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For All Mankind Season 4 - What We Know So Far

There's no shortage of shows that explore what our world would be like if history went a little topsy-turvy, but few have managed to craft as compelling of an alternate reality narrative as Apple TV+'s "For All Mankind." Focusing on a timeline in which the Soviet Union beat the United States to the punch in the global space race of the 1960s, the series follows the lives of several astronauts in the ensuing decades as they grapple with their own identities and the dangers of space. As a treat for history buffs, the show hasn't been afraid to stuff its vision of an alternate timeline full of crazy details either.

Fresh off the heels of an immensely successful second season, "For All Mankind" began streaming its third installment on Apple TV+ in June 2022. While that season has provided its own share of thrills and drama, fans have been looking beyond and wondering what a potential Season 4 would entail. Fortunately, viewers can breathe a sigh of relief, as the spacefaring series is indeed strapped in for a fourth season, which the show's cast and crew confirmed at their San Diego Comic-Con 2022 panel (via Entertainment Weekly). Furthermore, some key details regarding the show's continuation have been made available.

What is the plot of For All Mankind Season 4?

Those keeping up with "For All Mankind" know that Season 3 ended in tragedy, as the NASA headquarters was the target of a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of several main characters. Rather than exploring the immediate aftermath of these events, "For All Mankind" will stick to tradition and time-jump forward, as it has done for each consecutive season. 

Season 4 will move the narrative up to the 2000s — over 30 years past where the show starts off — though it will still showcase the realistic space action from previous entries. "I feel each season, we've gone from a show that felt more like a period piece into one that's really feeling more and more science fiction," executive producer Ben Nedivi told TV Insider. "Being able to do that and make these beautiful actors make [sic] old and wrinkly has been our dream."

One element that the show will be diving deeper into is Margo's relationship with Russia, as the scientist fled to Moscow at the end of the finale. "I think that expansion of our world is going to be really interesting to play around with," series co-creator Matt Wolpert told The Playlist. "Because, it's always been an element of the show, but Russians have really been coming into the American sphere, you know? It's really been in the setting of America. And so, opening the show up to that other dimension I think is really going to be compelling."

Who is starring For All Mankind Season 4?

Season 4 of "For All Mankind" will feature a lot of the characters that audiences have become familiar with over the first three seasons, but it's unfortunately going to be missing a couple fan-favorites, too. While the majority of the cast was present at the official renewal announcement for Season 4, the Season 3 finale episode that aired a short time thereafter revealed that some of the cast's time on the show has already come to a close.

As it stands for the fourth season, Joel Kinnaman is confirmed to return as series lead Ed Baldwin (via The Ringer), as is Wrenn Schmidt as Margo Madison, Krys Marshall as Danielle Poole, Cynthy Wu as Kelly Baldwin, Jodi Balfour as Ellen Wilson, Casey W. Johnson as Danny Stevens, Edi Gathegi as Dev Avesa, and Coral Peña as Aleida Rosales (via TV Insider). All the actors will be playing older versions of themselves due to the time skip.

Regarding the characters who aren't returning, Shantel VanSanten's Karen Baldwin and Sonya Walger's Molly Cobb are apparently off the table, as the pair were tragic casualties in the chaos of Season 3's finale. "I was texting with [co-stars] Krys [Marshall] and Cynthy [Wu] this morning as they're getting ready to start Season 4," VanSanten said in an interview with TV Line. "I'm like, 'Tell me everything. What are the sets like? What are you wearing? What do you look like as we jump ahead? Tell me!'"

Who is writing For All Mankind Season 4?

Like the three previous installments, the fourth season "For All Mankind" will be helmed by the series' co-creator trio of Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi. The three lead creatives, who also make up one-half of the show's executive producers, each have a history with other popular properties across television.

Moore's passion for the subject of space is no surprise, considering his experience with some of the most binge-worthy sci-fi shows of all time. The writer served as a producer on the classic "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and developed the screenplays for several of its adjacent movies. He also helped develop the massively popular series "Battlestar Galactica." Though Wolpert and Nedivi don't have the same space-based roots, they have plenty of knowledge of the world of thrilling TV dramas. The two have written for shows such as "Entourage," "Fargo," and "The Umbrella Academy."

Regarding Season 4 of "For All Mankind," it's simply the latest chapter in a grand undertaking for the three co-creators. "When Ron, Matt, and I created this show, we had a plan for six or seven seasons," Nedivi told The A.V. Club. "In our minds, it was like, 'How do we catch up to the present and show how different this world is?' I think that's still the vision for us. Many things have changed, but we're still on that roadmap, and we'd love to be able to get to that end and tell the full story."

Where to watch previous seasons of For All Mankind

While "For All Mankind" has come a long way since it first began in 2019, it's still not too late for those that would like to catch up on the series before its fourth season begins. Owing to its status as an original show for Apple TV+, the first three seasons — consisting of 30 episodes in total — can be watched on the company's premiere streaming service. In order to access the series, one must have a subscription to Apple TV+, which currently costs $4.99 per month.

If a paid subscription to Apple TV+ is not a viable option for some, they may have an opportunity in the future to watch some of the series at no cost. When Season 3 of "For All Mankind" launched in June 2022, the show's first season was made free for non-subscribers to watch for a limited time on the platform (via The Verge). Hopefully, a similar promotional event occurs when Season 4 makes it way onto the service.

What is For All Mankind rated?

For those wondering whether "For All Mankind" is a good fit to watch based on its content level, the first three seasons have provided a good feel for what sort of subject matter and topics viewers can expect the show to cover. "For All Mankind" is rated TV-MA for various instances of mature and explicit content, and Season 4 is expected to maintain the same rating (via IMDb).

According to Common Sense Media, the series features occasional instances of moderate sexual content, such as several sex scenes which do not contain nudity. The show also includes harsh profanity, including uses of swear words like "s**t' and "f**k." Characters are frequently shown using substances such as alcohol and cigarettes. While the show doesn't often depict heavy violence or gore aside from a rare character death scene or two, it does include numerous scenes of peril and dramatic intensity, such as the aforementioned terrorist attack at the end of Season 3. Though specific instances of these elements in Season 4 are not yet known, it's unlikely that the series will stray too far from the tone and subject matter that it has developed thus far.