SyFy's New Series "The Expanse"

lotr10

Well-known member
The expanse is back! It premiered last night on SyFi and I'll be watching it tonight. I'll give you my review tomorrow.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
I'll have to track it down.

Altered Carbon has a similar game, from a science and a technology POV in story and in the effort put into the show.
 

lotr10

Well-known member
Excellent kickoff to season 3 for this great science fiction series. They did a nice job of establishing three separate narratives and it looks like they've further upgraded the production design & special effects. And as expected the Avasarala character steals every scene she is in.

If you haven't watched this series yet you might want to check it out. I would recommend you binge watch the first FOUR episodes of season 1 as the Expanse doesn't really get going until episodes 3 & 4.

As an aside I just finished reading book 7 in the series and can say that the story remains alive and well and in fact is getting even better as they continue to expand its scope.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
avasarala: not a fan of the actor but it doesn't detract much for me. Hard to imagine in what way they could have upped the game on production design and it probably won't show on my laptop but still looking forward to it. The space battles they had, what, last season? Amazing.

Agree on the need to binge season 1 as it does take awhile to get to the point.
 

Michael Bluth

Well-known member
Season 3, episode 1: Felt most of the scenes on the Rocinante were pretty boring and not of much use but the rest was good. Have always enjoyed seeing the political maneuvering more than the ship drama
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
I can see that. But those slow scenes this episode did seem to have a purpose. Jim has been leader in name only, Naomi being the real person the crew followed. They did a decent job this episode of using her betrayal and Jim's recognition the desires of the crew to "make a difference" to turn him into the true leader. She said Tycho and lay low. With no consultation, he said no, they're going to try and find the daughter.

Episodic planning isn't the writers' strong suit, for sure. The season long stories are good but individual episodes dont seem to have those emotional rides. Some good lines and I think the over all story arc is made worth waiting for.

They'll occasionally do something dumb in the scenes meant to summarize to the viewer what's going on (The Sec Gen Council meeting) or to move the plot along but the protagonists, the actors, continue to be the only weak points for ME. Jim particularly but I did like Avasarala more. Supporting characters and actors, I enjoy immensely. That was a good team on the yacht.



“Hitch your and pucker up! It's time to peel the paint!”
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Eps 2-4 were much better stand alone. I'm still not much a fan of the leads but the supporting crowd keeps getting better. THey're doing a good "GOT," finding different ways to pair up the characters and it's working. Keeping with the GOT comparisons, I think the female characters are stronger here. I like Christie as Phasma but think Frankie Adams would have killed in that role and made for good Fett rumoring.
 

lotr10

Well-known member
I agree that the season is coming along nicely and is building up momentum fast. The ending of the last episode was both horrific and a great way to spotlight the impact of the proto molecule.

As someone who has read the books I think that the actors playing Naomi & Jim are only average but they nailed it with Amos & Alex. Amos continues to have the best lines.

What I like the best about the Expanse though is that of all the science fiction on TV and at the movies this one is the most "pure" and original. Overall it's a very good extrapolation of the potential technology AND cultures of the future.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
though they do do the obligatory "sound in space." Really, the accurate silence was fine when a movie first did it, but it's not as fun.


And maybe its the new drivers on my laptop or maybe as you said, but the graphics are even more stunning. Even the city. Merging of graphics and reality is hard to differentiate.

"Brienne of Mars," lol. I like it!

Cara Gee/Drummer is another female bad- that comes off believable. They don't go out of their way to tell you a character is bad-, they show it or act it. Gee's expression and posture alone say, "don't mess."

The new guy, Dr Prax I think they've merged in well. The whole running kitchen gag is fun.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
canceled. Being shopped around. Hopefully they'll find someone that has supported the budgets as well as SyFy, and get better at writing episodic tv (which got better maybe too late). The alternative is one of the binge networks.

I think if they go binge, they should reedit the entire first season to get that moving faster and make clearer the conflicts, early on. They also kind of left Venus somewhere in season 2 and it's the big show.
 

lotr10

Well-known member
Unfortunate but not unexpected. The issue was the agreement between the shows producers and SyFy which limited the networks ability to make money beyond the "live" showings:

http://deadline.com/2018/05/the-expanse-canceled-syfy-after-three-seasons-to-be-shopped-1202388026/

The good news is that in the current market there's a very good chance this show will get picked up. The books alone provide another 5 seasons of material and I suspect that in syndication the show will grow an audience.

