For All Mankind Is Going Back to Where It All Started

Apple just confirmed the sci-fi series will continue with Season 5, along with a new spinoff called Star City.

Phoenix station in orbit of Mars in 'For All Mankind.'
For All Mankind

One sprawling TV universe, encompassing a parallel dimension of spaceflight, is about to get even bigger. Apple TV+’s alternate history TV series, For All Mankind, has been renewed for a fifth season. But, in a surprising move, Apple also announced a new For All Mankind spinoff, Star City, which will go back to the events of Season 1 and tell an entirely new story from a different perspective.

As Season 5 heads toward the alternate events of 2012, Star City will go back to the 1960s and chronicle the rise of the Soviet space program, including how and why the USSR beat the US to the Moon in this timeline. So as one part of For All Mankind jumps forward, another will go back to the split in the timeline that caused it all. Here’s what we know so far.

For All Mankind Season 5 is coming

Cynthy Wu will almost certainly return as Kelly Baldwin in Season 5.


Although we don’t know what Season 5 of For All Mankind will be about, now that it’s officially greenlit, fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Series creator Ronald Moore’s seven-season plan might actually happen, which means we could see humankind expand to the outer planets and beyond. However, characters will continue beyond 2012 and into a hypothetical Season 6 and Season 7 is unclear. Ed Baldwin (Joel Kinnaman) is 72 in Season 4, meaning he’ll be in his 80s in Season 5. Meanwhile, Danielle Poole (Krys Marshall) is 59. In addition to Margot Madison (Wrenn Schmidt), these are the only characters still on the show who began in Season 1, set in 1969.

In real life, Kinnaman is 44, Marshall is 35, and Schmidt is 41, meaning, they’re all playing much older than they are. In fairness, this is true of younger characters like Aleida Rosales and Kelly Baldwin — both in their 40s — played by Cynthy Wu and Coral Peña, who are 25 and 30, respectively. In Season 5, these characters will need to be in their 50s or older.

What does this mean for the future of For All Mankind? Most likely we’ll be getting a new character in Season 5, and beyond. As co-showrunner Ben Nedivi told Inverse in 2023: “We can’t completely reveal who will and will be around for Season 5...By the time we get to seasons 5, 6, 7, you don't want it to be about 120-year-old astronauts.”

Star City will tell the Soviet space story

Irina Morozova (Svetlana Efremova) — the head of Roscosmos in the USSR in Season 4 of For All Mankind.


In addition to Season 5 of For All Mankind, a brand new spin-off show is now officially in development. According to a press release from Apple TV+, the series will go back to the beginning of the For All Mankind timeline, and reveal exactly how and why the USSR got to the moon first. Here’s the official description:

“Star City” is a propulsive paranoid thriller that takes us back to the key moment in the alt-history retelling of the space race - when the Soviet Union became the first nation to put a man on the moon. But this time, we explore the story from behind the Iron Curtain, showing the lives of the cosmonauts, the engineers, and the intelligence officers embedded among them in the Soviet space program, and the risks they all took to propel humanity forward.

The show is co-created by Matt Wolpert, Ben Nedivi, and Ronald D. Moore, who all created For All Mankind. It also seems very likely that characters from previous seasons of For All Mankind could appear in this show. For example, in Season 2 of For All Mankind (set in 1983), Danielle ended up in Star City as a part of an exchange program between NASA and Roscosmos. But, interestingly, we don’t know everything that happened to Danielle while she was there. We also don’t know the entire journey of Sergei (Piotr Adamczyk), nor do we know the languages of all the Soviet cosmonauts who feature in Season 3 and Season 4. This means we could get the origin story of the cold, and calculating Irina Morozova, as well as the background of the heroic Grigory “Kuz” Kuznetsov.

Star City will likely dive deep into all of these stories those mysteries, probably with the flair of a spy show set against the backdrop of the space race. And because of the timeline, we’ll almost certainly see several familiar faces along the way. In For All Mankind Season 5, certain characters are either dead or getting very old. But in Star City, Gordo, Ed, Ellen, Danielle, Margo, and Tracy will all be young again.

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