Equally, because the Russian space program then successfully places a female cosmonaut on the moon, there is immediate pressure in the US to find a female astronaut to lead their program. “America says where are the female astronauts and there aren’t any so then Nixon says, well, get me a woman, I want a woman on the moon,” Moore says. “Something that starts as a publicity stunt but will have much bigger ramifications as the show goes forward.”
In talking to Apple about their planned streaming platform Apple TV+, Moore says completeness of vision mattered greatly. That they were not simply pitching an open-ended television series, but rather a narrative drama with beginning, middle and end.
“It wasn’t really something that Apple said but because of the concept of what this was, I kind of felt that it needed that, to sort of give us an understanding as we were creating it, where we were going and how this was all going to lay out,” Moore says.
The origin of the series can be traced through an early concept of a drama centred around Skylab and NASA in the 1970s, which then became a sort of “Mad Men meets NASA” set in the 1960s and 1970s before Moore finally proposed flipping the idea and exploring an alternate history of NASA.
Critically, Moore says, the series is optimistic in tone. “Alternate history pieces in general, in my experience, are usually dystopian, are usually some terrible event has happened, you know, Hitler won the Second World War or something,” he says. “This is not that. This is truly an optimistic show with an optimistic idea.”
Instead, For All Mankind is a “vision of the path that we could have taken, and that we still can,” Moore says. “The premise basically is that by losing the race for the moon, we actually won so much more, you know, we changed the course of history in ways large and small, but the world, the country and the world, are really put on a more positive path. We become a better people, we become a better nation, and eventually we live in a better world.
“The Apollo 11 astronauts left a plaque on the moon that said: Here men from the Planet Earth first set foot on the moon in July of 1969. We came in peace for all Mankind. That’s the inspiration for our show, it’s the inspiration for the title, and I think that’s the inspiration for the spirit of the show.
“We really want to do something that is about a better planet, a better people, a better future, and it’s not just something that could have happened but oh, isn’t it sad it didn’t – it’s still something that we could do today, it’s still something that we could reach for tomorrow and I think it still could make a difference in all of our lives.”
For All Mankind