For the SyFy channel it's unfortunate they couldn't be more patient for what IMO was their best pure SCIENCE FICTION series. Slowly but surely SyFy is going the way of MTV (not so many music videos) - not a lot of science fiction but here's always Sharknado!
 

lotr10

Well-known member
Well the Expanse has completed it's 3rd & final season on SyFy and it went out with a big bang. An outstanding season that got better as it went along. Easily the best hard science fiction show on TV. Sure the ratings sucked but SyFy should have stuck with it - it represented what should be their meat & potatoes programing.

Now it's off to Amazon with a greatly expanded story line all teed up and ready to go. 1300 gates to new solar systems would suggest the show is going the Star Gate route but you would be wrong based on the books. Sure we'll be seeing new worlds but there's the pesky politics in the Sol system to deal with and they sure do get nasty - I mean REAL nasty.

There's also the question of who the gate builders were fighting and why they resorted to destroying entire solar systems in what appeared to be a losing war. The books are just beginning to touch on that story line.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
They already answered who the gate builders are. Vogans.

How did a declared strident conservative such as yourself, find that story satisfying? The most vain, egocentric, liberal all talk, do nothing character was given the save the day. Half the final was listening to that moron saying "I understand," "I've fought," blah, blah, blah. She wrote speeches, for self-serving purposes, to make it seem as if SHE was making the difference. Two million people died for her arrogance. She left her family so she could see something unique, be a part of history. SHE didn't expose Errinwrite, as she's given credit. That credit goes to the character left out of the story. And let's not gloss over that the other "hero" was another self-serving killer, Mao.

The person who should have been on that ship, with the character built cache to actually pull off the final plea was left out of the script, as opposed to someone that no one knew. Chrisjen should have been on the ship and the alterior story motive, should never have existed. The "reverend" never had a point to the story that wasn't forced and about the only way that can be redeemed is if she gets recognized for what she is and gets her comeuppance

They were warriers, all three sides. The story did a bad belly-flop in how it got everyone to trust and turn off the reactors. They trusted the all-talk, no responsibility liberal and the media. lol.

I agree there is a lot of promise in the story for next season. I like how they keep reinventing instead of beating the same horse that's the doom of so many great shows. I noted that in Holden's (snore, can the ring create a new actor) final monologue he picked up on Ashford's reasoning for trying to destoy the ring, the human's by their nature will make it worse if they can get past the ring.

Straithairn's acting is superb. Unrecognizable to any other character I've seen him do, an almost impossible task for a recognizable actor. Cara Gee is another who makes her screen time a pleasure.
 

lotr10

Well-known member
They already answered who the gate builders are. Vogans.

How did a declared strident conservative such as yourself, find that story satisfying? The most vain, egocentric, liberal all talk, do nothing character was given the save the day. Half the final was listening to that moron saying "I understand," "I've fought," blah, blah, blah. She wrote speeches, for self-serving purposes, to make it seem as if SHE was making the difference. Two million people died for her arrogance. She left her family so she could see something unique, be a part of history. SHE didn't expose Errinwrite, as she's given credit. That credit goes to the character left out of the story. And let's not gloss over that the other "hero" was another self-serving killer, Mao.

The person who should have been on that ship, with the character built cache to actually pull off the final plea was left out of the script, as opposed to someone that no one knew. Chrisjen should have been on the ship and the alterior story motive, should never have existed. The "reverend" never had a point to the story that wasn't forced and about the only way that can be redeemed is if she gets recognized for what she is and gets her comeuppance

They were warriers, all three sides. The story did a bad belly-flop in how it got everyone to trust and turn off the reactors. They trusted the all-talk, no responsibility liberal and the media. lol.

I agree there is a lot of promise in the story for next season. I like how they keep reinventing instead of beating the same horse that's the doom of so many great shows. I noted that in Holden's (snore, can the ring create a new actor) final monologue he picked up on Ashford's reasoning for trying to destoy the ring, the human's by their nature will make it worse if they can get past the ring.

Straithairn's acting is superb. Unrecognizable to any other character I've seen him do, an almost impossible task for a recognizable actor. Cara Gee is another who makes her screen time a pleasure.
For sure the "minister" is my least favorite character on the show. She deosn't really figure that large in the books. As a "conservative" I'm resigned to the fact that virtually EVERY series will have characters like this. The folks writing/producing the shows can't help themselves. What I find refreshing about the Expanse is for the most part they avoid this nonsense and stick to the books in presenting a cool science fiction story.

Straithairn's performance as Ashford is excellent. He absolutely blended into the scenery and you bought him as a die hard belter right from the start.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
First Episode of Season 4 not until December.

