One of the best Apple TV Plus shows is free to stream right now – but not for long

Still image of two astronauts on the moon in For All Mankind
(Image credit: Apple)

We could all use a freebie right now, and Apple has seen fit to make one of its very best TV series partially available to stream without an Apple TV Plus subscription for a limited time. 

To coincide with the release of For All Mankind’s much-anticipated third season, Apple has lowered the paywall on season 1 of its acclaimed space drama for an undefined period. Simply head over to Apple TV Plus and hit the “Play Free Episode” button to begin streaming the show's 10-part debut season.  

The sci-fi series, from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron D. Moor, charts the fallout of an alternate history in which the Soviet Union becomes the first nation to reach the moon. The Cold War-era space race continues as a result, with both the Soviets and the US eventually establishing lunar colonies from which to operate. 

For All Mankind debuted as a launch title for Apple TV Plus back in 2019, and the show – which counts Joel Kinnaman, Sarah Jones and Jodi Balfour among its cast – arguably represents the first in a steady string of critical hits for the still-young streaming service.

Apple swiftly renewed the series for a second season following the success of its first crop of episodes, and Rolling Stone went on to name For All Mankind season 2 as the best TV show of 2021 (preferring For All Mankind to pop culture behemoths Succession and Squid Game). 

Evidently, then, Apple is hoping that viewers hooked by the show’s free-to-stream first season will stick around and open their wallets for access to its second and third, the latter of which began streaming on June 10, 2022. 

At present, it’s not yet clear how long For All Mankind season 1 will remain available to stream for free on Apple TV Plus. As per the tweet above, Apple has only confirmed the show's paywall-less status for “a limited time” – though we anticipate it remaining free until the conclusion of its third season on August 12.

More freebies, please

Even if Apple’s decision to make For All Mankind season 1 available for free is less a gesture of goodwill and more a shrewd business strategy, it’s still refreshing to see a major streaming service giving prospective subscribers the chance to try before they buy. 

Especially with the cost of living rising across the globe, entertainment giants are being forced to justify the value for money of their on-demand products, and Apple’s series-specific free trial is a great way for its streamer to prove the quality of its content offering. 

Early last year, Netflix offered viewers the chance to stream the first episodes of shows like Stranger Things and When They See Us through its now non-existent Netflix Watch Free website, though the streamer hasn’t touted a similar promotion since.

Having offered several free trial periods at launch in 2020, HBO Max has since done away with its limited-time promotions, too, so perhaps both services could take a leaf out of Apple’s book if they hope to attract new subscribers.

If you do decide to check out For All Mankind in the coming weeks and like what you see, head over to our list of the best Apple TV Plus shows for help in choosing what to watch next on the up-and-coming streamer.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.