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Series / For All Mankind

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Walter Cronkite: After thousands of years of gazing up into the heavens and dreaming of this day, man is about to set foot on the moon. Across the world, people wait with bated breath. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a live signal. There he is! The shock across the nation at this event is just... indescribable. The Soviet cosmonaut has become the first to set foot on the moon.

For All Mankind is a live action Historical Fiction and Alternate History TV series on Apple TV+, created by Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi. It shows a fictional history of the Space Race where the Soviets landed on the moon before the Americans. NASA finds themselves scrambling to meet or exceed the Russians, including training female astronauts and creating a lunar base. Moore has reportedly planned out an entire seven season story arc in advance.

The series stars Joel Kinnaman as Edward Baldwin, Michael Dorman as Gordo Stevens, Wrenn Schmidt as Margo Madison, Sarah Jones as Tracy Stevens, Shantel Van Santen as Karen Baldwin, and Jodi Balfour as Ellen Waverly.

Previews: First Look Trailer, Official Trailer


For All Mankind provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • After Patty's death, Ed is teaching his son how to ride a bike. The kid keeps falling down no matter how persistant Ed is in his training. When Ed is called away, he realizes that in the end he cannot prepare his son for every danger and something bad can happen to his child no matter how much he tries to prevent it. A few years later his son is riding his bike, is hit by a car and dies in the hospital.
    • Karen Baldwin arrives home and is greeted by two police officers who inform her that her son has been in an accident. He's rendered braindead, putting everyone on the ground in the horrific position of having to keep it secret from Ed so his grief won't further compromise the already precarious mission.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: After the destruction of Apollo 23, a technician bitterly notes that Gene Kranz is the only one of the twelve casualties whose name anyone will ever remember. Von Braun also stresses that he knew every member of the ground crew that was killed.
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  • Allohistorical Allusion: Mary Jo Kopechne survives past 1969, but still puts Ted Kennedy's political career in jeopardy when they're suspected of an affair.
  • Alternate History:
    • What if the Soviets were the first to land on the moon?
    • Edward Baldwin was the commander of Apollo 10 rather than Thomas Stafford.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • Danielle's pre-astronaut position at NASA of computer was actually a job title to describe a person.
    • When VHS was first introduced, studios were worried that home video recording would cut into ad revenues.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After Ed puts his NASA career in jeopardy, Karen gives him a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech. At first it seems that she is being selfish and is angry about losing social status and the perks of being an astronaut's wife but it soon becomes clear that she is worried about Ed. If he goes back to active duty with the Navy, he will most likely be posted to combat duty over Vietnam where he could be hurt and/or killed.
  • Batman Gambit: Von Braun correctly predicts that once the NASA administrator reads his report on the Apollo 23 disaster, he will order it covered up. At this point von Braun cannot directly benefit from this so he insists that he will only give the report to Margo. This will give Margo the blackmail material needed for her to get the promotion she deserves.
  • The Beard: Ellen and Larry become this to each other since their careers would be over if NASA found out that they were gay. Because they hang out together so much people already assume that they are romantically involved which makes the ruse easier. When the FBI starts to investigate them, they have to get married to maintain their cover.
  • Break the Haughty: Gordo starts the series extremely arrogant, cocky and entitled. His experience on Apollo 22 breaks him and he seeks help from a therapist.
  • Broken Pedestal: With Wernher von Braun no longer protected by successfully getting the first person on the moon, Nixon has the full extent of his Nazi affiliations dug up to drum him out of NASA.
  • But Not Too Gay: While we briefly see Ellen in bed with a romantic partner, it's unlikely the relationship will be in close focus.
  • Cabin Fever: The Apollo 22 crew (Baldwin, Stevens, and Poole) gradually grow stir-crazy while stranded on the Jamestown Base. Gordo has the worst of it, regularly defying orders and becoming obsessed with The Bob Newhart Show.
  • Call-Back: Tracy finds out that Gordo is cheating on her because his mistress flashes the toilet while he is on the phone with Tracy. Two episodes later, Gordo calls up Tracy in her motel room and tries to guilt trip her so she flushes the toilet to make him think that there is someone else in the room. She then smiles and acts like nothing is going on.
