Is For All Mankind a prequel to The Expanse?

In its season 4 finale, For All Mankind sets up a situation where the Earth, Mars and an asteroid become trading partners. Some fans have noticed that it's starting to feel like the sci-fi show The Expanse.
For All Mankind Dev
For All Mankind Dev /

The season 4 finale of Apple TV+'s sci-fi show For All Mankind, "Perestroika," ends with a flash-forward into the future. Earth is still a populous planet with billions of people on its surface. Mars has budding colonies on it. And now there's a city on an asteroid orbiting Mars, built so the people of Earth can mine the iridium within.

So now we have a situation where the asteroid will be mined for resources which will be sent back to Earth and (presumably) used among the growing number of people who live on Mars, which has yet to be terraformed. That's where For All Mankind will pick up if it gets a fifth season.

The show has taken a long time getting here; the first season started in the 1960s as Earthlings were first landing on the moon. And now we have an interplanetary economy and a growing number of people who don't consider Earth their home; Ed and Dev, at least, have made it very clear that they consider themselves Martians now. Kelly and her young son Alex will also probably be permanent residents, since the lower gravity helps with Alex's health problems.

Some people have noticed that this sort of resembles the situation in the sci-fi show The Expanse, which aired its first three seasons on SyFy and its second three on Amazon Prime Video. In that show, set hundreds of years in the future, humanity is spread out across the solar system: the biggest part live on the Earth and the moon, together called the United Nations; there's a thriving population on Mars; and then there are the members of the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), who live on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn as well as on the astroid belt. The governments of Earth and Mars ruthlessly exploit the "Belters," who mine the asteroids for natural resources.

While For All Mankind is not a prequel to The Expanse, you could see how it's kind of driving towards the same sort of future. The creators have said they see For All Mankind lasting as long as seven seasons. Things could look even more like The Expanse by that point.

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