Perseverance’s Mars Landing Inspires Apple TV+’s ‘For All Mankind’, Creator Ronald D. Moore Reveals; Perfect Timing

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Dominic Patten
·3 min read
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Is it merely coincidence that NASA’s Perseverance landed on Mars on Thursday and the alt-history space race drama For All Mankind saw its second season debut Friday on Apple TV+?

Not according to some of the series’ creators and cast.

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“The timing isn’t bad either I have to give Apple credit for making it right for our launch,” said executive producer Ben Nedivi today on a panel at the virtual TCA “I think they funded Perseverance just for our launch,” added a laughing Joel Kinnaman. “It’s all coming together,” stated EP Ronald D. Moore.

All joking aside, and the timing is kind of great for For All Mankind, the much heralded and much watched touchdown on the red planet by the $2.7 billion robotic explorer on Thursday has had a real impact on the show, says Moore.

“I did see it and it was really cool and it was fun to sort of watch something like that happen when we’ve played moments like that in our fictional universe …seeing people watch a landing and then burst into applause,” said Moore of the landing and the socially distanced reaction at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif on Thursday. “I was sort of struck by just the palpable emotion in that room. It was really special to watch that and be working on a show like this.”

Launched on July 30, Perseverance’s primary mission is to “search for signs of ancient microbial life,” according to NASA. In its role as “the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith,” Perseverance is “paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet,” the space agency says.

“Certainly Perseverance’s achievement and NASA’s exploration of Mars is definitely something we talk about in the writers’ room currently,” Moore noted Friday. “We talked about it just this week and its definitely part and parcel on our on-going conversation as we get into the third season,” he added.

Now set in the Reagan Era and with the weaponization of space at the forefront of the new 10-episode season (see my review here), For All Mankind was renewed for a third season back on December 8 last year. The Sony Pictures Television produced show will into production for the upcoming cycle next month, AppleTV+ announced today.

“It’s really cool to be part of this show that is diving into space exploration and going further and further into space during the time when there has been the most excitement in this area since the Apollo era,” Kinnaman remarked today.

Besides Kinnaman, EPs Moore and Nedivi, Friday’s panel featured cast members Krys Marshall and Wrenn Schmidt, plus co-creator Matt Wolpert, executive producer

Moore, Nedivi, and Wolpert executive produce For All Mankind alongside Golden Maril Davis of Tall Ship Productions.

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