We’re coming up on the second launch of Apple TV+’s alternative history space drama For All Mankind, with returning stars Joel Kinnaman, Shantel VanSanten, Krys Marshall and Sarah Jones.

The series’ first season envisioned the history books reading that the Soviet Union put boots on the moon before the United States, and since then, the space race has continued to evolve. Season 2 of For All Mankind jumps ahead nine years to the 1980s. NASA’s lunar base has grown from the size of a house to a massive complex, staffed with dozens of astronauts and entangled with the American military under the Reagan administration.

The image of armed astronauts hopping around the lunar surface is a scary sight to see, as is the new season’s opening episode with sun activity putting our heroes in peril. But what keeps thrills sending skyward (and viewers emotionally invested) are the incredibly complex characters.

Ed Baldwin (Kinnaman) kicks off the new season behind a desk, keeping tabs on other astronauts and assigning them missions. His wife, Karen (VanSanten), runs a bar/restaurant and is still processing her son’s death and how it changed her marriage.

The Denton Record-Chronicle spoke to Kinnaman and VanSanten about where their characters are, the growth they’ve experienced through the show, parenting, and sacrifice.

Season 2 of For All Mankind premieres through Apple TV+ on February 19.

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work here, on FreshFiction.tv and on RottenTomatoes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

 

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