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EXPANSE Soars

Last night's episode of THE EXPANSE was really strong, I thought. And I was pleased to hear that the show has been renewed for a third season.

Jimmy Corey's books and the TV series based on them have both gotten a fair amount of acclaim -- awards attention and the like -- but not nearly enough, imnsho. The show had a good first season, but it's only gotten stronger in season two. If it keeps on at this level, it deserves to be ranked among the best SF shows of all time. Acting, directing, writing... and my god, the look of it. The space stuff, in particular.



BABYLON 5, FIREFLY, and the various STAR TREK successor shows were all spiffy looking in their day, but THE EXPANSE is to those shows as they were to the original TREK, and as the original TREK was to ROCKY JONES: SPACE RANGER.



Speaking of Rocky, though, that is the one thing EXPANSE lacks: Pinto Vortando.

Comments

( 27 comments )
m_tootles
Apr. 13th, 2017 09:24 pm (UTC)
Or as Game of Thrones is to… Fantasy Island?
citrine_1
Apr. 13th, 2017 10:02 pm (UTC)
The Expanse is one of those rare shows that impresses me each week. I'm forever sharing posts about it, trying to get my friends to start watching.
mrmasman
Apr. 13th, 2017 10:35 pm (UTC)
Love the effects - characters even more...
about 1/3rd through Babylon's Ashes, and have enjoyed the whole series for both the settings and the characters.

Wes Chatham's portrayal of Amos, especially the last few episodes of Season 2, reminded me how much I loved that character. He isn't a "great guy" but the character is fantastic.

Glad to see it's getting some recognition and support..
nextpre3
Apr. 14th, 2017 12:17 am (UTC)
recommendations
I've had a co-worker harping at me to watch this every day for a couple weeks now and haven't heeded his advice. But if GRRM gives it the thumbs up, I'll definitely binge through it!
caravaggio2012
Apr. 14th, 2017 01:10 am (UTC)
It really is a fantastic series of books and a wonderful show. I've been impressed with the adaptation and the casting. I think both GoT and The Expanse have benefited a lot from recent advances in cheaper CGI. I'm sure both would still have done well earlier, but they are visually stunning shows that really draw you in with their top of the line, movie quality aesthetics.
BryndenBFish
Apr. 14th, 2017 01:33 am (UTC)
THE EXPANSE is superb
The latest episode packed a massive emotional punch to it with each storyline escalating the tension and keeping me in suspense. Without spoilers, the belter storyline was superb with special recognition for the large belter man and the speech he gives. It's reminiscent of some of the greater more emotionally-satisfying pieces of dialogue that shows like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA brought to the fore back in the day.

Regardless, this episode finally pushed me over the edge. I'll be buying the books and reading them over the summer. So, kudos to Ty and Daniel or "Jimmy" as you name them. Looking forward to delving into the series!
grail76
Apr. 14th, 2017 01:35 am (UTC)
I've been loving it. I started reading the book which is slightly different than the TV show is. I'm enjoying the differences. One example, in the first book none of the point of view characters are based on Mars or Earth.
Mike Rubin
Apr. 14th, 2017 03:29 am (UTC)
Absolutely agree. Last season was really good, this season was fantastic. That last episode was just outstanding...the scene evacuating Ganymede was tremendous writing and acting. All of it was, actually. Best sci-fi series I've seen in a long, long time.
MeereeneseKnot
Apr. 14th, 2017 03:42 am (UTC)
I've been loving this season so far; one thing the show does very well is adapting the entire series, not just each book, and changing many of the details while keeping to the essence of a character or plotline.

I rarely (if ever) feel like a divergence is a waste of time, an unneeded change, or damages a character's arc. I'm not a canon-fanatic, but so often changes have a butterfly effect that showrunners haven't necessarily had the foresight to plan for. Having the authors there to give their opinions and work things through with the writer's room makes a world of difference, especially for something with this many books to adapt.
falcon2908
Apr. 14th, 2017 08:55 am (UTC)
Bobbie
I want someone to look at me the way Bobbie does cucumber sandwiches.
Kyler Rose
Apr. 15th, 2017 02:05 am (UTC)
Re: Bobbie
I want GRRM to look at TWOW like Bobbie looks at cucumber sandwiches.

