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The Expanse thread - SPOILERS for series 3


I’ve been interested in getting into this series, so what would sell me on it?

What are the elements that you just have to “get over”? What are the payoffs that I should have patience for? What is the basic sales pitch?


“Why should I watch The Expanse?” typed into Google.

Haven’t looked at any of these, but…


A commercial for The Expanse Season 3 was on during ST: Discovery tonight (on Space here in Canada).

It said “Coming Soon” which sounds better than those that predict mid-2018.
Dammit, from a conversation yesterday this is now consuming all my thoughts (but I put this in the "good addiction " category.).


Ep 1 I found slow, but after ep 2 I was in.

It’s the best series I’ve seen on TV for showing up space as an environment truly hostile to humans, so much so we’ve no business going out there, but like that was going to stop us.


Selling points of the Expanse:

  1. It’s possibly the hardest sci-fi TV show, like ever, but it presents this in a natural and relatable fashion. There’s a minimum of technobabble and the show does a good job of relating information visually.
  2. The world of the show is fascinating. Earth and Mars are independent powers locked in a cold war, and exploiting the resources of the asteroid belt and the outer planets, leading to a PLO/IRA style activist/terrorist organisation fighting for the rights of the Belters.
  3. The Belters have an emergent culture with an argot language, like many indentured worker cultures in history, and it’s presented in a believable and interesting way. Like with the SF elements, the show explains very little but still gives you enough information through dialogue and action.
  4. The show looks amazing - it’s one of, if not the most expensive shows SyFy has ever shown, they apparently out HBO for this. But there’s amazing sets, great costumes, spacesuits, power armour, CG. And Shoreh Aghdashloo’s outfits are stunning.
  5. The showrunners have done a good job of adapting the novels to TV, adding elements in places, removing or altering others. It keeps the show fresh if you’ve read the books, but they have the advantage of knowing what character development is coming in later books and incorporate that into ones who weren’t fleshed out well early on.

Things to get over - the cast take a bit of time to get going, with the exception of Thomas Jane as Miller and Shoreh Aghdashloo as Avasarala. By series 2 everyone is firing on all cylinders. Also in series 1 the budget is clearly stretched to its limit, so the CG sequences can be brief. There’s one or two scenes from the novel that stood out for me but didn’t land on screen as a result.

Payoffs to have patience for - this is an adaptation of a series of novels, and due to pacing from episode to episode they’ve settled into the conclusion of a book being 4-5 episodes into the following series, unlike say Game of Thrones rhythm of one series per book for the first couple of series. That said, they have chosen good points to act as cliffhangers for series 1 and 2.

As has been stated, if you watch the first 4 or 5 episodes of series 1, you’ll have a good feel for the main cast, their motives and interactions, and how the show works.


I just binged the first two seasons. It is a good show, well worth people’s time.

Having never read the books, the pacing is what it is, I have no complaints (but then watching it all in 3 days will give you a different perspective)…

The Game of Thrones comparison is interesting. Just like Thrones it lets you know that there’s more going on than the politics (there’s something mysterious developing in the background) but then concentrates on that politics (including corruption and violence) for many episodes after that.

It’s not as gory or sexy, as Thrones though, it’s not offering that the way something like ‘Altered Carbon’ seems to be gearing to to do.

Even with it’s evident budget, you can feel the limits sometimes. Like a lot of shows, I think it benefits from people learning how to give the makers what they want. The props, sets, costumes and VFX all have an understanding of what the show is now, and they are getting more for their money as a result.


The comparison is almost demanded as Ty Frank, one of the authors was GRRM’s assistant for many years.

Altered Carbon will have to tone down the sex from the novel significantly or Game of Thrones is going to start looking pretty prudish…


‘American Gods’ moves the bar too. It’s already a bit more explicit/weird than ‘Game of Thrones’.


For Americans looking to catch up, S2 will be on Amazon Prime on Feb 7th:


S2 Eps 3-8

Fuc-king hell, this was good. Utterly insane and so well executed.


Dammit, why do I have to wait for Season 3?

That was utterly brilliant as a final set of eps for this one. Feels like they’ve done a full series of eps in these 13 too.

Must get around to starting on the books.


April 11th.


Ah Good!
April 11th is a lot better than June 6th (about a week ago I found a countdown site which now says “unconfirmed”).



Avasarala’s speech is totally talking about what happens on Venus, isn’t it?


Gentlefolk, The Expanse series 3 hits screens in the US this evening. No idea if it’ll also reach Netflix at the same time.

So let’s have some ground rules for discussing the show live.

1: Book spoilers should be marked and tagged
2: I feel that we should operate like any TV discussion thread and allow for events in the current episode to be untagged, I’ll edit the thread title to reflect that and anyone who’s waiting for Netflix should stay out until it shows up there?


Episode 1:

Oh yeah. that’s the good shit. I love how the episode shifted between different levels of internal and external stress. The Roci is safe from attack in the short term, but inside the family that the crew has become is falling apart; On the Guanshiyin, Bobbie, Avasarala and Cotyar are facing threats from the crew and the missiles incoming, while Errinwright and Fred are navigating politics, which has a more abstract danger to them. It’s a really interesting series of contrasts.

One thing the show does so well is flesh out characters who get very little time in the books - while Alex and Amos are the biggest beneficiaries of this, I love the expansion of Cotyar’s character. In the book he doesn’t do much at all, but here he’s far more rounded, and I’m quite invested in how he fares in the aftermath of the Guanshiyin’s destruction.


If it hits Netflix UK that fast and no one says anything, I will be… Miffed. Highly miffed.


It wasn’t there as of a few hours ago. They could be doing a week’s offset, like they did for Rick and Morty last year.


S2 took months to turn up, hence my scepticism.