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Hello Tomorrow! has a big-time ‘Elon Musk in Fallout’ vibe

Watch the first trailer for the new series, premiering Feb. 17

Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

Remember when Elon Musk wasn’t in the news every day because of his latest decisions about Twitter, and was instead regularly in the news because he was constantly talking about his timelines for sending people to live on (or more disturbingly, die on) Mars? Apple TV Plus’ upcoming series Hello Tomorrow! feels like a response to that era, with Billy Crudup starring as a huckster selling timeshares for a supposed settlement on the Moon. The first trailer for Hello Tomorrow! gives his salesman character, Jack, an Elon-like positivity about the future of humanity living in space, but also an Elon-like pie-in-the-sky approach that may be ahead of his era’s actual available technology.

At the same time, the show takes place in a Fallout-esque retro-future, complete with 1950s-style designs, fashions, and vehicles, each given their own futuristic twist. Hovercars with fins! Countertop bubble microwaves! Fallout-style grim upbeat messaging!

But it’s also possible that this show is less a response to SpaceX’s “Let’s all move to space” marketing or Fallout’s dark yet cheery future setting, and more a response to the critical success of Apple TV Plus’ For All Mankind, Ronald D. Moore’s very tonally different series that’s also an alt-history version of the space race. The steady positive response to that series might have inspired the streamer to try a completely different take on a similar idea — in this case, a series more about selling the space race than actually competing in it.

Here’s Apple TV Plus’ series description:

Set in a retro-future world, “Hello Tomorrow!” centers around a group of traveling salesmen hawking lunar timeshares. Billy Crudup stars as Jack, a salesman of great talent and ambition, whose unshakeable faith in a brighter tomorrow inspires his coworkers, revitalizes his desperate customers, but threatens to leave him dangerously lost in the very dream that sustains him.

Star Trek: Picard’s Alison Pill co-stars and appears in the trailer, with Haneefah Wood, Nicholas Podany, Dewshane Williams, and Hank Azaria also slated for roles. The 10-episode, half-hour series launches on Friday, Feb. 17 with the first three episodes, with subsequent new episodes arriving weekly.

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