For All Mankind season 4 is once again fast-forwarding to the future, with new cast members on board. The Apple TV Plus space drama concluded its third season with another action-packed, jaw-dropping finale that leaped to the year 2003.
For All Mankind season 4 will continue the epic story that began with a provocative premise: What if the Russians landed on the Moon first, before Americans? The space race never ended, and the two Cold War foes only ramped up the competition to colonize the Moon and beyond.
The show maintains a breathtaking pace, with season 1 covering the period between 1969 through 1973. Season 2 jumped a decade in time to 1983, while season 3 vaulted to 1995, when the Soviets, Americans and a surprising new rival competed to land first on Mars.
Yet again, the show is moving ahead at breakneck speed to the early 2000s. With the deaths of several key characters, and the aging of others, For All Mankind is expected to introduce new faces, new goals and new challenges. And as always, the alternate history will tweak, reflect and parallel real events.
Here's everything we know so far about For All Mankind season 4.
For All Mankind season 4 release date speculation
Apple TV Plus has not set a For All Mankind season 4 release date, though it did announce its renewal at Comic-Con in July 2022.
Fans will likely not have to wait too long for the next installment. Seasons have generally been released about 12 months apart.
The first season premiered with the launch of Apple TV Plus on Nov. 1, 2019. Season 2 debuted on Feb. 19, 2021, and season 3 on June 10, 2022.
Our best guess is that season 4 will arrive in October or November 2023.
For All Mankind season 4 cast
The ensemble cast of For All Mankind will experience even more changes in season 4.
For one, two key figures won't be returning due to their characters' deaths: Shantel VanSanten as Karen Baldwin and Sonya Walger as Molly Cobb.
Their generational peers are likely to be back, though they will need significant aging makeup (which hopefully will be better done than in season 3). They include Joel Kinnaman as Ed Baldwin, Krys Marshall as Danielle Poole, Jodi Balfour as Ellen Wilson and Wrenn Schmidt as Margo Madison.
In 2003, Ed should be in his mid- to late 70s, with Danielle, Ellen and Margo perhaps in their early 70s or late 60s.
The younger generation sticking around is likely to include Coral Peña as Aleida Rosales, Cynthy Wu as Kelly Baldwin, Casey W. Johnson as Danny Stevens and David Chandler as Jimmy Stevens.
Season 3's new cast member Edi Gathegi may reprise his role as Dev Ayesa, a charismatic entrepreneur whose company Helios funded a private mission to Mars.
We may also see supporting cast like Nate Corddry as First Gentleman Larry Wilson, Meghan Leathers as Pam Horton, Goran Ivanovski as Dr. Dimitri Mayakovsky, Robert Bailey Jr. as Will Tyler, and Vera Cherny as Roscosmos director Lenara Catiche.
Nate Corddry as Larry Wilson, Ellen's husband
Meghan Leathers as Pam Horton, Ellen's lover
Lev Gorn as Grigory Kuznetsov, a Soviet cosmonaut on the Mars mission
Goran Ivanovski as Dr. Dimitri Mayakovsky, a Soviet cosmonaut
Vera Cherny as Lenara Catiche, director of Roscosmos
Robert Bailey Jr. as Will Tyler, NASA astronaut
C.S. Lee as Lee Jung-gil, North Korean astronaut
Sean Patrick Thomas as Corey Johnson, Danielle's husband
Madeline Bertani as Amber Stevens, Danny's wife
For All Mankind season 4 will feature some new faces in the cast. Daniel Stern (Home Alone, narrator of The Wonder Years) is joining as a series regular and playing new NASA administrator Eli Hobson. A former auto industry CEO, Hobson's mission is to bring the agency into the 21st century, a much bigger challenge than anticipated.
Toby Kebbell (Servant) is Miles, described as "a former offshore oil platform worker who pursues a new job opportunity on Mars."
For All Mankind season 4 plot and season 3 finale, explained
The season 3 finale of For All Mankind lived up to the the gut punches of the previous two season finales and, once again, advanced the timeline of the show.
To save Kelly and her baby, the combined NASA Roscosmos and Helios crew members must find a way to launch her aboard the Popeye to rendezvous with Phoenix in orbit.
Danielle and Kuznetsov head out to a Soviet-built probe to retrieve a necessary component. There, they are shocked to be confronted by a gun-wielding North Korean astronaut. Turns out, North Korea beat everybody at landing the first person on Mars. After disarming him, they take him back to Happy Valley.
With the component in place, Popeye can only launch after all the other crew members volunteer to stay back and wait for the next mission to rescue them. Ed will still have to pilot her there, but it's a dangerous flight as he won't have fuel for the return. Danny attempts to alleviate his guilt by volunteering to fly in Ed's place and reveals his role in the mining disaster. This only enrages Ed, who promises to deal with him later.
As everyone prepares for the mission, Margo learns from the Soviets that she is being investigated by the FBI. Karen gets a troubling call about Jimmy Stevens, who has been lurking outside JSC with his conspiracy theorist friends. When he becomes uncertain of their intentions, they lock him up in a van. Karen finds him — and discovers it's housing a bomb.
On Mars, the Popeye launch is successfully and Kelly is able to board Phoenix. Ed manages to survive the crash landing.
On Earth, the bomb goes off. Karen dies under the rubble, while Molly heroically leads survivors out of danger but also perishes. Aleida finds Margo's office torn to shreds and her mentor missing.
Danny is exiled by his fellow crew members to the North Korean vessel. Ellen, now publicly out, shows up on Pam's doorstep again. Margo is revealed to be alive, living in Moscow in 2003.
Margo's choice to evade prison and join the Soviets will be a big part of season 4, according to co-creator Ben Nedivi. He told Variety, "it is definitely one of the storylines we are most excited for in Season 4. It is a real departure for the show."
Russia is, in its way, a new frontier for the show, as Nedivi told TVLine, and they'll be "taking a peek beyond the Iron Curtain in a way that I don’t think we’ve been able to so far on the show."
While the show continue to push forward in space exploration, Mars will still be a major focus. Several questions remain regarding the nascent Mars colony. For one, will the combined crew survive long enough to be rescued? Second, will Danny unearth the North Korean's Chekhov's gun and kill himself?
"I think we’re still not done with Mars yet, to be honest,” Nedivi said. "We just started exploring what is possible on Mars this season, and we didn’t even get there till halfway through this season. So we do intend on kind of building on Mars and seeing a growing colony up there and what is possible up there.”
Back on Earth, aside from Margo's situation, plenty of history awaits between 1995 and 2003, including Ellen's reelection campaign, whether Congress takes control of NASA and changes brought about by the bombing (reminiscent of the the real-life Oklahoma City bombing). For All Mankind finds ways to parallel or put a twist on our own history. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see if and how the show addresses the contentious 2000 election, 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.