Although the series is an alternate history of the world anchored on the idea of the Russians having landed on the moon before the American touchdown, real world events ripple forth, ranging from a re-telling of the actual landmark Apollo-Soyuz docking in 1975...where American astronauts & Soviet cosmonauts shook hands after conjoining space capsules during the escalation of the arms race...to the “co-incidence” that Season 2 of this compelling series launched the day after the real NASA rover,Perseverance, landed on Mars seeking signs of ancient life!
Jamestown Base, the US Moon Base...Operations and Communications, Ops/Com, with a view of the Lunar Surface. Photo by Marco Grob. Courtesy of Apple.
SETDECOR spoke with Set Decorator Dianna Freas SDSA during the first season. You can watch the interview in the video below and see the accompanying article with its fantastic photo gallery by clicking through the FILM & TELEVISION button above.
Dianna Freas SDSA interview for Inside the Set on the SETDECOR YouTube Channel
But there’s more!
Season 2 has a time leap with both subtle and huge changes taking place, along with an accelerated pace! Apple TV+ has provided us some never-yet-seen set photos, and Dianna graciously has given us notes about them! So come visit the Space Race of the 1970s-early-1980s reimagined and yet somehow completely realistic!
We asked Dianna to give us a thumbnail description of the second season...
“The series is set in Houston, Texas, on the lunar surface and in outer space, with moments in the Soviet Union and other locations. Season 2 takes place in 1983, a jump of 9 years from the end of Season 1.”
Jamestown Base, Ops/Com...Commander’s Quarters on the left, Med Bay on the right. Photo by Jonny Cournoyer. Courtesy of Apple
“The narrative theme of Season 2 is the militarization of space. Both the US and the USSR have developed mining sites on the Moon to find rare earth elements and ice. A missile crisis develops between the two countries during the latter part of the season, which places them on the verge of a lunar nuclear disaster.”
Jamestown Base, Ops/Com...The open hatch leads to the Lab, and beyond that, the Tower/Hub. Photo by Jonny Cournoyer. Courtesy of Apple.
“Jamestown Base consisted of one small module at the beginning of the series and has now expanded to include multiple modules radiating out from a central tower/hub. The modules are also connected by a series of curved hallways which are part of an outer ring. The modules are: Operations and Communications, the acronym Ops/Com, which contains the Commander’s Quarters and Med Bay, the Lab,Crew Quarters, the Main Air Lock and the Galley/Mess, which was the original Jamestown module. In addition to the mining operation, rocket fuel is made at Jamestown to send ships back and forth between Earth and the Moon.
Jamestown Base, Ops/Com... Lab. Photo by Patrick McElhenney. Courtesy of Apple.
“Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas is the center of NASA Operations on the Moon. We are now in the era of the Space Shuttle. In our story, there have been over 100 Space Shuttle flights. The system will be replaced by a new shuttle system called Pathfinder. Ed Baldwin [Joel Kinnaman] is chosen to be the commander of the first Pathfinder flight.”
JSC, NASA Mission Control (MOCR)...Photo by Marco Grob. Courtesy of Apple.
“Season 2 brings us back to our NASA Mission Control set from S1 that was a close replica of the JSC NASA MOCR in Houston. This season, we built all new consoles. It took several months to acquire and install the thousands of buttons, switches, and screens for the new consoles. And it required close collaboration between the construction, set decoration, lighting, and special effects departments to build the working consoles.”
JSC, NASA Mission Control (MOCR)...Detail shot of the custom designed consoles for Season 2. Photo by Marco Grob. Courtesy of Apple.
“The other large addition to the set were the many wall patches for the additional Space Shuttle Missions that took place between 1974 and 1983 in our story. Graphic Designer Evan Regester designed the original patches for those missions.”
Margo Madison, Director of Johnson Space Center...Note the Space Shuttle Missions patches behind her. She was a part of NASA from the beginning of the series, her tenacity and brilliance finally breaking the glass ceiling. Yes, ironically, NASA had one, too, even in this version! Wrenn Schmidt as Margo. Image courtesy of Apple.
Margo Madison’s Office - Director of Johnson Space Center
“In the first episode of this Season, we discover that Margo [Wrenn Schmidt, inset] is sleeping on a sofa bed in her executive office, harking back to when she was sleeping on a fold-up cot in a tiny office in Season 1. Margo’s desk and credenza were designed by Jens Risom. I stayed with mid-century office furniture to keep a cohesive design with the 60’s wall panel system of the JSC administrative offices. The 1980s are represented in the artwork, computers, lighting, and the small dressing.”
