Great Society

Children of the Sun => TV => Topic started by: nacho on July 12, 2014, 09:57:29 AM

Title: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2014, 09:57:29 AM
On the last book of the first trilogy now...and following all the chatter about the 2015 TV show has me rather excited.

The network has placed a 10-episode straight-to-series order for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey’s sci-fi book Leviathan Wakes, after having won the project in a bidding war. The book is said to have put a new spin on the space opera, and is being described around the industry as “Game of Thrones in space.”

The script is being developed by Academy Award-nominated duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) with the Alcon Television Group. The log line calls The Expanse a thriller set 200 years in the future, following the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

And -- the first casting news:

We're excited for Syfy's "Game of Thrones in space" series The Expanse, based James S. A. Corey's series of books (which begin with Leviathan Wakes). And now the show has cast one of its leading men, Hung, The Mist, and The Punisher actor Thomas Jane.

THR reports that Jane will be playing Joe Miller, a native of the asteroid belt. In Leviathan Wakes' 23rd century, Miller serves as a detective aboard Ceres station when he is tasked with finding a missing young woman. His increasingly obsessive quest to find her will bring him in contact with a rogue ice mining ship and a deadly conspiracy with grave consequences for the future of humanity.

THR describes Miller as. "Ragged, in search of something even he can't identify, Miller remains a dedicated cop with great instincts who discovers a newfound sense of purpose when he's put in charge of the investigation into a missing heiress."

Now that we have our Miller, we'll have to wait and see who gets cast as Jim Holden and his crew.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on January 15, 2015, 04:28:30 PM
Very excited for this... This preview is basically pure sex for anyone who read the first trilogy.

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on February 04, 2015, 12:28:09 PM
The overall SyFy 2015 series ad has a few more glimpses of The Expanse...

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on May 27, 2015, 03:24:06 PM
A long article on the history of the series...well worth the read:
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 10, 2015, 10:21:37 AM
There was an extended trailer during Dominion, which I can't find online, that dropped the whole military conspiracy angle and got in deep with the goo-stuff aliens that are the real antagonists in the series. It looked fucking awesome, too... And we got more spaceship love (though there's a month old mini-teaser with the destruction of the Nagata -- the starting point of the series -- that's pretty awesome).

Comic-Con news is that we're getting some more extended trailers and, all in all, this series sounds like it's on the right track. Very excited for it...
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 11, 2015, 10:10:06 AM
Man...not on Youtube? What's up SyFy?

Anyway, here's that awesome new trailer:
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2015, 11:45:15 AM
Oh, god, yes...

Syfy wasn’t kidding about wanting to get back into geeks’ good graces: if the pilot episode of December’s The Expanse is any indication, they’re bound and determined to give us the successor to Battlestar Galactica we’ve been clamoring for since the abrupt cancelation of Stargate Universe. The slick new space opera, based on the book series by “James S.A. Corey” (the team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), might just be the show of our dreams: a smart, complex character-focused drama that doesn’t skimp on the SF bells and whistles (or the CGI budget).

The pilot is jammed with plot, characters, and world-building on an epic scale, but it will all be familiar to fans of the books—judging by what we’ve seen, there’s no question the show is closely following the text, despite a few new twists. We follow three main characters through three very different storylines, each providing us a different window onto a future in which we’ve managed to colonize our own solar system, but still haven’t figured out how to treat each other like human beings. Tensions are running high between the governments of Earth and Mars, and father out, there is unrest among the “Belters,” people born out in space, where the lesser gravity has altered their physiology; many Belters feel they are being exploited and treated as slave labor by the inner planets.

Miller (Thomas Jane) is a world-weary detective on Ceres Station, an overcrowded Belter asteroid habitat where many of the citizens live in poverty and at the expense of corrupt officials. Elsewhere, James Holden (Steven Strait) is the aloof second-officer on the Canterbury, a rickety ice freighter operating at the edges of the system, more interested in an easy payday than advancing his career. Chrisjen Avarsala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), a U.N. Ambassador on Earth who seems to be tasked with preventing Belter terrorist attacks, gets a lot less screen time in the pilot (understandable, as she doesn’t appear until the second book in the series; producers have promised an entirely fresh storyline for her), but promises to be a pivotal player in a looming political plot to trigger a war between Earth and Mars and the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA).

All of these plots seem to have something to do with one missing girl: Julie Mao (Florence Faivre), the black sheep daughter of a powerful Earther family who fled her home on the moon to join the OPA. Miller is hired to locate her, but viewers know from the opening sequence that he’s not going to have much luck on Ceres: we see Julie in a very bad way on a damaged freighter in deep space, where she seems to be the only person left alive—at least until Holden and a rag-tag crew of ice jockeys, including pilot Alex (Cas Anvar), mechanic Amos (Wes Chatham), and engineer Naomi (Dominique Tipper), receive her distress call and head off to investigate.

