The Expanse (SyFy)


#241

I like the revelation of the identity of the bad guys - I mean it was always telegraphed to some extent, but it still had impact because your main representation of that faction is Avasarala. Reminds me of the theme of Looking Glass’ unsung masterpiece, Terra Nova.


#242

Me too. Whereas last season I wasn’t originally sure why we had some of Avasarala’s scenes (same with Miller) I’m really looking forward to seeing where her story goes next season


#243

What a wonderful reference. I will always love Tera Nova, FMV included.


#244

So I finally finished viewing this and I must say after questioning what the hell they were doing early on (so much strayed from the book) I really ended up enjoying this. The production qualities were very good and they managed to get to what happened on Eros and handled that really well. They did include stuff that they didn’t need to, and have re-arranged some things but overall I would have to give them a big thumbs up.

I am looking forward to the next installments.


#245

I just marathoned this sucker over the weekend/snow holiday today, because I’m stupid, and I am just absolutely gobsmacked that this came out of Syfy in 2016 and is somehow also renewed for a second season! Shows this good are supposed to wind up on networks that hate them, slash their budgets, and cancel them in their prime, or drag them out and suck them dry until they’re bare husks of themselves. I mean, I guess we have no proof the second set won’t happen to [I]The Expanse[/I] in 2017, but I remain hopeful ;)

Seriously one of my favorite series I’ve ever seen already. Utterly thrilled to see what happens next :-D


#246

So if people are willing to dive into this… does the first season essentially cover the first novel? Does the novel feel bigger in scope somehow? I always felt the show seemed small considering that 1) expanse is in the title and 2) it covered so much of the solar system. That might just be the reality of TV as a medium, or budgets or whatever. Just curious because I had planned on reading the novels before watching the show and then stopped with the books.

I thought the acting was solid for the most part but felt like there was more holding pattern writing than was maybe necessary to get to where the first season ended. Maybe 8 episodes could have worked, who knows? In the end, though, definitely a solid show for Syfy and I’ll definitely tune in for season 2.


#247

It’s been a while since I read the first book, but the show definitely doesn’t cover it all. By my recollection it covers up to the end of about the second act.


#248

The first season is a mishmash of books 1 and 2. Characters from the books are introduced far earlier in the show than they are in the books.

The biggest weakness of the show, IMO, was that it did a poor job on focusing on the core plot element: where is Julie? The books do a fairly good job of explaining to the reader why and where she ended up where she did. In the show, her movements get buried behind other story elements (some of which, again, are book 2 events), and it’s difficult to understand why such-and-such a ship is important, why the [I]Canterbury[/I] got nuked, who and why killed the Martian cruiser, the derelict stealth ship is important why? etc. etc.

Skater-punk Tom Jane as Miller was great casting. Naomi is a decent cast, as well, and the actor playing Amos is OK too (although Amos is a one-trick pony both in the books and the show). I think that Holden’s actor sucks for the part and is more of a little millennial bitch rather than the confident (if too idealistic) fighter in the books.


#249

I won’t lie when I say that I’m still not 100% on the motivations and elaborate schemes in play re: the stealth ships, Mars, the Cant, etc. I think by season’s end I could reasonably lay out about 80% of it, but accept I might well be wrong about some big chunks. Am I wrong in thinking that not all has been definitively revealed as of credits-roll on ep 10?


#250

All has not been revealed, fer shure.


#251

Meh. The characters are introduced early for sure, but for the most part the plot is only that which was in the first half of the first book.

My estimate is that they’ll finish up the first book’s major events somewhere in the middle of the second season.

I tend to agree. There weren’t too many scenes where lines were delivered woodenly or characters sounded “off”… but he was definitely in all of them.


#252

The show covers about 90% of the first books material, while adding a great deal of stuff that isn’t in the book. I have now read the first two books and there were things in the show that I can only assume are being set up for events even beyond the first two books.

The show kinda wanders in a few episodes, and instead of sticking to the plot at hand seems to feel the need to flash out characters they don’t mean anything yet. I think they did this too much. They would have been better off explaining things going on better.

But overall I really enjoyed the show. The last couple episodes do a great job getting back on track.


#253

I just started reading the series. The final events at the station take place at about 60% through the first novel.

Avarasala is great. When I read her book character cursing people out, I picture that same face and accent.

Holden’s character was changed the most. He’s so boring in the TV series - in the novel he’s quite competent whereas in the TV show he’s the guy that doesn’t know how anything works and just has bad ideas. I mean, Amos is only going along with everything because Naomi says so.


#254

That was one change I didn’t understand. In the book Holden starts off as the ships first officer, he knew what was going on and had for years. On the show he is some johnny come lately who kind of ends up in charge by accident.


#255

Holden reminds me of Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood. Sometimes, the protagonist is the least interesting character.

I really like the show, though :) SyFy is killing it this year.


#256

I think (or maybe I simply suspect) that what they are going for here is for Holden to demonstrate that he ought to be in charge rather than simply having he be in that spot to start with. That’s one area where I think the books kind of got it wrong - Holden was already indisputably in charge when the Canterbury got destroyed, and everyone sort of grudgingly went along with it. In the show it was insinuated that Holden was effectively doing the XO job anyway (with the real XO going slowly mad), but in the aftermath of the explosion he wasn’t accepted by anyone as being “the guy” despite his “acting XO” status.

Now, I don’t think that the actor playing Holden does a particularly great job (though he’s far from terrible), and I don’t think he’s really sold the “reluctant hero” thing too well just yet.


#257

I think the Holden character is perhaps the least “black and white” character in the book/show. He does change and we (at least in the book) explore the reasons he does some of what he does and how he changes. I don’t know that any of the other characters have arcs like that.


#258

Agree on Holden in the books. But unfortunately the TV actor (or the script) can’t pull it off. TV Holden seems like an annoying naïve kid vs. the book version that reads more like Firefly’s Mal.


#259

I have learned that before the novels, The Expanse was a play by forum RPG. Now, I can’t help reading the various plot devices as gamemaster prodding, and picturing various player reactions.

Real Men: This will be Holden, the Paladin. Always wanting to do the ‘right thing’, being a bit of an ass about it.
Real Roleplayer: Naomi. Smart, balanced.
The Loonie: This would be Alex, the Texan Martian. Comic relief.
The Munchkin: Honor goes to combat-monster Amos.


#260

Real Theater Major: Avarasala, the social-focused Rogue/Diplomancer. Who never. Shuts. Up.

;)