The Expanse (SyFy)


#121

Well I finally watched the first two episodes. I wanted to get far enough along in the book so that I didn’t spoiler myself. Anyway, while I am enjoying it, it looks great, the acting is good etc, I hate that the writers felt the need to make things up for dramatic effect. It seems that most of the changes deal with Hardon and the survivors of the Cant. Most of what happened in episode 2 doesn’t happen in the book.

But I will continue watching. I am sure part of the problem is right now I am just to new to the source material.


#122

I’m… not sure that Syfy is the channel you ought to be watching. Or any channel that shows fiction.

[Sorry, I understand your point in context, but that was too silly of a statement not to make fun of!]


#123

I bet you liked what Jackson did to the Hobbit? :)


#124

Careful there, Jackson was never charged and most sources say that while there was “touching” it was acceptable and not inappropriate.


#125

Seems good to me


#126

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!


I’ve found that The Expanse is one of the very few shows that airs after 9:00 that I will actually stay up to watch (Game of Thrones being the only other), so I saw the 4th episode last night. Wow, that was some awesome TV.

As a “hard sci-fi” enthusiast, I liked just about everything about the space battle: the fact that they (very rarely) showed the two ships in the same scree; the fantastic sounds of the torpedoes and rail guns firing; the fact that they had rail guns at all; the long transition time between the shots fire (loved that the captain was casually drinking coffee while there were torpedoes inbound towards her ship); the point-defense guns; the “explosionless” holes made by the rail guns. All so good and totally the opposite of what “fantasy sci-fi” like Trek or Star Wars has trained us to expect.


#127

This thing is the proverbial Dog’s Bollocks. I just watched the fourth episode and I can’t wait for the next one.


#128

You guys convinced me to check this out and I was feeling sick today, so I sat in bed and watched all 4 episodes on the ipad pro - I really like it - more than Battlestar Galactica, especially given how that played out. The quality of the acting is a bit suspect in some roles, but the writing has been really great (plotting more than scripting) and I’ve always really liked Thomas Jane and the production team does a good job at getting bang for its limited budget so it doesn’t look cheesy.

Amazing first episode, and I loved the fight in the 4th - only marred by the result seeming predictable given some of the banter about the episode and other previews, and the Mars captain was a poor actor. But I love the tech, both in combat and what’s been revealed through Thomas Jane’s character. But it all just really hits a sweet spot for what I like, and writing is far more important to me than anything, and it’s been first rate so far. Thanks to the evangelists who steered me to it!

Plot kinda reminds me of Wing Commander IV right now.


#129

And its been given a 2nd season by Syfy as well. They also bumped the order from 10 to 13 episodes for season 2. The rating on the series have been just ok but it is the holiday season so thats not a huge surprise. Where the show is really gaining traction is in internet viewing. The pilot has been streamed over 4 million times on Syfy’s web site. Im glad that Syfy is showing confidence in the show as it is definitely the best and most ambitious series theyve put forth since BSG.


#130

That’s great news. The latter books aren’t that great (*until the fifth), but the TV show seems to be improving on the novels in decent ways, so I have faith they’ll be able to improve them a bit.


#131

So episode 3 ends with a character dying who in the book supplies Miller with important info about 2/3 of the way in. Also they have really changed Holden’s character.

I think I would like this if I hadn’t read the book just before I started watching it. I feel like the old man yelling at people to get off my lawn but I just can’t ignore the changes they have made and not wonder what the future holds. I will watch the entire series run.


#132

How do you see Holden’s character as being different?

I’m not challenging the assertion - I think most of the “crew” is being portrayed very differently, especially Naomi - but I’m interested to hear your thoughts.


#133

I guess when I say “Holden” I mean the that whole side of the story. I have tried not to get to deep into anything because I don’t want to spoiler it for non-book readers. But in the book Holden starts as the XO, there is no question of whether he “wants the job”. There is also no question about answering the emergency beacon. In episode 2 the crew reacts to Naomi as XO, that doesn’t happen in the book. There is no repairing of the radio system. Holden is much more in charge in the books. True, they do talk him out of following the attacker chip. In episode 3 there is all kinds of stuff, the whole Naomi OPA line. I don’t remember the Holden story line even discussing the OPA issue, just some standard belter vs Mars vs Earther stuff.

