This post will analyze the the Episode 2, titled “He Built the Saturn V”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.
Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.
This episode seems to be a setup for future episodes, so the 5 commandments are not as strong as in the first on the next two episodes.
Armstrong and Aldrin return from Earth
Ed is confronted by Congressman Charles Sandman to testify about NASA’s failures, in particular, the failure to reach the moon first with Apollo 10, which he commanded.
In this case, the Crisis Question belongs to Ed and whether he speaks up against NASA or not? The stakes are high for him. If he does speak up, he is only saying what he already stated to Newsweek, he is promised a position as an astronaut again, but he will be betraying the organization and people he has dedicated his life to. If he doesn’t speak up, he will probably never go to space again.
Ed chooses not to betray NASA and takes responsibility for not landing on the moon as the commander.
Congressman Sandman hits NASA from another direction by confronting van Braun with his Nazi past and Deke asks Ed to come back to the program anyway.
At the end of the episode, the news channels reveal that the Russians have landed the first woman on the moon.
1. I’m still interested in where the Mexican family plot line is going.
2. The final scene is a great hook. The screenwriters have done a great job with finding cliffhangers that don’t affect the 5 commandments of the next episode.
3. I think the screenwriters are doing an excellent job weaving real life characters, like van Braun, into the storyline, as well as altering significant events, such as the possibly early end of the Vietnam War.
This was a slow episode, but I’m still hooked. Still not sure about the Genre though. I’m leaning toward Thriller, I can see a lot of life and death turning scenes in the future, and honestly, that is what I am looking for in this series, it’s what is bringing me back.
If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:
Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.
My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.
Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!
Category: 5 commandments, 6 core questions, Authors, Blog, For All Mankind, Screenwriters, Story Grid, television, tv series, WritersTags: Astronauts, buzz aldrin, NASA, neil armstrong, Saturn V, Wernher Von Braun
With 25+ years of military experience, let me help you make your action characters and scenes more authentic. Contact me and tell me about your writing project.
© 2020 Randall R. Surles