  • Career-Building Blunder: Ed's unauthorized interview with a reporter in the first episode almost ends his career as an astronaut. However, he perseveres through his punishment and refuses to bad mouth NASA during the congressional hearing. This impresses a lot of people and he is subsequently put back in command of the Apollo 15 mission. The success of that mission is rewarded by giving him command of the important Apollo 22 mission.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Ed experiences this during Apollo 22 when Gordo Stevens has a mental breakdown. Keeping a mentally unstable astronaut on the moon puts the entire crew in danger but sending him back will destroy him as an astronaut which he will never recover from mentally. In addition, the US moon base cannot be left unattended due to Soviet presence in the area so someone has to stay behind, trapped alone on the moon till a relief mission arrives sometime in the next few weeks. Ed is eager to get home and his own sanity is strained but he is in command so he volunteers to stay behind.
  • Coming in Hot: Happens to Apollo 11 even worse than the real version, after which NASA spends several agonizing hours trying to reestablish contact. Luckily, they did survive and are able to return.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Just like Nixon's real life successor Gerald Ford, Ted Kennedy gives him a pardon for the Watergate Scandal upon becoming President. Nixon is rather less appreciative getting it from a Democrat.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Apollo 23 exploded within minutes of the ERA passing. Illinois passed the amendment in time in part due to a NASA contract delivered to an aerospace company in Illinois; that company's manufacturing defects led to the explosion.
  • Cool Car: As in real history, Chevrolet was savvy enough to make a deal to give Corvettes to all the astronauts, knowing everyone would want to drive the same car as them.
  • Creator Provincialism: The series focuses entirely on the American space program while the Soviets are simply a vague, unknowable force. This handily means they didn't have to spend any effort on an explanation of exactly what differences to real history allowed them to get to the moon first and could simply present the act itself as the point of departure.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • This is concluded to be the likely cause of Patty's fatal LEM crash. Being primarily a helicopter pilot, she wasn't accustomed to being able to eject when that should have been her first reaction, like what saved Neil Armstrong from a similar crash in real life.
    • When training on the moon rover Ed warns Molly that pilots have a tendency to treat it like a plane rather than the wheeled ground vehicle it is. They look at their controls and check behind and to the sides rather than looking straight ahead which can be dangerous when driving over rocky moon terrain.
  • Dirty Business: Passing the Equal Rights Amendment required a lot of under-the-table political deals and NASA was not immune. This results in 23 men dying because the manufacturing of a key part was moved to Illinois in order to buy the governor's support.
  • Disaster Dominoes: The launch of Apollo 24 is plagued by breakdowns and delays. Fixing one issue, results in something else breaking down which causes another launch window to be missed. By the time of the next launch window, something else breaks down. The constant delays have a bad affect on the crew of Apollo 22 who are waiting for Apollo 24 to relief them on the moon. This culminates in the tragedies of Gordo having a mental breakdown and Ed being stuck on the moon when his son dies in an accident.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • The astronauts all head to the bar after the Soviet moon landing...which causes Ed to spill his guts to a reporter about how he thinks NASA lost its balls after the Apollo 1 disaster.
    • When Ed Baldwin finds out that his son is dead, he finds a bottle of alcohol and gets drunk.
  • Double Standard: An angry Margo who thinks Molly isn't taking Apollo 15 seriously enough says that she can't just be good, she has to be perfect, because of this.
  • Epic Fail: One of the female ascans starts landing her plane way too fast, and bounces off the runway before being forced to take off again (known by pilots as "porpoising"). Amazingly, it takes her a bit longer to get cut.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Once Margo sees that von Braun's report on the Appollo 23 disaster is going to be covered up she decides that she does not want to be a whistle-blower and instead trades her cooperation for a promotion.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • The Soviet moon landing results in cancelling the Chappaquiddick party where in real life Ted Kennedy had a car accident that killed his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, ending his hopes of becoming President despite his avoiding jail time.
      • Because Kennedy becomes President in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment passes in 1974. However, this required an under-the-table deal with the governor of Illinois, which unwittingly led to the Apollo 23 disaster.
      • Kennedy has an affair with Mary Jo Kopechne, bringing her to the White House as a staffer.note  The affair comes out as a scandal in 1974.
    • It's implied that this caused Apollo 11's landing to be much rougher than in real life.
    • Apollo 12 is not struck by lightning during launch. The Soviet landing led to the launch's timetable being pushed up, which meant it didn't launch during a storm.
