Saturday, August 05, 2017

The Expanse: TV Show

Been watching "The Expanse" on DVD lately. This is an SF TV show from SYFY channel, based on a series of books by James S. A. Corey, which is a pen name for a pair of authors named Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The novels are well respected and have gotten some Hugo nominations. I haven't read them but quite likely will give the first one a try, "Leviathan Wakes."

I have no idea how close the show stays to the novels. We've only watched the first five episodes, but based on that I'll definitely be continuing with it. There are two 13 episode seasons filmed so far, with a third planned for 2018.

The concept is a three way political struggle between Earth, a strong and independent Mars colony, and "The Belt," which are the independent settlers and miners of the Asteroid belt, particularly "Ceres," the largest asteroid in the belt. Based on the first five episodes, there appears to be a fourth player who is not clear at the moment.

I've always disliked politics and am not much of a reader of political fiction. But Games of Thrones showed that when you match politics with genuine human interest and human characters, and throw in plenty of action, you can have compelling TV. The Expanse TV series is following that kind of pattern and so far it's hooked me.

I didn't realize, too, until the past few years, how much of a difference good acting makes. Game of Thrones certainly illustrated this for me. The Expanse also showcases some good actors doing good work, including Thomas Jane as a hardboiled sort of detective, and a number of actors previously unknown to me. Another bonus is that the cast is very cosmopolitan, with meaty roles for women and non-white characters. I was pleased to see Chad Coleman get a good role here. I enjoyed his work in The Walking Dead.

I'm liking it!

14 comments:

oscar case said...

Haven't heard of this series and doubt that I'll watch it. Good luck with it. The series must be well written sticking to a formula that draws them in.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't watched it, but now I am intrigued.

Shadow said...

Thank you, I think I'll check it out, so little to watch of late....

Blogoratti said...

The Walking Dead is a good one. I haven't seen Game of Thrones.

David J. West said...

The wife and I are big fans. The first episode had me going, I don't know but we persevered and it got better and better and now we're hooked. Great character interaction and intrigue and season 2 is even better.

The thing I'd heard from people who have read it it is that its pretty close to the books and the kicker for me is that book one goes as far as halfway into season two - you'll know that finale when you get there.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oscar, if you're not in to SF you probably wouldn't care for it.

Alex, we're just finishing up season 1 and it's getting better and better.

Shadow, not much on regular station TV but some of the smaller cable shows are good.

Blogoratti, I'm still watching Walking Dead, and much enjoying Game of Thrones.

David J., I do want to read the books. Glad it is consistent with them. And agreed, season 1 has just gotten better as it has gone along.

freginold said...

Never heard of it, but it sounds interesting. I thought Chad Coleman was really good in TWD; didn't know he was in anything else. I haven't been watching a lot of new shows lately but maybe I'll check this one out.

- Greg

sage said...

I've not heard of it, but I tend to like how Sci-fi can deal with political issues without the general nonsense that goes into political debates.

Erik Donald France said...

How cool ~ thanks for the review, Charles! Thomas Jane is good from what I've seen of him in other 'stories,' oft with a dry sense of humor. Sounds fun.

Charles Gramlich said...

Freginold, I'm looking forward to season 2

Sage, yes, I think that's true.

Erik, Jane is playing a kind of different character here and pulling it off well.

roth phallyka said...

. I thought Chad Coleman was really good in TWD; didn't know he was in anything else.


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Chris said...

I haven't read the books but listened to the first three via Audible and LOVED them. I hope to give the show a try at some point.

I know one of the authors is an accomplished writer of fantasy himself, and I believe the author author is George RR Martin's personal assistant or something like that, if memory serves.

Chris said...

OTHER author, that should be....

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, I've taken notes of the authors and am going to look up their work. I like it as it's presented here.