For All Mankind Season 3 is changing the Apple TV+ series extensively, so which new or returning character will emerge as the one to watch?
The following contains spoilers for For All Mankind Season 3, Episode 1, “Polaris,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
The showrunners of For All Mankind have not given themselves an easy job. Between its massive time jumps and its vast ensemble, the Apple TV+ drama has a lot to cover. But with the Season 2 finale killing off Tracy and Gordo Stevens, there’s a big hole in screen time that someone has to fill. The Season 3 premiere, “Polaris,” set up several characters to potentially become the new stars of the show. Here are some of the characters who could have the biggest impact during the new season.
Ellen was a pivotal player during Seasons 1 and 2, but never got a lot of time to truly shine despite being NASA’s interim administrator. Thankfully, it looks like she may become one of the most influential figures in Season 3 because she’s running for President against Bill Clinton. Surprisingly, the Senator from Texas is running as a Republican despite her struggles to hide her sexuality from the world. She may have conflicts on LGBTQ+ issues, but she could also become NASA’s strongest ally. Either puts her into a position to affect Season 3.
As smart as Aleida is, she never expected to be going into space. But when NASA’s nuclear fusion rocket continued to fail time after time, Margo tasked her with making a trip to the moon. Aleida has experienced a rough life — losing her mother at a young age, moving to the U.S. illegally and having a hard time accepting her self-worth. But now that she has the opportunity of a lifetime, Aleida is going to work harder than ever. It also doesn’t hurt that she will be overseeing what may be the most important tool in NASA’s arsenal, since the fusion rocket is what will get the U.S. to Mars before the USSR.
Dev Ayesa and Richard Hillard weren’t in the Season 3 premiere, but they may be the most important new characters. The scientific partners created Helios, the company that changed For All Mankind’s world by making Helium-3 nuclear fusion possible. Despite the similarities to Garfield’s rival Elon Musk, co-creator Ben Nedivi told Inverse that Dev is influenced by other titans like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. During Seasons 1 and 2 the series’ driving tensions were between NASA, the U.S. government and the USSR. Adding a fourth party that’s independent of any government organization could have huge repercussions.
Danny Stevens — the son of Tracy and Gordo — is surely going to play a key role in For All Mankind‘s third season. In “Polaris,” Danny made his late parents proud by pulling off some major heroics. Not only did he get married in the first space wedding, but Danny saved all of his guests and everyone else on board Karen Baldwin’s galactic hotel. It’s highly unlikely the show would give him a character-defining moment in the premiere and then leave him on the sidelines for the rest of Season 3. Instead, his heroics might get him a spot on NASA’s mission to Mars.
Bill Strausser is one of the most heartfelt characters in For All Mankind. The mission control operator became a fan favorite thanks to his friendship with Aleida, which got off to a rocky start in Season 2 but developed into a close bond like Star Wars‘ Princess Leia and Admiral Holdo. With Aleida now heading to the moon, Bill will be the most recognizable face in mission control, which should give him some moments to develop further. His and Aleida’s collaboration may be key to solving the nuclear fusion rocket problem and getting NASA to Mars.
For All Mankind has a lot of characters, but that also means it has a lot of choices when deciding who to focus on in Season 3. There are several characters with untapped potential. The new episodes could make any or all of them the next heroes for the audience to follow as the space race continues.
New episodes of For All Mankind stream Tuesdays on Apple TV+.
J is a TV Features writer for CBR.com! He lives on the Upper East Side in New York City. Along with writing for CBR, J is an aspiring writer for TV, Film, and stage.