I’m furious with everybody I know for not drilling into my head that I needed to watch THE EXPANSE. I’m nearing the end of the second season. In my view, it’s one of the best things on television, as good as GAME OF THRONES, and [gets ready to duck tomatoes] better sci-fi than even FIREFLY and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
Based on the series of novels by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (writing under the name James S. A. Corey), this sprawling epic is set in a future in which humanity has colonized the solar system using pre-FTL propulsion technology, but is hardly united. Three factions push against each other in constant tension that threatens to break out into all-out war. Run by the UN, Earth is polluted and decadent, filled with teeming unemployed, but remains the strongest faction. Its corporations operate mining operations along the asteroid belt and outer planets, where a recluse and rough Belter faction longs for independence. In between is Mars, strong, independent and militaristic.
THE EXPANSE focuses on multiple characters and interweaving storylines without a weak link in the lot. The main storyline focuses on James Holden and his crew of Belters, who have taken over a Martian warship and are riding freelance between the factions. At the heart of the conflict is an alien lifeform that offers either an amazing leap for humanity or its extinction, depending on who is judging it. Additional storylines involve a Martian marine, Belter detective and senior UN official.
The world building is deep and richly detailed, the dialogue crackling, the plot ebbing and flowing just right with tension, the characterization perfect even with minor players, and the action heartpounding. I really don’t have anything negative to say about the show other than lament it might end after the third season, based on rumors it might be canceled.
If you like great sci-fi, check it out if you haven’t already!