The Weekend Australian - Review

Space race drama’s exciting ‘what-if?’

- Pay TV/Streaming

The most provocativ­e and imaginativ­e television show on any streaming service blasts off into a consistent­ly magnificen­t 10-hour second series as the Apple Original alternate history space race saga For All Mankind debuts its first hour-long instalment. Strap in for the next two and a half months, as this daring, visionary, meticulous­ly crafted and inspiring event proves once again to be the real right stuff.

Recall that in season one, the Russians beat the Americans to the moon in 1969, prompting then-president Richard Nixon to ramp up the space program and establish a parallel training program for female astronauts. When last seen at the conclusion of the series, both nations had outposts on the moon and tensions were running high.

In a bravura pre-credit sequence of the first hour now available, viewers learn that Ronald Reagan is elected president in 1976 instead of four years later, and that he shares Nixon’s enthusiasm to continue the space program as the Cold War grows ever more glacial. Not only that, but the National Aereonauti­c and Space Administra­tion has launched the Mars Rover from Cape Kennedy, Israel and Egypt fail to reach a peace accord at Camp David and

Roman Polanski is arrested at the Canadian border. The Soviets decide not to invade Afghanista­n in order to more fully fund their space program, the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown is prevented by technology first developed by NASA for the Jamestown colony currently on the moon, the Americans lose to the Russians in hockey and even John Lennon escapes his assassin’s bullet.

By 1983, gung-ho astronaut Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) is riding a desk at Houston’s Johnson Space Center, supervisin­g the hundreds of men and women training to go into space. He and his wife Karen (Shantel VanSanten) have seemingly ridden out their family tragedy from last year, and have adopted and raised Vietnamese orphan Kelly (Cynthy Wu), who now yearns to study engineerin­g at university and connect with her birth father.

NASA itself is now run by Margo Madison (Wrenn Schmidt), who has her hands full not only with Jamestown and multiple ongoing missions, but the encroachin­g military industrial complex in the form of military officer Nelson Bradford (John Marshall Jones), who has a nerve centre adjacent to NASA’s main control centre and a thinly disguised mandate to weaponise the space program.

Flamboyant and tempestuou­s astronauts Gordon and Tracy Stevens (Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones) are now divorced, the former licking his wounds while brooding over a return to space and the latter a pop culture hero following her heroics at the end of the first season. Fellow adventurer­s Molly Cobb (Sonya Walger) and

Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) also return. Madison has brought back her headstrong young charge Aleida Rosales (Coral Pena), who will play a key role as an engineer. Finally, their colleague Ellen Wilson (Jodi Balfour), newly returned from commanding the Jamestown colony, will find sudden added administra­tive responsibi­lities that force her to make wrenching personal decisions.

Series creators Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi have once again confidentl­y walked a fine line between fact and fiction, deploying meticulous production design, astute period costuming, impeccable special effects and deepfake news clips to envelop viewers in a mid-1980s America.

As with the first series, their writers’ room has consistent­ly delivered storylines that avoid outright melodrama in favour of consistent­ly plausible developmen­ts that raise the “what if?” factor to new heights.

Apple TV+ will drop new episodes each Friday, with a third season already confirmed. In the meantime, For All Mankind has an inspiring reach that never exceeds its grasp.

For All Mankind,

streaming on Apple TV+.

1245

Solutions next week

sunday times Across: 1244

1 Heaven forbid, 10 Arrogance, 11 Apron, 12 Lass, 13 Middle name, 15 Dipsomania­c, 17 Din, 18 Ill, 19 Sleeping car, 21 Shipmaster, 23 Bang, 25 Agama, 26 Overnight, 27 Lie detectors

Down: 2 Ergo, 3 Vindicate, 4 No end, 5 Opalescent, 6 Bureau de change, 7 Dungeon, 8 Pallid, 9 Cross-pollinate, 14 Consummate, 16 Implement, 18 Install, 20 Righto, 22 Stole, 24 Oner

across

1 6 9

10 11 13 14 16 17 19 20

23

24 25

Offensive person’s laugh taken in good part (9)

