The Sci-Fi Streaming Series Leaving Others In Its Dust

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

for all mankind astronaut

Pop quiz, hotshot: what do you think is the best science fiction series streaming right now? You might be tempted to name high-profile shows like Strange New Worlds or Lower Decks on Paramount+, but the best sci-fi on right now is a very unexpected show from a very unexpected place. Apple TV+’s For All Mankind is impressing audiences all around the world, and as critic Jeremy Mathai said of the recent fourth season, “when firing on all cylinders, For All Mankind leaves most other sci-fi in the dust.”

The 20th Century Space Race Lives On In For All Mankind

What is For All Mankind about, exactly? This is an alternate history show with a premise that is both simple and provocative: the USSR beat the United States to the moon, fueling an endless space race that led to a world very different from our own. To help make all of this alternative history seem tangible, the show uses younger actors to feature real space heroes such as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. There is also tasteful use of archival footage that gives this entire universe a kind of pleasantly lived-in aesthetic that feels all too real.

For All Mankind Feels Like A Blockbuster Production

With that being said, what is it about For All Mankind that has almost unanimously won over critics? For one thing, the show balances the kind of crunchy introspection we expect from harder science fiction as well as the blockbuster entertainment we expect from mainstream sci-fi. This means the show is appealing whether you are a fan of historical fiction, retro storytelling, space exploration, or perhaps all three.

The Perfect Blend Of Sci-Fi And History

Additionally, part of what makes For All Mankind so special is the emphasis on historical events and the technology that fueled the space race never gets in the way of the writers delivering intensely personal stories. Again, the blend is just perfect: there is plenty of drama without descending into melodrama, and the plots are fantastic while still maintaining a pleasant veneer of believability. At times, this seems less like our own alternate history and more like a broadcast from elsewhere in the multiverse where the USSR really did beat America to the moon.

For All Mankind Is In Its Fourth Season

While we think there is never a bad time for you to binge For All Mankind and see what the hype is about, you may want to do so sooner rather than later. That’s because the fourth season premiered on Apple TV+ on November 10, and it’s destined to be an exciting season due to the fact that this season has brought the series closer than ever to our present day. The show has previously been driven by the truly “retro” rockets of nostalgia, and we’re excited to see what the show can do now that it has a license to tell more original stories than ever before. 

For All Mankind Is Transforming Modern Day Sci-Fi

Perhaps the best compliment we can give to For All Mankind is that it has reinvented our very notion of what science fiction can be. Major sci-fi franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars have done a wonderful job of creating sci-fi spectacles with dashes of philosophy here and there, but For All Mankind manages to deliver equal parts killer action and deep introspection.

This show is the genre television’s biggest game-changer in decades, and you can discover its magic for yourself by streaming it on Apple TV+ today.