For real, though, the Expanse is great and it's one of the few adaptations that somehow massively exceeded the original source. Not that the books are bad, but almost every character has become even more dynamic in the show and the passion of everyone working on the project (in conjunction with the authors?) has really elevated it.
RealPeterman
Apr. 14th, 2017 12:16 pm (UTC)
Proto Molecule
George, Did the Proto Molecule create the Others ? Is Julie the Corpse Queen and Miller Night's King ?
Christopher Frazier
Apr. 14th, 2017 12:16 pm (UTC)
The Expanse is amazing!
While certainly one of the greatest shows of all time in regards to Science Fiction. To me the remake of Battlestar Galactica (SyFy too) is by far the best ever and the best looking. I can see The Expanse getting to that height and to me it is "The Outlander" of Science Fiction - needs more awards and praise.

Now every time I say that, people usually point to The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine as the best. But Star Trek is usually focused on by Star Trek fans. Battlestar Galactica did this really cool thing of bringing non Trek fans and people who never paid attention to Science Fiction into the genre. Let's face it the original series wasn't good either so it had to overcome that.

I kind of feel like Battlestar was the Game of Thrones of TV 10 years ago. Because your work George caters to both the lovers of fantasy and people who tend to not care about fantasy. Because you added a sense of realism. Battlestar did that as well back then.
Al Jackson
Apr. 14th, 2017 01:13 pm (UTC)
John W Campbell would be happy!
I have waited 60 years for this show!
Campbell laid out the template for this kind of science fiction in 1938. This show inherits from Astounding, Galaxy, F&SF and others, from about several hundred SF writers. Asimov, to Heinlein to Poul Anderson , to good lord! … so many others. It is just amazing to see , finally, for solar system SF , at least, the realization of source material that has laid fallow for so long.
Aaron Huffman
Apr. 14th, 2017 01:56 pm (UTC)
Rocky Jones
Yea, but if only The Expanse had Richard Crane. Then we would be talkin'.

Also, it is my deep and sincere hope that your next TV project is a remake of Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe.
megmca517
Apr. 15th, 2017 04:07 am (UTC)

This week made me cry.

I knew it was going to be good. I just didn't know it would be this good.

notjustasoiaf
Apr. 15th, 2017 04:19 am (UTC)
Hey George, I know you probably get sick of all the questions, But if it isn't spoiler territory, Will we ever see some of the lesser lost swords? Like vigilance, lamentation, orphan-maker and so on.
Scout Wellsrain
Apr. 15th, 2017 02:35 pm (UTC)
Really, guys? Hmmm. I don't know about this.

Not to be all black pill or show up here and be some jagoff contrarian and poop all over the thread, but here goes: I'm not nearly as enthused or enthralled as some folks seem to be re: The Expanse; and it kind of alarms me (considering the feelings I have about it) to think that something which appears to me to be sliding into mediocrity at best without anyone seeming to notice either means everyone is getting hypnotized/colonized by some sort of Expanse VIDEODROME signal, or I am turning into an even bigger dick with each ep I watch.

I only got into it a few weeks ago. Took me the first 2.5 eps for it to get its hooks in me; I almost gave up, cynically pegging it as an Outland ripoff/remake in series form. Some of the dialogue seemed forced initially, and there were a couple times my suspension of disbelief was suspended, but other than those minor complaints, by Ep.3, I was, as I said, hooked. I binge-watched the rest of the season from midnight to 8 a.m., and it felt like a film (always good). Dug the story development, politicking, the protomolecule idea. Effectswork (particularly the ship battles) made me hit pause/rewind a few times so as to drink them in properly, the writing was funny, nice and dry in spots and seemed to improve with each ep. The character interaction kept me guessing and interested.