Also prior to the Mars ship picking them up Holden has talked to Fred Johnson. In the show that has yet to happen.

Most of this stuff is minor. Agreed. It has just been added to “spice up” the episodes.

And as I said, while they have changed some stuff on the Miller side of the story I can understand why, except for the end of episode 3.


#134

Watch Ep. 4. ;)


#135

Yeah, I’d agree with that. Naomi is far more surly than in the book and Holden is less of a take-charge kind of guy. Alex and Amos were pretty much non-entities in the first book, so the conflict between them in Ep03 certainly seems odd.

For my part, I do like fact that they are - mostly - at each others’ throats, because I think it’ll make their bonding all the more powerful and earned later on.

I thought that was one of the better changes. It made the solar system seem like a much more dangerous place; one where paranoia and self-interest rule rather than concern for your fellow man.

Beyond the stuff with Havelock, I think that many of your character concerns will be mitigated when you watch episode 04.


#136

I’m extremely interested in this show, but the glut of great TV means I’ll wait for the first season to be done (and maintain its quality) before I jump in. Hope this show can avoid dropping precipitously like BSG!


#137

Unlike BSG, the Expanse universe has been fleshed out through 5 (and counting) books. I guess that’s not a guarantee, but it seems less likely that they’ll find themselves in the same place Moore was with BSG: a hit show, the claim of a long-term plan, and… no idea what to do past Season 2.

I think the better comparison would be to The Walking Dead, which is another show that has a wealth of story-lines to pull from. That hasn’t prevented them from having a couple real stinker seasons, but I think it’s (narrowly) been more hit than miss.


#138

That does give me some measure of confidence, then. I guess the quality will come down to how committed SyFy is to the show over time (which will depend on how quickly its audience grows). I’m glad the second season has already been greenlit, at least.


#139

So the fifth episode was a slight step down from the excellence of the fourth episode, but it was still quite good.

The crew stuff was fairly slow. It was obviously an “in transit” episode where they try and come to grips with where they are and what they should be doing. As such, very little actually happens – Naomi has to make a decision… and that’s about it. I did like the scenes of the crew coming to grips with the new ship, and I especially liked the expression on Holden’s face when he finally found all the coffee.

I was a little disappointed with the interior of the [I]Rocinante[/I]. I thought it looked a little too much like a hotel lobby and less like a warship, not to mention the fact that it was utterly dissimilar to the interior of the [I]Donnager[/I]. I’m glad that they gave it its own character and made it different from, say, the interior of the shuttle, but it feels a little “off” to me somehow, especially those lozenge-shaped dining tables and the avant-garde herb gardens built into the walls.

But I guess if you’re going to be filming something like 40% of the series’ scenes in a place you’ll want it to have some distinct and recognizable features.

Miller’s stuff was a bit more interesting, and I liked that they are showing the slow break-down in order on the station (though I think they could have done better). I’m personally pleased that they are showing us the details of Miller’s investigation, and the scene where he explains the two ships’ trajectories to his ex worked very well for me… but I’m pretty sure that most of the episode could have been boiled down into a 60-second “investigation montage” and we’d be not much poorer for it. I did like the interview with the pilot though; that went a long way towards showing Miller slipping into obsession.

The flashback with Anderson Station was fairly well-done, though I think some of the actors were a little too “on the nose”: we didn’t need both the adorable moppet and also the father with ultra-soulful eyes to convince us that these were not desperate terrorists; either would have sufficed, or neither for that matter. I’m hoping we’ll get the other half of that story later on - anything that gets Chad Coleman more screen-time is gold in my book.


#140

So I watched the fourth episode and it probably is the best episode so far. They still wander freely away from the book but they did a great job of showing the space battle and everything it came with. I have no idea what Miller’s bit was about but I am now sure they will show us in a future episode, and they will no doubt use Havelock’s little problem as the reason he leaves Ceres.

I guess in TV action supersedes everything.