The Expanse (SyFy)


OOTS version:

Holden - Book version is Roy, but TV version is Elan (dumb as rocks, ends up with Haley)
Haley Starshine - Naomi. I considered vaarsilius because smart, but the gender indifference made me unsure.
Durkon - Alex. Reliable, good guy. Approaching 50-years old.
Belkar - Amos, no contest.


I have to say I lost some interest midway through but the last couple of episodes really brought me back. Looking forward to season two now!


James Corey, one of the authors of the book series, makes a series of amusing comments on the Presidential ticket.

Very light spoiler, names a character that does not appear yet.

Avasarala has strong foreign policy experience, and no one can question Bobbie Draper’s fitness to lead troops.

Mostly I just want to see the debate where Trump tries to bully Chrisjen Avasarala by talking about the size of his penis.


Just started watching these with Mrs Alistair. Deary me they’re dense - it seems they’ve really thrown themselves into the books, but I’m sure my wife is completely confused by it all. I would be if I hadn’t read them.


So, after having been really impressed with this show and the fact that surprisingly the Syfy channel is actually producing proper Scifi stuff, I was curious which other recent shows can hold up quality wise. I’ve already watched Continuum, which was pretty cool, though not on the level of Expanse. I appreciated how it evolved from its first season procedual with a scifi spin.

Any tips what other scifi series I should check out next?
Dark Matter
Childhoods End
12 Monkeys


Dark Matter and Killjoys are standard summer fare. Neither have anywhere near the production values as The Expanse but both are decent. Dark Matter is IMHO the better show and its a bit more cerebral. Killjoys is decent as well but it has some really bad episodes as well. It gets a lot better late in the 1st season.

Childhoods End is worth watching and its also a minimal time investment.

Extant. I just couldnt get into this one. The first season was very erratic and I never even tried season 2

Ascension. This will depend on your taste in sci fi. I didnt care for it myself but I know others who liked it. It was far too soap opera for me.

12 Monkeys. I went into this with lowered expectations because I thought there was no way they could take the movies concept and sustain it. I was pleasantly surprised. Its quite the good time travel yarn. You can forget all but the very basic plot points from the movie. It really has no ties to that world. Its its own thing. I am half way through season 2 and it has been a entertaining ride.

11.22.63 Havent seen it yet but I plan on it. I really liked the book so I have hopes for this one.


None of them are at the same level of The Expanse, but I’ve enjoyed Dark Matter quite a bit, have only seen a few episodes of Killjoys but thought it was fine, didn’t care for Ascension, and thought Childhoods End was worth watching.


Out of those I have not seen Ascension but I would watch these 4 in this order - The Expanse > 12 Monkeys > Dark Matter > Kill Joys

The rest are pretty skippable. Actually outside of The Expanse they are all skippable but if you want more content they are worth a look.


The Expanse is great. Dark Matter is very good. Killjoys is watchable, mostly because of Hannah John-Kamen.


Thanks for the input! I’m watching sooo many shows at the moment, but many of them are fine, but not great, so it would be nice to find something to get excited about again.

From your comments I gather these shows might not quite live up to Expanse, but Dark Matter seems worth looking into for now.

(btw did I miss any recent & decent SF shows?)


12 Monkeys is actually rather good. I prefer it over The Expanse, to be honest. The Expanse books are nice reads, and SyFy did a reasonable job in bringing them to the small screen, other than that SyFy crammed already dense books into a nearly-unchewable morass. I sometimes found it tricky to keep track of where the authors were trying to take me in the books, and, without having read the books, I would have been at a total loss figuring out things like “who is this dead chick” and “why is that missing ship important” were about in the show.


I only watched half of the first season or so of Dark Matter, and it seemed like an uninspired collection off every single sterotype and sci-fi trope ever with little care for internal consistency. Does it improve at all?


It improves a bit from what I remember, worth finishing the season.


This has been the defining quality of pretty much most sci-fi series. For me the worst example of laziest writing in a sci-fi series goes to the Enterprise Star Trek series, with the beauty and the beast episode. I thought we were out of the dark ages of sci-fi, where I had to be grateful for what was to me the dregs that made it through the system (I won’t name names as it’d likely result in people saying “hey, I liked that show” and apologising for what should simply be acknowledged IMO).

Maybe you should stop watching sci-fi if this is a problem :-)

I however, found the first season of Dark Matter to be perfectly fine for what seems to be the kind of budget television that it and Killjoys appear as to me. I’d like to see you go back and sit through some of those older series, and to see what you think.

Back on topic, The Expanse, as someone who hasn’t read the books (or can’t remember them if he has) was perfectly understandable.


Oh, I have watched plenty of sci-fi and am well aware of reliance on tropes (or in any other genre for that matter). Dark Matter just struck me as extraordinarily derivative and uninspired. To each their own, I’m not trying to pick a fight with people who liked it - I myself have plenty of guilty pleasures. I’ll take the recommendation and finish the season after summer and see if it improves. It did have some redeeming features.

Back on topic: I’ve also considered some of the shows mentioned by Cormac, and the feedback here is useful to metoo.

I saw Ascension, and I agree that it is a bit to soapy. Interesting premise, bit the show didn’t really do enough with it. It’s not many episodes, though.

I bounced of Killjoys as well after some episodes, but it has been recommended to me by friends and I’ll forward it. Apparently the main charactets have chemistry and it is sort-of Firefly-ish if you squint you eyes and blink a lot (I know, high praise).

I’ll also add Almost Human to the list. It stumbled a bit and has some of the usual trouble, but it seemed to me like it really tried. Cancelled after half a season, as it started to come into its own.


Not sure if this is just supposed to be Syfy shows, since Continuum wasn’t made by them, but in case it isn’t, I’d suggest Black Mirror, Dead Set, and Humans. Also, I haven’t seen it myself, but people seem to like Misfits.


Ill have to agree on 12 Monkeys, season 2 has been great, so far. Their unique take on the nature of time I am not completely sure but it seems that they are implying that time is a sentient entity is very interesting.


It’s weird with 12 monkeys, I absolutely loved it for the first half dozen or so episodes, when what was going on seemed mysterious, but then my interest dropped off the cliff at some point, when the heavy time-travel knottiness came in. Oddly, I’m not against time travel knottiness in general, but the show just didn’t do it right for me somehow.

re. the rankings, i’d agree with Oghier - the Expanse is by far the best of these spinky-spanky “new” s-f shows, it’s just classic, hardcore(ish) s-f; Dark Matter second, because it’s got a good mystery going, and Killjoys is very uneven but just about watchable (it’s really more for a YA audience, I think).


We have gotten the Moxi system through our cable provider (Comporium). They have backlogged episodes but it is weird because all the episodes are listed in the system except episode 7. I am not certain if this is a mistake or is there something special about episode 7?

The family does not want to move on and not watch that one episode (and the Syfy website does not have it available to watch the last time I looked).


New ComicCon trailer for Season 2:

Not having read the books yet (with this and The Magicians alike, the TV shows were my first experience with them, so I figure I may as well polish 'em off before giving away all the secrets via the original text), I have no idea exactly how excited some of these scenes should be making me, but I’ll admit to being pretty pumped after absolutely LOVING Season 1. Blows that we gotta wait till 2017 for this, though :(