It is very hard to summarize three seasons of a show into one article that is small enough that people would be interested to read it. But in an attempt to make people aware of the brilliance that is The Expanse, I am going to give it a shot.
In the world of The Expanse, set in the 24th century, there are three factions, the Earth, Mars and the Belt. Mars was a colony of Earth as some residents from Earth went to Mars to colonize it. Later they exchanged a piece of technology for their freedom from Earth and formed their own government. The Belt consists of people born in the asteroid belt who are mostly working class, engaged in different contractual jobs for Earth and Mars. The Earth is governed by the United Nations (UN) with its own military while Mars is governed by the Martian Congressional Republic (MCR).
The show deals with problems similar to today’s world but in the backdrop of a future that doesn’t seem too far away, just slightly out of reach of current technology, which creates an interesting political atmosphere, only in the solar system. The political backdrop is one of the main features of the show. From diplomatic peace talks and Cold War scenarios to treason and espionage, The Expanse has it all.
One of the most striking features of The Expanse is their amazing production design and computer graphics work. So much detail is added to everything whether it is something as small as a holographic screen or as big as an entire celestial body. Another very noticeable characteristic of the show is their way of storytelling. The show tells two or more different stories simultaneously set in different places and will slowly converge those plot points into one. Every episode is assured to put you on the edge of your seat and I can bet you won’t be able to resist the temptation to immediately switch to the next episode to figure out what happens next.
That being said, The Expanse isn’t without its cons. An easily observable problem of the show is it’s acting. The show uses a cast of mostly unknown actors and it shows as the acting often feels very mechanical, due to the cast being majorly inexperienced. The show also doesn’t really show all the factions in equal detail so there’s a difference in the amount of knowledge you get about the three factions so far.
But these cons can be overlooked simply because of how gripping the plot is and how well executed each episode are. The factions might not be well explored but the show explores their characters in intricate detail. The characters are like any one of us, victims of situations they have faced all their life and acting on them and the show makes us aware all the time that irrespective of being citizens of different planets, at the end of it, every one of them have the basic human instincts deep down which they bring out when facing dire situations. I still don’t understand the character of Amos, who I haven’t yet been able to categorize into good or bad, but I guess that is what the show tells us that there’s no good or bad, it is all about how we act under circumstances.
The Expanse is one of the most brilliant works of science fiction to have ever been made for the screen.
The television series, created by Hank Ostby and Mark Fergus is based on The Expanse novel series written by James S.A. Corey, which is the pen name for author duo Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
The show takes one and a half seasons to cover Leviathan Wakes, the first book in the series and another season to cover Caliban’s War. The latter half of the recently concluded third season covers one half of Abaddon’s Gate, the third book in the series and guess what, the real story of The Expanse series is just about to begin as these past three seasons were just a sort of prequel to the main story to help establish the world to the viewers.
After Syfy cancelled the show due to budget issues, The Expanse fandom did the unthinkable and convinced Amazon to pick up the further seasons of the show for their Prime Video streaming service. Jeff Bezos’s announcement of this at the International Space Development Conference on May 26 of this year was met with huge applause. This is good for the show as they can now have more creative freedom and no time restrictions, improving over their already spectacular display at Syfy.
Whatever you have seen about space shows, space travel and space fights till now, get ready to see it in a completely new way, as this show roots everything in ground reality, about how things actually work in space and in space stations down to minute details like how gravity is created artificially in space stations and how it affects everything around you. So, what are you waiting for? Start watching this gem of a show already.
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An aspiring programmer by passion, Tuhin is a serial procrastinator and is occupied with three M’s – Movies, Music and Manchester United. He is obsessed with the use of colour in films, something he pours out more often than not on his Facebook page.