Then came Season Two. By Ep 4, I was getting pretty skeptical. By where we are now- well, let's just say that I've gone from deep interest and even allowing myself to be moved, to finding myself snickering/scoffing derisively. Never a good feeling to have, that going from joy and commitment to over-familiarity and near-contempt. Like falling in love at first sight, getting married in Vegas, and then finding out you married a callgirl with felony warrants and 3 other husbands. Kind of like I feel about Star Wars/J.J. Abrams.

So there's the backstory where I pretend like anyone cares. Here's my cheesy whine:

1. The storyline has slid into utter predictability. I've been able to plot and predict, successfully, each of the last three episodes before airing with a disturbing percentage of accuracy. For skeptics reading this, I'll be more than willing to give you the main story points of this coming Sunday's episode, and I will be right about every bit of it. I won't do that here because someone would likely try to have me doxxed and murdered. But I'm not exaggerating my claim, and that bothers me. The awful "Gunny" dialog, the addition of Prax (and his daughter) being done so incredibly lazily and so utterly predictably. Wow, my mind is B L O W N, I can't figure out what happened, and I sure as hell can't figure out what role Prax and his daughter are going to play in all this next!!1! The suspense is killing me! C'mon now.

2. I'm still watching. Again, effects are great, cool ideas executed fairly well, etc. But the writing team has gotten lazy. I fear that part of the reason (if not the main one) so many folks in fandom, as well as "casual" fans of science fiction (the Eternal Normie) are seemingly uncritical of the show is the fact that there's been a genre-drought on television, and as we often have to fight to get even a desultory nod towards us we're willing to put up with a lot. Many industry types are contemptuous of us, and we spend a lot of time wishing sempai would notice us, so seldom is heard a discouraging word. God forbid we be too critical of the bones they throw us.

That's the only way I can explain this why this descent- over one season- from drama to drivel- continuing to be so uncritically lauded at this point. The show has gotten actually bad, and it's like I'm living an Emperor's Clothes scenario. Or, again, it's turning me into a bigger jerk than usual. And honestly, I promise- I'm not one of those guys who picks everything apart to try and look smart and smug (I actually have a 3-D waifu and kids and IRL friends). I HATE those guys. I'd love for the show to go back to being awesome- but right now... well, there is just one ep left, I believe.

Thank GOD the new season of Rick and Morty is starting.
Williamjames Hoffer
Apr. 17th, 2017 04:03 am (UTC)
Really Guys?
Wow. Just wow. I honestly mean that. You put a great deal of thought into that post and it took some courage too. Incisive. Knowledgeable without being snooty. Easily in my top five of comments in a comment section. Thank you.
Shawn Daniels
Apr. 15th, 2017 03:15 pm (UTC)
Your majesty and beauty
Mr. Martin, I am 17. I could say that I'm an admirer of A Song of Ice and Fire, but that's not true. I don't just admire A Song of Ice and Fire, I study it. I chew on it and I bath in it. Mr. Martin, out of all the books that I have read, from Tolkien to Eddings to Rowling, I have never experienced anything even close to being so realistic and dynamic as A Song of Ice and Fire. Mr. Martin, I love you, and I respect you more than any writer I've ever known or known of. COMBINED. Mr. Martin, I have sought out and begun to apply every shred of advice I could find from you. I am immersing myself in the subjects relevant to what I want to write. I am trying to put myself in the skin of my characters, and I am reading everything I can get my hands on(except erotica. You can understand that, I'm sure. I've got parents who worry after me). I'm writing when I don't feel like it, and then when I get to writing I'm absolutely in love with it. I'm not putting any limits on my imagination, borrowing a few things from history so as to add to the realism, and making sure my characters are firmly grey as real people are, avoiding cliches and I'm not sparing anything when it comes to the blood and violence and everything of war and death.

