For All Mankind: Don’t be Cruel
April 2, 2021 4:45 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Ellen is challenged by her new role; Margo's alliances are put to the test; Karen explores new opportunities -- personally and professionally.

Administrator Tom gets his ticket punched for Korean Airlines Flight 007, leaving an opening for Ellen and putting a chill on US-USSR relations; the Soviet delegation in Houston is confined to quarters, leading to outrage and umbrage when the same happens to the NASA crew in Baikonur. Margo uses pressure to illustrate the solution to a number of problems around the office; Karen is wooed by Sam Cleveland and Danny Stevens; Kelly receives her permanent record and fires off an email to find out more. Tracey pilots the first combat sortie on the Moon.
posted by cardboard (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
History shows up big here. The O rings, the flight... I was happy Karen went home, it didn’t seem in character that she’d go the distance with that gap year boy, cute as he was.
posted by sixswitch at 8:02 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]

Seemed pretty ridiculous that this USSR would copy the Shuttle so much more closely than they did in reality.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:46 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]

That puts you 97 seconds away from either a cold beer at the end of your shift or an open-ended transfer to Thule, Greenland.

Your time starts now.


Go Margo!
posted by mirthe at 3:34 AM on April 3 [6 favorites]

What did Bill “Peanut” Strausser ever do to Aleida, apart from rightly telling her to stay in her lane for the ASTP docking redesign?
posted by cardboard at 5:21 AM on April 3

Was the Soviet engineer supposed to be Korolev?
posted by sixswitch at 6:24 AM on April 3

On review: yep, that’s probably Korolev. Spent time in Kolyma.
posted by sixswitch at 6:26 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

I'm giving a fair bit of slack on the Soviet shuttle being an even closer copy of the US one. FAM's version of Buran is flying some 4 or 5 years earlier than the real one, so perhaps, with pressure from the Kremlin to match US space feats, Soviet designers simply copied stolen plans bolt-for-bolt even though they had ideas for how to make a better version (c.f. the first Soviet atomic bomb, which was built to duplicate Trinity because that design was known to work, even though Soviet physicists were aware of potential improvements.)

The bigger question is why the US shuttle is so similar to the real version, but I think we have to give some artistic licence there. It's clearly different in some key ways, e.g. it must have much-augmented OMS propellant tankage in the cargo bay and the ability to refuel on-orbit in order to do the translunar missions we see.

If that Soviet engineer is Korolev, it ties in nicely with what Ron Moore has said about the actual point of historical departure being Korolev surviving surgery in 1966 and going on to fix the N1's problems.

There didn't seem to be any music credits; was that Philip Glass being used a lot during early parts of the episode, and if so which piece was it from?

Assuming that the KAL007 shootdown took place at the same point in this timeline as in ours, this episode was set in September 1983. If other events also take place around the same time, the next few weeks will feature the 1983 missile false alarm incident and Exercise Able Archer 83. In other words, perfect timing for an international incident on the moon!
posted by Major Clanger at 4:43 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]

Well I asked on Twitter about the identity of the Soviet space engineer and FAM technical advisers Michael Okuda and Garrett Reisman responded!

Michael Okuda: "The episode does not identify the engineer, but I personally thought he was probably Sergei Korolev."

Garrett Reisman: "Me too."
posted by Major Clanger at 8:52 AM on April 6 [3 favorites]

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