    • Neither is any mention made of the Apollo 13 disaster, which would have taken place during the female astronauts' training.
  • Gender Is No Object: No one voices any problems per se with women being astronauts, and ERA protestors are shown with signs and buttons saying "A woman's place is in space". Objections tend to be raised more towards flying experience, and in Tracy's case, going from stay-at-home mother to astronaut. It is then revealed that the program was always meant to be a publicity stunt and the White House was waiting for a politically convenient time to scrap it.
  • Generation Xerox: Just as von Braun took Margo under his wing to train her in engineering, she does the same with Aleida Rosales.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Gordo eventually loses it when the Apollo 22 crew gets stranded at the moon base, becoming obsessed with ants that escaped a broken farm even long after Danielle recaptured them all, and forcing the others to recreate the episode of The Bob Newhart Show that was their only entertainment after the Betamax gets wrecked.
  • Heroic BSoD: The United States (and implied the entire Western world) has one when the Soviets land on the moon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After Gordo becomes dangerously unstable while stranded at the moon base, Danielle breaks her arm for an excuse to bring him back in the lifeboat, likely seriously impacting her career, so that the extent of his breakdown won't become public knowledge and result in him permanently losing all his pilot's licenses.
  • Historical Domain Character:
    • Many real-life NASA officials and astronauts appear, including Deke Slayton, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, Pete Conrad, John Glenn, Gene Kranz, and Wernher von Braun.
    • Richard Nixon appears through stock photos and a soundalike on the Nixon tapes. At one point he's heard speaking about the space program with Henry Kissinger.
    • Alexei Leonov, the first cosmonaut to land on the moon, was also a real-life cosmonaut who performed the first-ever spacewalk.
    • Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters appear delivering Practical Voice Overs.
  • Historical In-Joke: In real life, Leonov helped end the space race with the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, where he met Deke Slayton and the commander of Apollo 10.note  Here, Leonov landing on the moon first keeps the space race going.
  • Hope Spot: With the crew of Apollo 22 stuck in the moon base while their relief suffers delay after delay, Gordo becomes unstable. Ed is able to talk him down and takes him on a moon walk so they can get away from the claustrophobic moon base. Gordo seems better and opens up to Ed about what is bothering. Just as it seems that the crisis is over, Gordo thinks that he sees one of the escaped ants in his space suit and freaks out. Ed calms him down but one or both of them could have been killed as a result. Ed realizes that they need to get Gordo back to Earth before he gets them all killed.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!:
    • Ed is convinced that he could have successfully landed the Apollo 10 lander on the moon thus beating the Soviets to the moon. He initially blames Van Braun for being too cautious but he ultimately acknowledges that the decision not to land was his own and was probably the correct one.
    • Molly could have been one one of the original Mercury astronauts and is quite bitter about getting removed from the program just because she was a woman. As such she is extremely pessimistic about the new female astronaut program and does not believe that she will ever be allowed to go to the Moon.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • When watching Leonov's first words from the moon, Baldwin reaches behind the bar to grab a bottle and pour it into his glass.
    • The next day, Slayton tells the entire astronaut corps first thing in the morning to leave NASA and go blow off steam over the weekend. They all decide to go back to the same bar.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The Watergate scandal still happened, even though Nixon lost to Ted Kennedy in 1972. Kennedy pardoned Nixon just as Ford did in real life.
    • Deke Slayton is brought back to flight status and assigned to Apollo 24, as he was to the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Gordo is a lousy husband but he is right when he tells Tracy that she will not become an astronaut by complaining about how hard the training is. Likewise, Molly was needlessly cruel when chewing her out, but she is correct that Tracy can't let being tired affect her performance if she wants to be an astronaut.
    • Tracy is insulted when Deke Slayton suggests that she voluntarily withdraw from the program since the next stage will be really dangerous and unforgiving for someone with her lack of experience. Tracy sees that Deke's concerns were valid when the much more experienced Patty is killed during training.
    • The female astronauts are patronized all the time by the male astronauts and thus can miss when the same men genuinely give them valid information. When training on the moon rover, Molly thins that Ed is implying that she cannot drive a car but he is actually warning her not to fall into a bad habit of operating it like it was an airborne plane rather than a wheeled ground vehicle.
