For All Mankind season 3 is taking one giant leap — into the future and new space terrain. The Apple TV Plus space drama left off with another jaw-dropping time jump (more on the season 2 finale in a bit), following an explosive episode that put the people on Earth and on the Moon in danger of complete annihilation.
For All Mankind season 3 will continue the epic story that began with a provocative premise: What if the Russians landed on the moon first, before Americans? The space race never ended, and the two Cold War foes only ramped up the competition to colonize the moon ... and beyond.
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For All Mankind keeps a breathtaking pace, with season 1 covering the period between 1969 through 1973. Season 2 jumped a decade in time to 1983, with Ronald Reagan presiding over NASA and the country. And now the show is fast-forwarding once again, which means a new president, new faces in the astronaut program, new missions and new challenges.
Here's everything we know so far about For All Mankind season 3.
For All Mankind season 3 release date
Apple TV Plus has not set a For All Mankind season 3 release date yet.
The first season premiered with the launch of Apple TV Plus on Nov. 1, 2019. Season 2 debuted on Feb. 19, 2021.
Based on the filming schedule (more on that below) and how much post-production work and special effects will be required, we're guessing that For All Mankind season 3 will be released in fall 2022 or possibly even early 2023.
For All Mankind season 3 filming update
For All Mankind season 3 began filming in late February 2021. Star Krys Marshall (Danielle Poole) posted a photo of herself and Shantel VanSanten sitting in front of their trailer on the set.
Filming on For All Mankind season 1 lasted around seven months. Season 2's production was halted midway through by the coronavirus pandemic; it resumed in August 2020 and the cast and crew were able to finish the final two episodes.
With COVID-19 protocols in place, most film and TV productions need more time, so season 3 filming will probably take closer to nine months to complete.
For All Mankind season 3: The season 2 finale, explained
The season 2 finale of For All Mankind is one of the best episodes of the year so far. It's an action-packed, high-stakes, gut-punch of a finale that kills off two beloved characters and sets up an entirely new story for season 3.
In the finale, the conflict between the Americans and Russians reaches a crisis point, both on Earth and on the moon. At the Jamestown base, the Marines engage the Russian cosmonauts in a gun fight, which leads to the potential meltdown of a nuclear reactor.
To save everyone on the base and to prevent the moon from becoming uninhabitable for thousands of years, Gordo (Michael Dorman) and Tracy (Sarah Jones) must fix the problem. They cover themselves in duct tape and run into the harsh environment of the lunar surface. They're successful, but lose their lives in the process. They die as heroes, in each other's arms.
Meanwhile, in lunar orbit, Ed (Joel Kinnaman) faces off against Sally (Ellen Wroe) over blasting a Russian spacecraft.
In orbit around Earth on Apollo, Danielle (Krys Marshall) goes against orders and docks with the Soyuz. Her handshake with a cosmonaut is broadcast around the globe and inspires President Reagan to make peace with the Russians.
After the emotional funerals of the Stevenses, Margo (Wrenn Schmidt) receives a call from her Soviet counterpart Sergei. But it turns out he's working with intelligence agents to try to turn Margo into an asset for their side!
Then, the camera swoops over to Mars, where a pair of boots crunches on the red soil. It's 1995.
For All Mankind season 3 cast
The big ensemble cast of For All Mankind will experience some changes in season 3, though they're somewhat hard to predict.
One thing is for sure, Michael Dorman and Sarah Jones won't be back, since Gordo and Tracy Stevens sacrificed their lives to save the Moon from nuclear destruction.
The other main cast members could return, though they will need old age makeup since their characters will be in their 40s or 50s. That includes Joel Kinnaman as Ed Baldwin, Shantel VanSanten as Karen Baldwin, Jodi Balfour as Ellen Wilson and Wrenn Schmidt as Margo Madison.
It's possible we'll see Sonya Walger again as Molly Cobb, but after her moonwalk during the solar flares, she's already experiencing the early stages of glaucoma and may possibly develop cancer.
The younger generation is likely to stick around, including Coral Peña as Aleida Rosales, Casey W. Johnson as Danny Stevens and Cynthy Wu as Kelly Baldwin. Maybe one of latter two is even the astronaut wearing the boots on the surface of Mars.