistic version (at the time) of what an all-American home should be," Sarah Jones, Dorman's TV wife, said. "You get to sort of see what that does to them behind the scenes."
Now that you've just got to find out more, keep watching!
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.