Fans of the books can probably guess the shocker that closes out the first episode—like Game of Thrones, this seems to be a series that will shift storylines around when it needs to while still honoring the overarching plot of the novels. We’re clearly playing around in James S.A. Corey’s world here, and it’s heartening to see the show has preserved everything that makes the books so compelling. This is a TV series we haven’t really seen before, set in a future where we’ve developed advanced space travel and colonized other worlds but are still confined to our own solar system, and are apparently the only intelligent life in the universe. Inequality, injustice, and racial tension are as big a problem as ever, only now we’ve managed to spread them out across a few additional planets, space stations, and assorted colonies.

The initial casting announcements surprised some fans of the books, particularly for Holden and his crew, who seem to be quite a bit younger than their counterparts on the page, but any fears dissipate once you get to see them all working together. Thomas Jane stands out as the cynical detective who still seems to have a moral compass under that (ok, slightly silly) space fedora, pushing him to do the right thing (eventually). Shohreh Aghdashloo is the definition of perfect casting, warm and loving in scenes she shares with Avisarala’s family, and hard as steel when she’s questioning a suspected terrorists (what we wouldn’t give to put her in a room with Laura Roslin and let them glare it out). Among the fresher faces, we were particularly enamored with Dominique Tipper’s sarcastic, spunky take on Naomi, definitely a favorite character from the books.

But just as impressive as the cast is the production itself—this show was clearly not cheap, and every penny spent makes it onscreen. The sets (which are mostly practical, and only enhanced with CGI flourishes) are impressive in their scope and detail, believably creating multiple ships and stations. The eye candy effects—ships swinging through space and flipping around to ignite their engines and burn hard in the opposite direction—aren’t far off from what you’d see in a big-budget movie. This is an ambitious story, and the production meets it head-on.

We already loved James S.A. Corey’s books, but by the end of 42 minutes, we’re sold on The Expanse as a show, too. We can’t wait until everyone else can see the first episode (and we can see more). Mark your calendars, and make plans to watch a little TV after than screening of The Force Awakens. This one is going to be big.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 12, 2015, 12:26:07 PM
The Youtube version of the cool trailer:

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on October 09, 2015, 05:47:51 PM
So...the pilot episode is making the rounds, and everyone's raving. They say it's a confusing, bizarre mess at first but, before you know it, you're sucked into something truly addictive and awesome.

Can't wait!
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on November 06, 2015, 11:21:40 AM
So they'll fight piracy by simply airing the first episode...everywhere!

Starting November 23 and available through the series’ Syfy premiere on December 14, The Expanse’s first episode can be viewed via Syfy On Demand,, the Syfy Now App, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes, Playstation, Xbox, Facebook and YouTube.

Additionally, Syfy has partnered with Twitch, Wikia, IGN, IMDb, Good Reads, Crave Online and Roku to host the series premiere with original custom content.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on November 12, 2015, 02:15:35 PM
The new trailer is just thrown on in the last 30 seconds... But all the talky stuff is still cool because they're playing awesome footage over it. I can't wait for this show. The books are epic, and great, and addictive. And the story's so big now that, unlike GoT, there's no way the show will catch up.

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on November 24, 2015, 08:49:16 AM
Episode one fucking rocks. And they are fiercely loyal to the books...which is actually weird, because it means you have to lean forward and pay attention a bit. The Belters all talk in their pidgin slang, so there are conversations in a made up language with no subtitles. The Belters also rely on hand signals for basic responses like "I'm okay" and "we're done" and so on, as they do in the book, and, as in the book, these gestures are considered part of the active conversation.

The political morass between the Belt (or the OPA, mainly) and Earth and mars is very well done...but they only give you a brief intro.

The whole episode assumes you've at least read the first book (which everyone should...)

The effects are beautiful. Lovely ship design and interiors, great sets. I'm a little cold on Holden -- he's going to be our number one hero throughout everything, and the actor playing him is not Holden. Very annoying, actually.

But, then, Holden was an asshole for most of the first book. His minor hero's journey will take this whole maybe he's intentionally not 100% likable.

Everyone else is pretty much on the nose, though. Well done all around.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on December 18, 2015, 04:29:46 PM
Damn, this show is slow. But episode four picks up nice and heavy. It's worth the build-up...this is a show about characters, and I'm fine with them taking their time. Because they're about to get their super ship and the rest of the season is going to be blowing shit up and mass murder.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2016, 11:49:30 AM
I'm struggling with this show. I love the books so, so, so much that I'm trying to stick with it, but... I don't know.

In the books, we had two stories. Holden and his crew inadvertently igniting a mini-war and discovering a corporate secret that would change the Human race forever, and Miller the noir-ish detective obsessing over a missing girl (and the two stories collide spectacularly). The events are largely from their viewpoint, and the actions of these otherwise inconsequential people cause ripples that get larger and larger as the series continues so, eventually, they're at the center of a gigantic story.

But the TV show is obsessed with being "Game of Thrones in space," and it's really killing everything good about it. Where the books used the actions of these relatable Everymen and women to build the world of the Expanse and, eventually, move us into the political stalemate between Earth, Mars, and the Outer Planets Alliance, the TV show is doing the opposite. Team Holden and Miller are almost the b-story here. They're overshadowed by the power playing between the three superpowers, the political machinations, the greater worries...