Office of the Director of Johnson Space Center...Margo Madison’s office often serves as her quarters as well, mid-century minimalism fits her in both art and lifestyle. [Wrenn Schmidt, inset] Images courtesy of Apple.
JSC - Apollo-Soyuz Project Room
“The Apollo-Soyuz Mission is an important story point in our alternate history. This is where the docking module for the Apollo-Soyuz Mission was designed. A full-scale model is at the back of the room. The interior of the model was dressed to film the scenes of the first crewed International Space Mission jointly carried out by the United States and the Soviet Union, as our story is based on the actual event.”
JSC - Apollo-Soyuz Project Room...The interior of the full-scale model was fully dressed for the re-creation of this essential historic event. Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
JSC, Astronaut Meeting Room...The astronauts congregate here to go over mission details. Lunar maps and technical diagrams of the Space Shuttle and other spacecraft are in evidence on the walls and the table. Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
JSC, Chief of Astronauts Office...Ed Baldwin [Joel Kinnaman, inset] is now the Chief of Astronauts. The wall-sized mission assignment board he uses to determine which astronauts and scientists will fly on each mission is an indication of how large the NASA Space Program has grown.
Astronauts, families, engineers, and more...
Homes: Left: Joel Kinnaman as Chief of Astronauts, Ed Baldwin, Shantel VanStanten as his wife Karen Baldwin. Right: Michael Dorman as astronaut Gordo Stevens, David Chandler as his youngest son, Jimmy. Images courtesy of Apple.
Visit the sets for these essential characters in the galleries above and below!
[Click on SHOW MORE PHOTOS below]
But first you might want to get a few more insider details...
The Baldwins “Karen Baldwin, Ed’s wife, is now the owner of the Outpost Bar, the tavern that served as the astronauts’ hangout during S1. Ed and his fellow astronauts still get together at the Outpost, but it is now also a family restaurant. The back bar has remained relatively untouched (the original B/W TV and the armadillo are still there), but Karen has redone the dining area. There are new booths and tables and chairs, a new CD juke box, a display case with NASA trinkets to buy, and, of course, hanging ferns.
The Baldwins’ home
“In Season 2, we learn that Karen andEd have adopted a young Vietnamese girl named Kelly, who has helped them to overcome the loss of their son Shane, who died in an accident in S1, while Ed was on an extensive mission on the moon.”
“The Baldwins live in the same Colonial-style home. To reinforce a sense of a new beginning, I wanted to lighten the feel of the traditional wood paneled family room. I shifted from the warm earth tones of the fabrics from S1 to blue and light green for upholstery and a light floral fabric for the curtains. The rug, lighting and artwork in the family room, and the table, chairs and lighting in the kitchen were all updated as well. After all, it’s been 9 years...”
“Gordo and his younger son, Jimmy, are living in the Stevens’ house from S1. His now ex-wife Tracy has become quite a celebrity and has left Gordo for a wealthy businessman. The living room is shown the way Tracy redecorated the house before their divorce. We see the house in various states of disarray as Gordo’s personal life and career fall apart.”
“I was interested in creating an off-white interior design for the Stevens’ living room, that was very popular in the 1980s. I chose to keep many of the original pieces of furniture from S1, but reupholstered the sectional couch that fit the playing space so well, this time in an off-white fabric, and the draperies in a soft light blue...both Carole fabrics.”
“I updated all of the lighting and added chrome elements to the interior, including the chair and magazine rack in the foreground. The television that you just see the edge of in this picture is the curved Zenith Space Command TV that was introduced in 1978.”
“An example of the advanced technology in our alternate world is the custom designed video phone that’s sitting on the bar counter. It was used for communication between Jamestown and JSC, and the astronaut’s families.”
The Wilsons “Ellen and Larry Wilson have a close relationship, even though their marriage is a cover for the fact that Larry is gay and Ellen is a lesbian. The Wilson breakfast room and kitchen was built on stage in the Craftsman style. Ellen comes from a wealthy family, so I wanted to use some antique pieces, like the Victorian bamboo cabinet and the Arts and Craft table in front of the window. The chrome and glass table and the Breuer chairs were chosen to incorporate styles of furniture that were popular in the 1980s.”