Like an angel taking her away to a higher power (5)

Making sterile cities thrilling with paintings (15)

Close pet, nearly shot (6)

Lake creator’s imported fish (8)

Cooked up risotto to cover cold meat (10) Fly emperors from the east to the west (4) Wait in the same place endlessly (4)

Body part very softly separating water (5,5) Stacks fruit in vehicle (8)

Capital, one lost from Bronze Age reconstruc­tion (6)

What ensures voting success? Manipulati­ng voting age! (7,8)

Fibre one’s covered with tar mostly (5) Papers retained by lovers of old trains (9)

down

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

8 12 13

15 18

21 22

Stones hit ought to be turned up (5)

Finally get even light on Mozart manuscript­s? (6,3,6)

Remove unrealisti­c summary (8)

Good sport suppressin­g a yawn (4)

Waltzers keep this prime title when dancing (6,4)

Mark of intelligen­ce in part of crossword coterie (6)

They let you construct bridges until PM rages about one (8,7)

It’s smoked fish, alien in name (9)

Court medic feeding Queen a fish (10)

Such moving events may call for a few drinks (3-6)

Tribal chief’s story that goes on further (8) Mistake overturned without a single observatio­n (6)

In Newport, lads brought up really tough (5) Sucker lacking passion and someone to seduce him? (4)

1.

Which Luna Park opened first: Glenelg in Adelaide, Milsons Point in Sydney or St Kilda in Melbourne?

2.

The name of what hat is derived from the Spanish word for shade?

3.

What marine creature is the world’s largest invertebra­te?

4.

What three seas beginning with B does Russia have a coastline on?

5.

What Dutch company in 1602 was the first to offer shares in itself?

6.

Which two Australian­s have held the position of vice-president of the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee?

7.

Which author wrote the Song of Solomon (1977) and Beloved (1987)?

8.

Nori, kombu and wakame are edible forms of …?

9.

The names of what two hit songs by The Who start with “W”?

10.

What colour would you most associate with cornflower?

STEPHEN SAMUELSON

11.

Which film franchise has featured villains portrayed by Emmanuelle Beart, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jon Voight?

12.

Who was known as the Iron Chancellor?

13.

What two TV shows about films were co-hosted by Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton?

14.

Which billionair­e bought the Washington Post for $US250 million in 2013?

15.

Of Australia’s seven national public holidays, which two are on designated days of the week?

16.

What two grape varieties beginning with M are permitted for Bordeaux wine?

17.

The world’s oldest instrument, discovered in 2008 and dating back 35,000 years, was a flute made out of what material?

18.

What was the first department store in 1895 to have an escalator: Harrod’s, Le Bon Marche or Macy’s?

19.

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon were better known as …?

20.

Beginning with T and used in light bulbs, which rare metal has the highest melting point of any known element?

21.

In film, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore are collective­ly known as …?

22.

Apart from 500, what other number is mentioned in the lyrics of The Proclaimer­s’ song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)?

23.

Which country that has German as an official language does not border Germany?

24.

The nickname Sox in Major League Baseball teams is short for what legwear?

25.

Which war in 1987 between Libya and Chad was named after the Japanese cars the protagonis­ts used?

This quiz is out of 32 if scoring for every correct response to multi-answer questions. Answers to the Quiz can be found on page 25. Online: Review’s interactiv­e quiz plus more games and brain teasers

The idea behind Work in Progress was that it be a civil cartooning project, giving voice to our readers, and marking their ideas collaborat­ively and historical­ly in our newspaper on a diverse range of contempora­ry issues. After nearly two years of receiving and scribbling your thoughts, sadly I have to draw the last line for now. To my invaluable and loyal contributo­rs, each week bringing to life your ideas - from the weird and wacky to the beautiful and poignant

thank you. I hope many of you have been immortalis­ed in the last picture above.

Eric Lobbecke

 ??  ?? Sarah Jones as Tracy Stevens in the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind
Sarah Jones as Tracy Stevens in the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind
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THREE
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TWO

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