    • Von Braun correctly points out that the "soft skill" of playing well with a team has passed Margo by and this swayed the NASA brass away from promoting her to Flight Director.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Deke Slayton is opposed to having female astronauts and he mercilessly culls the candidates from the program. However, once the remaining women have proven themselves, he will not scrap the program just because the political winds have shifted. He risks his career to give them a chance to succeed or fail on their own merits.
  • The Lad-ette: Molly Cobb, a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, haggard member of the abortive Mercury 13 program who's pressed back into service when Nixon demands an American woman on the moon. Deke has to fight for her to be included as the government wants someone more attractive to get the job.
  • Lighter and Softer: The show rather surprisingly takes the view that a world where the Soviets won the race to the moon would be better than what really happened in several ways, with women getting to be astronauts, space travel continuing to be a viable prospect past the actual landing, and Ted Kennedy still being a viable presidential candidate against Nixon.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Deke Slayton consistently wears a dark blue polo shirt and black pants.
  • MacGyvering: Ed and Molly cannibalize their rover to make a rappelling harness to search a deep crater for ice. Molly has to put her trust in the cable being able to hold her, with no way to test it.
  • Moon Base: NASA plans a permanent lunar base called Moonlab, as a Historical In-Joke based on the Skylab space station.
  • Moving the Goalposts: After the Soviets land on the moon first, NASA changes the goal of the Space Race, training female astronauts and planning lunar colonies and manned interplanetary exploration.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ed is horribly guilt-ridden after Patty's death in a LEM test he was administering, convinced he overlooked some instruction that would have avoided the crash. This leads him to be unhelpfully aggressive while teaching his son to ride a bike.
  • Never My Fault: Von Braun runs through every excuse possible as to why he's not complicit in and responsible for many horrors of WWII, from "I'm just an engineer" to "I didn't know" to "I would have been killed if I spoke up". Only after Margo repeatedly questions him about whether he knew that his rockets were being built using concentration camp slave labor does he even come close to admitting he did anything wrong. Even then, his idea of "admitting" it is saying that important scientific work requires sacrifice.
  • Noble Demon: The show pulls no punches about Von Braun’s culpability in the Nazis’ atrocities, but he’s sincerely devoted to advancing the American space program and keeping it as safe as possible. If he’d still been around, there’s no way the destruction of Apollo 23 would have happened.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Molly isn't interested in being a feminist icon or challenging gender roles, she just wants to fly. However, when she finally gets chosen to go into space, an angry lecture from Margo and the admiration of the other women at NASA change her attitude somewhat.
  • Not So Different: Molly points out to Ed that they are not as different as they think they are. Just like many others pioneers and explorers they are selfish and egoistical. They go out to further human knowledge get glory and the people they leave behind get sick from worry.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Apollo 23 had a launch escape system which let the command module and crew survive the explosion of the Saturn V. Unfortunately, unlike the Soyuz, Apollo's command module is designed to splashdown, not land, and the CM hits the beach instead of the ocean. The crew survives but is severely injured, still recovering two months later.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Donald Kent Slayton is addressed by everyone by his nickname "Deke".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lampshaded by Slayton when he tells the Apollo astronauts just how disappointing and angry the Mercury astronauts were when the Soviets beat them to sending the first man into space. Things were so bad that John Glenn said "fuck". Everyone in NASA knew that Glenn never swears.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Harry Weisner, the NASA administrator under Ted Kennedy. He wants to bury von Braun's report about the political cause behind Apollo 23's explosion, and has to be blackmailed by Madison to keep it under wraps.
  • Propaganda Machine: Leonov, like Neil Armstrong in real life, used the phrase "one small step" when landing on the moon. The context is, ahem, slightly different:
    Alexei Leonov: I take this step for my country, for my people, and for the Marxist-Leninst way of life. Knowing that today is but one small step on a journey that someday will take us all to the stars.
  • Punny Headlines: The Houston Sentinel on the day after the Soviet moon landing uses the headline "Red Moon."
  • Rank Up: For his actions during Apollo 22, Ed is promoted to captain.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After Red Moon, Slayton gives the astronauts the day off so they can indulge in Drowning My Sorrows and vent their anger in a way that will not impact their work. It is a good idea but it also means that you have a bunch of inebriated, pissed off astronauts who might not be careful about what they say to a reporter in a bar.
    • Astronaut training is dangerous and the female candidates lack the extra experience the men had. This results in Patty being killed in a training accident.
