I’ve just finished watching the first episode of SyFy’s new highly-anticipated series: The Expanse.
I’m not familiar with the novel series, but I was looking forward to watching the show after all the hype I heard about it from Steve Gibson on Security Now. By all accounts, The Expanse looks to be SyFy’s first truly serious, high production value series since Battlestar Galactica. For someone like me who doesn’t have paid cable television, it’s not too often that I’m aware of new shows weeks before they premiere. I’d even seen previews for the show during the trailers before a few movies - so I was excited for it to begin.
I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but I’m excited for where this series is headed. We establish that it takes place ~300 years in to the future. Mars and Earth are both populated by humans, but operate as completely separately governed planets, and another population of humans exists in deep space, and in the asteroid belt, mining them for precious resources - namely, water.
In the first episode, we establish ourselves with a stern politician on Earth, a brooding noir-like detective on an asteroid base, and a young XO on a mining ship. Thus far, I find the interrogator on Earth, and the XO on the mining ship to be the most intriguing characters, but I’m hopeful that the cliched brooding detective character will have a payoff in the future episodes.
The world in the Expanse is certainly captivating. Many of the problems that exist in modern-day Earth seem to have continued into the future as well. The Expanse is not a bright shiny utopia, there is struggle, there is a certainly poverty among the people working in the asteroid belt. Mind you, it’s not entirely dark and gritty, but there is a definite sense of realism that the classes of people that exist today will have an analogue in the future as well.
Thus far in the first 44 minutes of the shows, we’re left with far more questions that we’ve had answered - and I like that. It makes me curious for where the show is going. We’re left with questions as to why the colonies on Earth and the Mars are unified, but why the government of Mars seems to be at the brink of war with Earth. We’re told very little about Mars, actually; we meet no characters on Mars, so we wonder what’s Mars’ deal. We hear murmurs about a terrorist organization led by people from the asteroid belt - but is it a simple fight for equality, or something more? The biggest question we’re left with comes at the end of the show when the XO and his mining ship crew find a big surprise for themselves. I won’t spoil it, but it takes us in a great direction.
So far, it looks to be great Science Fiction. The Expanse shows us an intriguing world with interesting characters, a plausible future for humanity, great acting, and great production value(I mention this because lets be honest, often SyFy feels cheap).
Based on what I’ve seen so far, this doesn’t look like it’s going to be like BSG, which was very much The West Wing in space, but we’re off to a promising start.
The first 4 episodes are now available for streaming on SyFy’s website.
Typed on White Alps64