'For All Mankind' Premiere Officially Marks Apple's Entrance Into the Streaming Wars

"There's just the scale of this that is really unlike anything I've ever been a part of. I mean, they built the surface of the moon. It’s an astonishing, astonishing scale that is usually reserved for movies," Sonya Walger told THR about what set Apple apart from her other television experiences.
Rachel Luna/FilmMagic
The cast of "For All Mankind"

Apple TV+ held its first premiere in company history Tuesday at the Regency Village theater in Westwood, for Ron Moore drama For All Mankind, a series that explores an alternate history of the space race. 

Stars Joel Kinnaman, Shantel VanSanten, Sarah Jones and Moore (Battlestar Galactica) were all on hand to celebrate the debut of the streaming service's inaugural show.

“There was always an optimism to the company," Moore said of Apple's entry into the crowded streaming and scripted space. "There was always a sense of trying to do the very best product for the audience, no matter how much it cost, and there were certain things that Apple always stood for that was a comfortable marriage to doing a television show, because all they really cared about was making a really good television show, making a beautiful television show, making a special one. So there was just an emphasis on quality that was really refreshing. It wasn’t about the budget, it wasn’t about hitting a demographic. You just got this mandate to make a really, really good show.”

True to the company’s innovative nature, rather than using a traditional red carpet, Apple constructed an arrival area that looked like a space-age Apple Store, with towering white walls rising up on either side of the smooth, teal tiles that the stars walked across. However, Apple didn’t eschew every aspect of the traditional Hollywood carpet: servers carrying silver trays of champagne greeted guests at the entrance to the theater.

Sonya Walger plays an aspiring astronaut on the show, and she told THR about the difference she felt shooting for Apple versus more traditional networks and channels. “There's just the scale of this that is really unlike anything I've ever been a part of," she said. "I mean, they built the surface of the moon. It’s an astonishing, astonishing scale that is usually reserved for movies. I mean, it's kind of extraordinary, what you're going to get to see every single week, that you would usually have to go to a wide screen to see.”

Attendants wearing black Apple TV T-shirts helped guide guests into the theater, and once at their seat, everyone found a sleek black bag that contained a glass bottle of water, popcorn and a dehydrated-astronaut-food ice cream sandwich. 

“It feels like we're venturing into this unknown territory. It feels like we are literally going to the moon," VanSanten said of being part of Apple TV+'s inaugural slate. "We don't know sometimes what we're doing — I mean, we’re going into space. But it’s like you're going into this unknown place and we're just along for the ride, and all you can do is hold on and enjoy it and look around and feel blessed.”

Apple TV+ will cost $5 a month, but customers who purchase any new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch will be eligible to receive one free year of the streaming service.

The first three episodes of For All Mankind will be available when Apple TV+ launches on Nov. 1, and new episodes will become available on a weekly basis after that.