I suppose that would be okay except that they're also holding true to the spirit of the books -- that is, the three-way Cold War is stalemated until Holden and, eventually, Miller, stir up the hornet's nest. So all of the big picture shit is reacting to what our supposed heroes are doing, except our heroes only get a small amount of screentime and they spend most of it in exposition or character building.

Trying to GoT this show is foolish...and it'll kill it. We needed to start out small, and we need to get to know Team Holden from the same POV as the book...because, despite the efforts of the showrunners, it's all going to come down to the climax where Holden and Miller are fucking shit up. But part of how and why they fuck shit up is dependent on taking that long journey with them, and not with the faraway political wonks who spend the first two books pretty much in the dark.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 13, 2016, 12:25:41 PM
I was pretty enthralled by all those dudes getting forced out airlocks this AM.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on January 13, 2016, 12:37:57 PM
Oh, it's pretty. And things blow up and dudes get spaced and the set-up is great. But it's all going through those GoT motions without actually building up to them. We've barely had time to really settle in with Miller (who was the one that was saved from the airlock), so his predicament didn't have the same impact it could have had. The two guys on the ship were simply to illustrate that there's strife between the superpowers that's building to a head -- we haven't seen them before and won't see them again. Instead of building that strife up (in the books, it was thanks to Holden's broadcasts to the entire system), we have to have weird set scenes like that one to remind us that there really is a problem. Why? Because the protagonists are all sitting around drinking talking about their lot in life.

This is like if Stargate was purely from the POV of the technicians ad politicians on Earth and never followed the team through the gate.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on January 27, 2016, 09:13:32 AM
Well, the long, slow burn is worth it, I think. Two episodes to go and they have no choice but to pack those final two hours with explosions and adventure. Thanks to eight talky episodes, they've established the ensemble pretty well. It was kind of a backdoor way to establishing an ensemble but, nonetheless, it's paid off.

Given that we're now fully in line with the third act of the first book, though, all the background political shit is, indeed, pointless. We're going to get all that next season...the constant diversions with nothing for the characters to do this season was silly.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on February 05, 2016, 12:32:50 PM
So...all done. And it was pretty good. I'm a little neutral about it, though. It was a slow slog, but I think they're thinking bigger picture. Season one was a ten hour establishing shot. There's no way for them to slow down in season two now because Eros is going to go fucking bonkers as soon as season two starts.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on June 17, 2016, 11:39:55 PM
Rewatching! Just to clear the DVR...

The second time around, this is quite good. What it makes me want to do is reread the books (the best epic sci-fi series of our generation, by the way). It's loyal to the books, it's slow moving and loving and self-aware, and I'm surprised they got away with it. What's great is that it just gets crazier and crazier. They made the first season with the idea that we'll look back on the series in 10 years and be astounded at the long game they played.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on July 29, 2016, 11:34:33 AM
Book two here. And now I'm wondering if Miller is going to stick around and the asshole we never really connected with is going to be the "ghost"? They're changing up the books a bit.

Also lots of shit from the little novella I just read. Again, the show leaning more on the supplemental materials than the books themselves. Which is...hmmm...

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on November 11, 2016, 09:08:38 AM
Still trying to hard...

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: RottingCorpse on January 10, 2017, 11:54:40 PM
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on February 23, 2017, 10:45:56 AM
Season one was a slow burn, but season two really puts this on the map as the most important sci-fi show on TV right now. The religious adherence to the books means that they aren't racing to the adventure stuff. They're telling the same HIGHLY addictive story at the same sort of speeds.

It's season two where shit's about to go off the rails... And, in the books, it pretty much stays off the rails forever more. And it's a beautiful thing in terms of storytelling.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on March 02, 2017, 08:25:35 AM
Man, this show is picking all the right storytelling notes. While the book-readers know that the universe as the show knows it is about to change, this was something of a slow-down episode that highlighted the political conflicts and also flashed back to tell us a story about the last time the universe changed -- the discovery of the fusion drive. Something much needed because everything's going to come to a head very quickly this season.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on April 20, 2017, 08:35:30 AM
And...done. Now, we wait a whole year for the next season. Jeez.

Still the best sci-fi show on TV (and perhaps for this decade).
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on April 12, 2018, 10:44:53 AM
So, the best sci-fi show on TV returns for a new season and... I'm ready to call this the best sci-fi show ever made. It's certainly the best sci-fi series of books ever written.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on April 12, 2018, 11:50:57 AM
Oh, and, juicy trailer love -- with our first glimpse of The Gate!

Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on May 12, 2018, 11:28:58 AM
Those idiots cancelled The Expanse.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: RottingCorpse on May 14, 2018, 05:24:07 PM
There's already calls for Netflix to save it.
Title: Re: The Expanse
Post by: nacho on May 15, 2018, 09:28:11 AM
There's already calls for Netflix to save it.

I bet they won't. They past on Nine-Nine. They have their own shit...