In the realm of entertainment, space has long been the ultimate playground for human imagination, and it’s not just about boldly going where no one has gone before in the world of Star Trek. The concept of space exploration has captivated our collective consciousness ever since the Space Race, an era marked by a fervent embrace of the boundless cosmos that beckoned us beyond the confines of our home planet.
But here’s the twist: in the future envisioned by Star Trek, space exploration has become so ingrained in human existence that it’s almost second nature. The technology is polished, and everything runs like a well-oiled machine, save for the occasional hiccup required for dramatic episodes. Don’t get us wrong; we still adore Star Trek deeply. However, the humanity portrayed in this iconic franchise often feels like it belongs to a parallel universe, removed from the world we know today. While there are sporadic time-travel episodes that tantalize us with hints of the past, the full saga – the struggles, blunders, sacrifices, and herculean efforts that transformed humanity – remains largely uncharted territory for Star Trek.
Enter a refreshing and much-needed alternative: Apple TV+’s For All Mankind. The connection between Star Trek and this show is unmistakable, thanks to the involvement of Ron D. Moore, who co-created For All Mankind. Moore, a veteran of Star Trek, having contributed to The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and several Star Trek movies in the 1990s, understands the essence of exploration and the fusion of human drama with science fiction, much like the core principles of Star Trek.
While it’s not an official Star Trek origin story (legalities, anyone?), For All Mankind captures the spirit of exploration and the human experience, crafting a tale that feels like the Star Trek backstory we’ve always yearned for.
Of course, it’s not a seamless fit into the Star Trek timeline, with marked differences like a Martian colony established in the 1990s and an extended Cold War backdrop. For those not yet acquainted with For All Mankind, it’s an alternate history series springing from a single twist in our timeline – the Russians triumphing in the race to the Moon. This ignites the space race as the new battleground in the Cold War between the United States and the USSR. The show’s ingenious structure propels it through decades of technological and political evolution, paving the way for a reality that’s almost ours yet leaps ahead in technological terms, inching closer to a scenario ready for Star Trek’s interstellar voyages.
But it’s not just about the tech and politics; the beating heart of For All Mankind lies in its portrayal of humanity. Amidst political divisions and maneuvers, the show champions the struggle to overcome artificial barriers, encouraging us to broaden our perspectives. In this regard, it aligns perfectly with Star Trek’s values. However, For All Mankind tells this story from the vantage point of individuals still grappling with their limited worldviews, as opposed to Star Trek’s future where humanity has evolved into a more enlightened state.
For All Mankind shares the core values of Star Trek but uses them to tell a unique story. It’s a political drama akin to the complexity of Deep Space Nine, bolder and edgier than Enterprise, and packed with humor reminiscent of the original Star Trek. At its zenith, it stands as one of the most powerful science fiction dramas on television today, transcending genre constraints to become one of TV’s most compelling dramas overall. It’s a show that deserves a broader audience, especially among Star Trek enthusiasts. Unofficially and removed from official Trek canon, it is the narrative of our journey to become the enlightened beings that Star Trek has always envisioned us to be.