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The Americans, the Soviets and a new private-sector rival all set their sights on Mars in season three of Apple's Space Race hit
Season two of For All Mankind capped off with astronauts Gordo and Tracy managing to prevent the reactor at Jamestown moonbase from melting down. Alas, it came at the cost of their own lives, as the valiant duo succumbed to the vacuum of space when their makeshift duct-tape spacesuits proved inadequate. That sad scene is apparently ancient history as the storyline jumps ahead to the early 1990s for season-three of the alternate-history Space Race drama.
The 10-episode season, unrolling weekly on Apple TV+ starting this Friday, finds tensions having eased between the United States and Soviet Union but the Space Race is hot as ever. Because there’s a new frontier—Mars—and also a third player in the mix, an entrant from the private sector with a lot to prove and even more at stake.
Apple TV+Much of the cast from the first two seasons returns, including Joel Kinnaman as astronaut Ed Baldwin, Shantel VanSanten as his wife Karen, Jodi Balfour as astronaut Ellen Wilson, Wrenn Schmidt as NASA engineer Margo Madison, Sonya Walger as astronaut Molly Cobb and Krys Marshall as astronaut Danielle Poole.
New to the cast is Edi Gathegi (House) as Dev Ayesa, a character Apple publicity describes as a “charismatic visionary with his sights set on the stars.” For his part, Gathegi couldn’t elaborate much beyond that, lest he give away spoilers, except to say that he thinks Dev is a “very cool addition to the show.”
He admits he hadn’t watched the show until he auditioned for the role but soon found himself drawn in by the intelligent writing and a freedom to explore his character in depth.
“It felt very much like an actor’s playground,” he explains. “I felt the creators provided a landscape for the artist to be able to breathe within their performances, which is an actor’s dream, not to feel the pressure of rushing through moments but to breathe and live through experiences. So, I was excited to be able to do that kind of work with a lot of great actors that I saw…
“And it didn’t hurt that the show just felt very, very well produced,” he continues. “You know, it was written big in scope. It’s a show about space, for God’s sakes. And they do it right.”
Apple TV+Gathegi says he was also intrigued by the alt-history storyline and the “Easter eggs” that it leaves for viewers, such as the presence of electric cars in the ’80s.
“Watching and [going], ‘Hey, yeah. Technology, in our world, was expanding at a much more rapid rate because the arms race never ended, so what other innovations happened at a faster rate…?’ That’s cool, all these Easter eggs that you can watch. And I think this season, season three, is going to have even more.”
For All Mankind returns Friday, June 10th on Apple TV+