The writers behind “For All Mankind” have always understood the value of the “X” factor in their winning formula: melodrama. From suicide bombings to space fights to coming out as a lesbian during a national press conference, they wisely understand that the lush digital cinematography and contemplative shots of slowly revolving space stations aren’t enough to keep audiences hooked.
It’s clear from the season 4 trailer that the show’s dramatic streak has been kept entirely intact. Lines like “What are you gonna do with all that money when you’re dead?” and “I’m gonna get that rock or die trying!” promise an action-packed season full of residual Cold War tension and inter-agency drama. In his review of season 4 on /Film, Jeremy Mathai wrote that “competing self-interests, decades-old geopolitical rivalries, and numerous interpersonal conflicts finally come to bear” on the series, fusing into an explosive nucleus of binge-worthy goodness that “leaves most other sci-fi in the dust.”
The primary storyline of season 4 picks up right where season 3 left off, at the Happy Valley Mars colony. Things seem to be going swimmingly there, while back on Earth, Al Gore has been elected President and the “M-7 Alliance” has united the world’s major adversaries behind a cooperative goal of altruistic space exploration. But a floating boulder riven with veins of valuable iridium raises the very same competitive tensions that provided the series with its fuse in past seasons, so it seems we’re back in the pole position.
To see exactly how it all plays out, you can catch “For All Mankind” on Apple TV+ on November 10, 2023.