Please Mr. Martin, you are so wonderful, so utterly delightful. Please give me more advice. I HUNGER to learn more from you, Mr. Martin. I want to be able to write as realistically as you do. Mr. Martin, when I start reading your books, I can't STOP. Their ADDICTIVE. If I were an addict, you are my crack cocaine. I don't just WANT to learn more from you, Mr. Martin. I NEED to learn from you. Please, I hope you find me worthy of having your years of wisdom and experience bestowed upon me. I would be honored to receive word from you, Mr. Martin. Even if you refuse to offer me wisdom and guidance, I will have been honored that you spoke to me at all. Or even if you do not RESPOND in any way, shape, or form, I will be honored that you have read this and given it thought.

Mr. Martin, may you have a blessed day, and a blessed week, and even farther, a blessed year. I have but the kindest wishes for you. Oh, and happy Easter!

Faithfully yours,
Shawn Patrick Daniels

Edited at 2017-04-17 11:31 am (UTC)
dref22
Apr. 15th, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
It's the sci-fi show i've been waiting since BSG ended and i think i love it more than BSG.
gman109
Apr. 15th, 2017 11:07 pm (UTC)
Expanse
What has surprised me is just how diverse the fan base is for this excellent new program. In just a single season, it's grabbed hold of so many of my varied friends and acquaintances.


So, So proud to have them shooting this program here in Canada, and I hope that continues. When we lost Defiance, I was none too happy, but then The Expanse came along, and has more than filled that missing space for me.

They've done a marvelous job of editing the exterior and interior shots of the space born vehicles and stations, the establishing shots and cutaways make me feel like I'm right there, both outside, then in. The detail of technology, and how much real science applies to it, is something my mind races about every episode. We are SO close to being able to have humanity living on another surface in this system.

I've really fallen in love with this cast. The only thing I could want is more episodes. More!

Anyone else watched `THe Son` with Pierce Brosnan? Based on Phillip Meyer's novel of the same name regarding the Bandit Wars in 1915 in Texas, during Texas's Oil rise as well as America's....fantastic so far.

Edited at 2017-04-16 02:33 am (UTC)
starryseed
Apr. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm (UTC)
Off-topic, but I know that you don't approve of people using your characters for fanfiction. If one knows where this might be taking place, what is the best way to contact you to tell you where?
grrm
Apr. 17th, 2017 06:46 pm (UTC)
DON'T tell me where. What I don't know can't annoy me.
clonedllama
Apr. 16th, 2017 11:26 pm (UTC)
Agreed! The show has been getting better and better. Sure, it's deviating in various ways from the novels but so far I think they've all made sense within the context of the show, and the story seems to be headed in roughly the same direction anyway. I'm loving that Avasarala's more colorful language and personality from the novels is coming through more strongly this season too. And the casting for Bobbie Draper is simply amazing.
hergrim
Apr. 17th, 2017 05:29 am (UTC)
So, this is irrelevant to the post, but I was wondering what books on medieval military history you used when writing A Game of Thrones. I'm writing an analysis of Robb Stark's campaigns, and knowing what books you had access to will help me to be more fair. I assume that David Nicolle's Medieval Warfare Sourcebook came into play during ACOK, so I'll be using it from then on. I want to judge your work by what you had available, which is why I also won't be using any academic sources from less than ten years before the AGOT was published or any pop history sources from less than five years before AGOT was published, but knowing what you were working with would also help.
Stefan Constantin
Apr. 18th, 2017 07:38 pm (UTC)
Expanse vs. Trek
Hey, I am enjoying the EXPANSE, though till now just the first season, because i am from Austria and waiting till i can watch the second season on netflix legally, in english of course ;-P I am giving the authors much credit for creating a credible new scifi universe. But I am missing really difficult moral wrestling here. TREK has produced numerous episodes, dealing with tough moral decisions, that may be very relevant in the future. You TREKKIES out there live long and prosper ;-)
( 27 comments )

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