Monday, January 4, 2016

The Expanse: (Truly) Quality Sci-Fi Returns to TV

Although I greatly enjoyed SyFy channel's two new Sci-Fi shows last season, Dark Matter and Killjoys, there's been an awakening. No, not that kind of awakening. This brand is a quality Sci-Fi series that's on par with the ill-fated (and much loved) Defying Gravity and many big screen offerings. And by "quality," I mean top notch special effects, believable science, compelling characters, with a dangerous, gritty future solar system as a setting.

Unlike Defying Gravity which was Near Future, The Expanse is set 200 years from now. Man has colonized Earth, Mars and now mines the asteroid belt and outer planets assisted by Ceres Station, located on the dwarf-planet/asteroid for which it is named.

But this is no utopia. Earth and Luna are controlled by the United Nations, and are on the verge of war with the colonized, military-dominant Mars. And the Belters--those left to scavenge in the asteroid belt and rings of Saturn and Jupiter (yes, Virginia, Jupiter does actually have rings), are scrambling to make a living and are pretty much at the mercy of both superpowers--the mice underfoot of the lions, as it were.

The first four episodes of The Expanse start to flesh out a new threat--a ship that lurks in the blackness of space and attacks with superior firepower and technology--and no knows who's side this new foe is aligned with. The story is told through three primary viewpoints--a powerful female politician on Earth, a team of cops on Ceres Station, and the surviving crew of a Belter scavenger ship, The Cant (short for Canterbury). The three story lines soon tie together via in the search for a missing young woman from a powerful family, whose last known whereabouts was aboard a doomed belt ship.

Want a look at the series trailer? Here it is.

The Expanse is based on a series of novels by James S. A. Corey (pen name of the author team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), which include the novels (in order of release) Leviathon Wakes, Caliban's War, Abaddon's Gate, Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games and Babylon's Ashes.

You might be wondering if the series contains any romance.  It actually starts with a love scene, and a relationship between one of the main characters and his navigator is very quickly defined, and just as quickly killed. No HEA here. But there are hints that other relationships may develop as the story continues. (I haven't read the books yet and have no clue if romance or romantic elements are integral in the novels or might evolve on the small screen.)

Interested?

The Expanse: Official SyFy Web Site

SyFy Channel's 'The Expanse' App Lets You Fly Spaceships in 3D

Turning a Sci-Fi Series into a TV Epic: Q&A with the Authors on

The Expanse and the Physics of Stealth in Space

Have a great week.

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