The Expanse - Season Two Preview
In a sentence: In the future Earth and Mars are in a cold war and both of them hate The Belters – humans living in the asteroid belt that mine space ice so that Earth and Mars don’t run out of water.
The Expanse kicked off last year and did a great job of building an engaging and believable sci-fi universe. It takes a claustrophobic and gritty approach to the genre (similar to Battlestar Galactica but with better CGI and less melodrama). You get solid space physics married with ‘realisitic’ environments and lots of little details (like the physical changes experienced by people that have grown up in low gravities) that make the reality they’ve create feel like it has a pulse.
What you get is a space opera – big, high stakes, dramatic arcs with tension and action using the sci-fi setting as a way to talk about current themes like the 1%, contemporary colonialism, and the fear of the other. It works really well with an intelligent plot and engaging visuals. Thomas Jane and Steven Strait are great leads (as a washed up cop and reluctant hero respectively) supported by a robust larger cast and some great cameos from Jonathan Banks and Jared Harris.
The series is based on the first half of the book “Leviathan Wakes”. There are at least another five books in the series so I could see the show running for a long while. Given that we live in the post-Walking Dead/Game of Thrones world, this doesn’t really count for much and we could easily see the story go in a completely different direction but at least you know that there is a lot of source material to draw on.
Season two airs in the US on February 1st so now’s the perfect time to binge the first ten episodes. If you don’t have time and just want to dive right into the new episodes, you could just watch this first season recap that replaces the cast with cats.