They're going to play. Aspect ratio will change depending upon whether they are planetside (wider) or in space (16:9).
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
It's back. I'm not reading reviews so as not to spoil but the titles seem to rave. Watched ep 1. I don't know if they've upped the game since I watch on a laptop but they certainly haven't dropped the ball. My only conplaints, Chrisjens actress trying too hard to be a caricature of Christens. The personality comes off forced to me. The other being the inclusion of Burn Gorman, a one note actor who chews scenery playing the same person in every new role. I can't figure why he gets anything but bit parts maybe opening doors or something.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
If this were a theme park, I'd go just for the bars.



Holden and Naomi still have no charisma but now I just find it amusing. No showing by Camina. All the other characters got good screen time. Chrisjen's broke her record for f-bomb free dialogue, about 4 minutes. Amos had some great comic relief scenes as only he can. Frankie Adams still one of the few females I find does a credible bad-. And Alex working on his personal life. The transport tube and space physics scenes was the graphic department just showing off. I'm on a small laptop and it made my stomach lurch.

I'm not sure where they're going with the story though. Are they still following books?
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Watched the first episode of the season last night. Amos is definitely the most interesting character on the show. Not sure where they are going with this season. I expected them to explore more new worlds but maybe that is in future seasons.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
He's most fun for sure. I just finished 2nd episode, we see more of his background. The other characters get some background too.

I suppose it could all be about the Marcos rebellion but that seems kind of small potatoes compared to where they've gone before. I've enough trust in the show that even though it doesn't feel like they're moving the story along, they are.
 

lotr10

Well-known member
Finished the first 5 episodes of the new season and all I can say is WOW. Very faithful to the book. I suspect those of you wondering whether this was a pullback from the scope of the earlier gate episodes see that it's anything but.

In unexpected ways that will become clear over the next couple of seasons this season is setting you up for a fantastic story line that stretches beyond the gates.

And as East noted the special effects are outstanding.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Moreso the physics. They nail the physics and they play with it for no reason other than to play with it. I love the "let the coffee cup hang" bit they keep doing. These characters grew up in that environment, spent their whole lives in it and are experts in it. It makes sense they would do stuff like that but it really needs those great special effects to make it seem real.

I think I'm only up to episode 4. Marcos has been brought along so slowly, it's hard to see him as being so powerful. But in thinking about this latest, it was really just a clever idea of putting knowledge of this tech (and stealing it) with knowing of that tech. Bingo, bango, bombo.

This is the problem and the good thing with "seasons." In order to really get this season, it helps to rewatch past seasons. Taking what you say as value because at this point, the Marcos storyline is coming off as a complete non-sequitar with a stretch of a connection with the fight for the protomolecule.

I read that the actor playing Alex got himself in some trouble in the real that will result in his bye-bye. So,, do they need to recast the character to remain true to the books?
 

Auggie

Well-known member
So I started watching this series because of the positive reviews and it is a solid B but nothing outstanding. On the positives I do like many of the supporting characters and the actors and by Sci-Fi standards the plot isn't too technical but as stated the series doesn't seem to hit it out of the park when it comes to leads. I get that Holden is eye candy for any female fans out there but Naomi is a complete miss on all levels, as a mob boss says she's got to go. I am also not digging the current season and the amount of time given to Marcos and the family drama thing. Hopefully they finish strong and move back to the ring and takes us to new worlds with better plot lines then a cheap looking Che Guevara like story.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
The story certainly is a slow build. My thoughts first season were almost exactly the same as yours. Couple interesting characters. They had baited enough to keep me coming until they hit the ring. I'm with you, back to new worlds. The strongest point for me are the station life scenes.


LOTR says this story somehow connects back to the ring. I like short connections, not season long connections. I'd like them to get on with it also.

Oh the home front stories, Amos' is the only one that entertains me. Alex been love sick way too long, I just want to slap him. Naomi never intrigued me either. Christjen is the joke I count words until the first f-bomb. Lost an excellent character first season (Miller) and last (Ashford) and an ok one last episode (Fred Johnson) but give me more on Bobbie and Camina. OF all the complaints that female badazzes can't really do the things they are shown to do, Frankie Adams/Bobbie pulls off man fights really well and Camina mostly sticks to ruthless brains. Both well written IMO.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
A huge fan of the Bobbie character and the way Frankie Adams portrays her. I think I saw it called out earlier but the below scene is a classic
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Hilarious, I'd forgotten it. Lotr can probably tell us if that's a book character thing or actor created. Either way, she played it great.
 
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