The Expanse

The Expanse is a darn good TV show.

Based on the novel Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey it is set in a pre-diaspora space travel humans in our solar system. Earth and Mars are colonized, but Mars is still restricted to dome life without a natural atmosphere. The rings of Saturn are mined for ice and taken to the belt (asteroid belt) where industry thrives feeding the rest of the solar system. Living in the belt however has consequences due to lack of natural gravity and generations of evolution in this unique environment.

During a cold war between the UN (earth, belt, and colonies) and Mars the ship Cantebury, an ice hauler, is taking water to Ceres an asteroid in the belt when they receive a distress call from a ship named the Scorpuli  starting the sequence of unfortunate events leading to revolution and the discoveries about the larger universe.

Casting is actually very well done with Thomas Jane as a film noir detective with just as much dirt in his past as alcohol in his liver quite a bit unsure about his place in life.  Jared Harris as Anderson Dawes is absurdly good as you just want him in almost every scene as the OPA resistance leader on Ceres.

The investment in the production values are well spent on sets, costumes, and special effects.

Having only read the first novel and not the follow up in the Expanse series there are some new characters in the TV show I am not familiar with that might be in subsequent novels.  Some deviations are occurring with some characters and past actions that are natural with a TV show adaptation.  Some are logical and I do not question, but a few others are changing some character motivations and methods that I do question. Specifically the character Fred Johnson, played very well by Chad Coleman, and his methods to deal with an insurrection in the recent past earning him the title “Butcher of Anderson Station”. If they simply changed the methods then I can understand this, but if they actually give him an out and do not make him responsible and a victim then it neuters the character choices he made in the novel and the moral convictions (both good and bad) of the character.

Worth watching and I hope this kind of quality show continues.

 

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