    • The US military leaders are extremely eager to have bases on the moon and then the engineers present them with the reality of the situation. It will take at least two years to have a bare bones base that could be placed on the moon and it will have to be mainly a test site for figuring out how humans can survive on the moon for long periods of time. Having a significant military presence on the moon is not realistic for a long time.
    • The Soviets try to beat the Americans to being the first to establish a base on the moon but appear to push their program beyond its limits and crash the lander.
    • Most of the male astronauts come from the military so their wives had to previously deal with the fact that their husband might not come back alive from a mission. To further deal with the stress of being an astronaut's spouse, the wives have developed a support network where they watch out for each other and give constant emotional support to each other. Molly's husband Wayne has no experience dealing with such stresses and as a man is treated as an outsider to the wives' support network. It's no wonder that when Molly goes into space, Wayne is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and is suffering from horrible nightmares.
    • NASA administrators are political appointees and the massive NASA budget is ripe for political maneuvering. So lucrative contracts might be awarded for political reasons even if the recipient of the contract is not up to the job. The manufacturing of a key valve component is moved to an Illinois plant to secure the governor's support of the Equal Rights Amendment. A defective valve causes Apollo 23 to blow up.
    • NASA astronauts are given rigorous psychological tests to make sure that they can perform under extreme stresses. However, being stuck on the moon for months in a cramped moon base provides its own set of unique stresses. Someone with a temperament that makes him an excellent combat and test pilot might not be best suited to a long period of boredom combined with the low level but constant stress of living in the hostile moon environment.
    • Astronauts brave extreme danger to go into space where any mistake can kill you. This makes it easy to forget that life for the people left on Earth can also be dangerous. A mistake on the moon can kill you in seconds but so can a distracted driver a block from your home.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Tracy repeatedly messes up a flight sim, Molly snaps at her that being tired isn't an excuse and tells her that she is only there because having an astronaut couple is good PR for Nixon, and that if she weren't Gordo's wife she would already have been cut.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After Ed tells a reporter how he really feels about NASA and von Braun, he is removed from Apollo 15 and assigned to Apollo Applications. When it appears that his days as an astronaut are finished, Ed prepares to quit NASA and return to active duty in the Navy.
    • This may have happened to Alan Shepard,the first American in space,who has not yet appeared.
  • Refuge in Audacity: After getting orders from the White House to scrap the female astronaut program, Deke calls a press conference announcing the four remaining women as the next astronauts, making it impossible for anyone to order them expelled without serious political fallout.
  • Rousing Speech: Kranz gives one to Mission Control prior to the launch of Apollo 11:
    Gene Kranz: Till a few weeks ago, I thought I knew what today was all about. I thought it was about being first. Turns out the stakes are much bigger than that. Today is about the future of our country. The future of the world. Because if we fail in our mission today, the United States will turn away from space, turn away from the future. Bogged down by war, poverty, hatred. And the future? Well, the future will belong to the Soviet Union. They will be the ones reaching into space for all of mankind. Now, I want you all to think about that for a moment. What that means for the future, to look like "the Marxist-Leninst way of life." But if we succeed, if we succeed in putting Apollo 11 on the moon, we're still in this thing. Still in the race. The future will be ours to fight for and to win. We put a man on the moon today, I guarantee we are not stopping there. We're going to Mars, Saturn, the asteroids, the stars, deep space, the galaxy. And then, then we're getting answers to the big questions. Are we alone? Is there life out there? I am proud to be a member of this team, and I know that we will succeed today in our mission... in putting two Americans on the moon. Because in this room, in this agency, in this country... failure is not an option.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Once the female astronauts have proven themselves, Deke is not going to cut them from the program just because it is now politically convenient to do so. He risks his career and directly disobeys Nixon to make sure that they are given a chance.
  • Show Within a Show: VHS tapes of The Bob Newhart Show are given to the Jamestown Base to watch.
  • Slave to PR: Without the popularity bump of landing the fist man on the moon, NASA and the White House scramble for any good publicity they can get. This means that female astronaut project is fast-tracked despite Deke Slayton's objections but also means that the White House cannot completely side step Slayton since his resignation would be a PR nightmare.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Margo Madison, flight dynamics officer from Sweet Home Alabama, with the accent to match.
  • The Stoner: Molly and her husband Wayne are into marijuana. When Molly is chosen for Apollo 15, Wayne hits it even harder in a desperate attempt to stop his constant worrying that she won’t come back.
