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The Pirates Of The Caribbean Connection You Might Have Missed In For All Mankind

Acclaimed by USA Today as "the best show on TV right now," the alternate history, space-race-rewritten Apple TV+ series "For All Mankind" launched to predominantly positive reviews on the streamer in 2019. Imagining a world where the Russians beat the U.S. to the moon in 1969, the series takes a brilliantly scripted look into a future where the ongoing competition for ever more significant achievements in space takes humanity into a familiar seeming yet utterly different tomorrow.

And as executive producer and co-creator Ronald D. Moore tells Syfy.com, the show takes special care to enrich the audience's experience of the show's fiction-melded-with-nonfiction framework, inserting a wide variety of Easter eggs throughout the production. "I was hoping people would dig into all the Easter eggs that were planted in the show," Moore said, including both actual and alt-history details dropped into TV broadcasts, newspaper headlines, or everyday conversations. He went on to express satisfaction with how viewers are engaging with the implications of the series' skewed timeline, including events  "that happened and didn't happen ... like Reagan coming in in 1976 instead of 1980. And then pop cultural things like John Lennon, living, and so on."

So, with all of this history-tweaking and Easter egg-concealing to take into account on "For All Mankind," what's the surprising "Pirates of the Caribbean" link that even the most observant viewer might have missed on the series?

A musical cue ties The Pirates of the Caribbean to For All Mankind

As noted above, "For All Mankind" co-creator Ronald D. Moore is a big fan of dropping semi-obscured cultural references or in-jokes into the show in a number of ways. In this regard, one of the higher-profile bits of this creative mischief-making arrived in the series' third season, forming an unlikely connection between the show and Disney's iconic theme-park-ride-turned-massive-movie-franchise, "The Pirates of the Caribbean."

In Season 3's fourth episode of "For All Mankind," separate spaceships from NASA, Russia, and a private company are more or less tied in a tense, three-way race to reach Mars first. Then, the NASA ship suddenly springs its secret weapon: a massive solar sail that gives their ship a decisive new advantage. As the huge, golden sail expands out around the ship, the NASA crew transmits triumphant music to needle the other ships: the "Pirate Overture," clearly recognizable to anyone familiar with the Disney attraction.

Speaking to TheWrap, "For All Mankind" executive producer Matt Wolpert explained the idea was floated in the show's writers' room and that, like the romantic image of sails hoisted on a buccaneering schooner, "It just felt like a natural connection of unfurling these sails." He went on to add that, despite the shot's deep-space setting, the visuals in the scene seem to simply evoke something eminently piratical, thus setting up the musical shout-out to "The Pirates of the Caribbean."