“At the end of Season 1, Aleida is left alone in Houston when her father is deported to Mexico. Margo, who tutored Aleida in S1, learns that she is now an engineer, but living in a trailer park because she has trouble staying employed due to her angry outbursts. Margo hires Aleida to work at NASA and she becomes her protégé.”
“We acquired 2 matching trailers. One was disassembled to use as the interior on stage, and one was used at the trailer park exterior that we created in a woodsy area at the Disney Ranch. I used lighting fixtures and kitchen appliances from both trailers, and then brought in an eclectic selection of furniture, set dressing and window treatments to create the interior set. We brought in 5 trailers to the Disney Ranch and dressed the exteriors of each one so they would look like unique homes that had been there a very long time.”
Once again, Dianna, her husband Production Designer Dan Bishop and their teams have created an alternate history that catches us to the extent of blurring reality, while adding elements of style they make seem natural, upping the bar with every set.
Set Decorator Dianna Freas SDSA would like to acknowledge her amazing crew, in particular:
Leadman Mark Rodriguez, SDSA Associate
Set Decoration Buyers John Bradley and Karen Riemenschneider, SDSA Associate
Set Decoration Coordinator Silvia Donati
Set Decoration PA Michael Wheelock
Gang Boss Mike Mestas and the entire Swing Gang
On-Set Dresser Marcus Epps
Draper Sandy Summer
She would also like to thank the talented members of the Art Department, including Production Designer Dan Bishop, Supervising Art Director Harry Otto, Graphic Designer Evan Regester, and Art Department Coordinator Kama Hayes. It was a pleasure collaborating with them, and with Property Master Jaime Mengual and his team on the 2nd Season of For All Mankind.
The following SDSA Business Members were invaluable resources for decorating the sets: Omega Cinema Props (Including Drapery Construction), Sony Pictures Studios Property, Universal Studios Property (Including Drapery Construction), Warner Bros. Studios Property,Air Designs,Alpha Companies Motion Picture Rentals, AMCO American Screen & Window Coverings, Art Pic, E.C. Prop Rentals Inc, Faux Library Studio Props, Gold Room Props, Green Set, History for Hire, Hollywood Studio Gallery, Lennie Marvin’s Prop Heaven, LCW Props, Modernica Props, Norton Sales Aerospace Props, Objects Inc,Playback Technologies, Practical Props, R.C. Vintage, The Hand Prop Room, Town & Country Event Rentals
Many thanks to these vendors as well: Apex Electronics, Aviation Warehouse, Carole Fabrics, Enchanted Florist , McMaster-Carr, TR Trading Company, Wertz Brothers Furniture
~~Don't forget to click on SHOW MORE PHOTOS below~~
SHOW MORE PHOTOS
The Outpost...now more of a family restaurant, however with the original bar intact, owned and operated by Karen Baldwin, is still home away from home for many of the astronauts. Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
The Outpost...the stories it could tell! Every detail in here has one, as do all of the astronauts and their families! Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
The Baldwin living room and kitchen pass through...The atmospheric lighting gives a familial warmth. We included the inset of Karen Baldwin [Shantel VanStanten] in the kitchen to give you an accurate perspective. The film equipment in this BTS shot would not be on screen! Images courtesy DF and Apple.
Kelly Baldwin’s bedroom...Kelly is a senior in high school and is applying to college. Dianna says, “It was fun to decorate a teenage girl’s room circa 1983! Not seen in this shot is an Apple 1 computer on Kelly’s desk and a poster of Tom Petty...but of course!” Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
The Stevens’ Living Room - Redecorated to reflect our jump in time from 1974 in Season 1 to 1983 in Season 2, and the life changes that have occurred. Inset: Michael Dorman as astronaut Gordo Stevens, David Chandler as his youngest son, Jimmy. Images courtesy of Apple.
The Wilson’s Breakfast Room...Always stylish, but understated, describes not only this couple, but also their unspoken lives, the lies they have to live to meet the “standards & mores” of the times.
Exterior of Aleida’s trailer on location at the Disney Ranch...Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
The interior of Aleida’s trailer on stage...We love how the unmatched curtains, while very much of the times, are also geometric, reflecting her focus as a young engineer. Photo: D.F. Courtesy of Apple.
Aleida [Coral Peña], now working at NASA for Margo, brings troubled hope for the future. No one is uncomplicated on this series! Image courtesy of Apple.