  • Take That!: The show's crew clearly greatly enjoys taking real life Karma Houdini Wernher von Braun down a few pegs, even punctuating it with a clip of the Tom Lehrer song.
  • Tap on the Head: Sean Baldwin is hit by a car and sustains a head injury. He is taken to hospital but the damage is too severe and he never wakes up. A top neurosurgeon is flown in but all he can do is confirm that the patient is brain dead.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Hi Bob" takes place around Thanksgiving in 1974, and was released Thanksgiving Day in 2019.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. NASA has plenty of psychologists on staff but going to see one could be career ending for an astronaut. When Gordo decides that he needs to see a therapist, he picks one at random from the phone book and relies on doctor-patient confidentiality to keep it secret from NASA.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Baldwin has one so often it's practically his default expression. Justified in that as a Navy test pilot and astronaut, he's trained to be The Stoic.
  • Title Drop: The phrase "for all mankind" comes from the lunar plaque which was (in reality) left on the moon by Apollo 11. There's debate over what to be done with the plaque, now that the phrase "first set foot" no longer applies.
  • Token Minority: Subverted. Danielle is claimed to be one when her name first comes up as a prospective candidate, but her science background, work at NASA, and piloting experience make her a qualified candidate.
  • Training from Hell: The astronaut training is unforgiving with candidates being constantly tested and ranked with those at the bottom of the ranking regularly cut from the program. Only ten female candidates make it to the desert survival test and only five make it to day 200 when the really difficult and dangerous training begins.
  • Undying Loyalty: When everyone thinks that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin died landing on the moon, Michael Collins refuses to leave lunar orbit.
    CAPCOM: Mike, I think we all understand how you feel, but...
    Collins: All due respect, Houston, I don't think you do understand. I decided a long time ago that if something like this were to happen, that I wasn't coming home alone. I'm staying right where I am. Columbia, out.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Upon becoming President, Ted Kennedy cuts a deal to change the lucrative contract for building Saturn rockets to a company in Illinois to get a Republican senator from the state to change sides and get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. The new company promptly cuts a few corners and causes Apollo 23 to be an even worse disaster than Apollo 1, exploding during maintenance and killing twelve people including Gene Kranz, plus leaving the previous crew stuck at the moon base much longer than intended.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Seeing a cosmonaut on the moon planting a Soviet flag.
    • The second episode ends with footage from the second Soviet mission revealing that one of the cosmonauts is a woman.
    • Gordo sees a massive smoke plume at the training ground, right after Tracy started training with the LEM and Ed reminds them of Neil Armstrong’s (real life) narrow escape from a fiery crash on this same test. This is actually just tricky editing, and it was Patty who was killed.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: After Ed talks to a reporter without permission he is offered a chance to denounce the contents of the article as false. Ed is too honorable to do so since the reporter truthfully reported what Ed told him. Later Ed is given a chance to testify against von Braun in front of a congressional hearing and tell them that it was von Braun's fault that Apollo 10 did not land on the moon. In the last moment Ed concludes that he made the decision not to land on his own and he refuses to lie and place the blame on von Braun. Earlier, Karen lampshaded the fact that Ed is not the type of person to lie to save his own hide.
  • Witch Hunt: After Apollo 23 blows up, the FBI starts an investigation into possible Soviet infiltration of NASA. Larry fears that if they do not find real spies, they will instead use the investigation to expose and persecute NASA's gay employees.
  • You Are Grounded: Occurs twice, once in Episode 6, and again in Episode 7, when Edward's son Shane becomes a much more unruly child, especially in his father's absence. This culminates in a blow-out argument between Shane and his mother, with her slapping him in the face, and him running away and getting involved in an accident. This unremarkably sounds similar to the first episode of Caprica. Just replace Shane with Zoe Graystone, and a road accident with a terrorist attack, and it's practically the same. And given both of those particular episodes were written by Ronald D. Moore, does it seem more than a coincidence?!
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Gordo is cheating on Tracy. Deke and Edward know and make their disapproval clear. Tracy finds out, but is talked out of leaving him by Karen.note  This naturally rouses Tracy's suspicions when he's stranded on the moon base with Danielle.
    • Ted Kennedy's affair with Mary Jo Kopechne eventually gets revealed after becoming President.

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