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SyFy's The Expanse

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by FifthView, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    So on the basis of a blog post written by Howard Tayler (of Writing Excuses), I took the leap and bought S1 of SyFy's The Expanse series last night on Amazon, and I am loving it so far. Made it through 5 episodes before I had to get to sleep, but wanted to keep going. I'll finish it tonight.

    It's a very cool premise. Set 200 years in the future, humanity has colonized Mars and Ceres, with various posts and stations scattered throughout the solar system on/around asteroids and moons. Mars and Earth are often at odds, even on the brink of war, whereas "Belters" who live and work in the asteroid belt form a third player, and their primary base is Ceres. The "OPA," or "Outer Planets Alliance" is a part-civil rights and part-terrorist organization within the Belter society.

    The episodes start out a little slow as the scene and principle players are set, but they gradually build from episode to episode. It's not an episodic serial format so much as a unified story drawn out over eight episodes that takes time to tell. The special effects are very good for a Syfy (or any) television series, and the tech is for the most part very believable. (A ship suffering malfunctions in the outer solar system is likely to end in tragedy, because of the precarious nature of travel in the .... expanse.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  2. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I watched it two weeks ago.

    One of the things that I've noticed about the SyFy Channel writers, is that they dive right into clichés.

    Often times in pilots, the characters wake up having no memory only to discover their amazing karate abilities, etc.

    I was pretty excited to watch The Expanse, but the story becomes progressively convoluted. It's really difficult to know what is going on.

    I didn't care about the characters.

    The focus is on the tech props not the characters.

    I love scifi movies, but SyFy shows are a great place to pick up poor writing habits.

    I never give up hope though. I just prefer scifi with a smaller cast. Solaris was a cool movie.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Great show. The books are also excellent.
     
  4. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    @MineOwnKing: I've finally finished the season. I didn't see much use of cliché, or heavy use, so I'm not sure what you are referencing. There are elements recognizable from other genres and sci-fi–the hardboiled detective, the underground oppressed/terrorist type group, corporations running things–but I don't think I'd call that cliché. There were many elements of the worldbuilding that seemed new to me. (For instance, the fact that one main character has eight mothers and one father, a case of group genetic blending.) I also didn't feel that the story was very convoluted; a mystery lies at the heart of the season, but each element within the run of eight episodes seemed clear enough to me even if that mystery remained throughout. My one complaint would be that eight episodes simply weren't enough to give a fully satisfactory arc to the season. The season seemed like a first act, only.

    @Steerpike: I don't read much sci-fi lately and never knew there were books behind the show. I enjoyed the show greatly, and don't want to wait for S2, but I'll probably not pick up the books for now.
     
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  5. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

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    I'm happy that you liked the series and I can see the appeal.

    It just didn't click with me.

    I prefer sci-fi that's really slow with a small cast.

    Moon starring Sam Rockwell is a good example of what I like in Sci-Fi movies.
     
  6. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I watched the first five episodes. It was good, but it didn't really hold my interest. It's kind of in an odd place, for SyFy shows, because it's much better in terms of effects, worldbuilding, and writing than most of what they produce... but it also lacked the charm and character of a show like Z Nation. And while it's definitely a higher quality production for a SyFy show, there are still shows like Mr. Robot on other channels that are much better. So I don't know; I'll probably watch the rest of it eventually, but I'm not rushing to free up an afternoon for it.
     
  7. Clearmadness

    Clearmadness Dreamer

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    I loved it. It had a great plot and set of characters. It was also the hardest Sci-Fi I've ever seen on TV. Well, except for that water scarcity thing. Water is as common as dirt in space.
     
  8. JBryden88

    JBryden88 Troubadour

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    Love it.

    Also hi guys. Been awhile since I've been here :D
     
  9. Creed

    Creed Sage

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    Thanks FifthView! I adored The Expanse, as one of the most intriguing and cerebral sci-fi pieces I've seen in years (plus I love a well-built, believable world and The Expanse delivered).

    It definitely wasn't fast paced at times, but by no means did I find it slow. I haven't read the books, but they're written under a pseudonym for Ty Franck and Daniel Abrahams. (Abrahams wrote The Long Price Quartet, and is one of my favourite authors of all time). :)
     
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  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The books are quite goos, Creed. You should check them out.
     
    Creed likes this.
  11. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    S1 ended quite far from the end to book 1. I'm not sure but I think s1 covered around 2/3 of book 1, so just reading book 1 rather than multiple books could be good if you don't want to wait for s2.
     
    FifthView likes this.
  12. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I'll probably just wait for S2, because I really enjoyed S1 and don't want to spoil the surprise either direction, but I'll keep that in mind. I usually have so many books to juggle already (filling my Kindle unread) and sometimes I take the easy route and just turn on my television.
     
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