The Expanse season 1, American/Canadian tv series (2015)

There was a time when science fiction on television was very popular, and there were a lot of tv series to choose from. Babylon 5, Stargate Sg-1, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda, are just a few examples of these shows that offered truly amazing future visions. But it seems that television these days had it’s focus on different things, and it is somewhat harder for sci-fi fans to get their fix. A few years ago I came across a novel called Leviathan Wakes written by James S.A. Correy. It was the start of a fantastic new science fiction saga called the Expanse, and has since then been followed up by 4 other books and a couple of novellas. (You can find a review for the second part in the series rightΒ here). To my absolute delight I learned that the novels now have been turned into a television series, but at the same time it filled me with dread. Turning books into movies or tv shows is always a risky business. So the question is: is the Expanse tv series any good? Well I can answer with a resounding: Hell yeah it is!

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Dude, seriously you need a haircut.

The Expanse takes place roughly 200 years into the future. The solar system is fully colonised and there are three major factions, Earth,Mars and the Belt, that have an uneasy peace between them. On a space station in the Asteroid Belt, police detective Miller is assigned a case to find a missing daughter of a wealthy businessman. Elsewhere, James Holden, the executive officer of the icehauler Canterbury is involved in a tragic incident. It soon becomes apparent that this incident is one of the first steps to destabilize the three factions and bring them to an all out war. But how exactly does the missing daughter fit into all this? Eventually the paths of Miller and Holden come together and they are about to uncover a very sinister conspiracy. A conspiracy that threatens the entire human race…..

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Man, lighten up. You are in a truly terrific show. At least put on a smile.

I’m going to make a pretty bold statement here by saying that the Expanse is one of the best science fiction series that I have seen in years. I was already a huge fan of the novels, and I can only say that this series really respects it’s source material. This first season of 10 episodes follows the story of the first part of Leviathan Wakes. One of the strongest points of this show is the story and the many different layers it contains. It has elements of politics, conspiracies, spacebattles and even horror all blended together in a truly amazing and wonderful script. It certainly isn’t a tale that was put together overnight, but really is very well written and has many surprises in store that will both delight and shock you. The visuals are also outstanding, both in terms of special effects, but also in costumes and setsdesigns. Everything looks really convincing, and this all adds to creating a very believable science fiction setting.

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Well, I did say that this series also contained some horror elements right?

But what is a world without memorable characters, and the Expanse also succeeds in creating those. Detective Miller played by veteran actor Thomas Jane, can almost be described as a kind of film noir character you would come across in old black and white movies. I love the fact that Miller also definitely has his flaws, and this creates a person that is very human and who you can relate to. The other main character, James Holden, who is portrayed by actor Steven Strait, is someone who tries to do the right thing, but eventually gets in way over his head because of this. It creates some great scenes between him and his crew, who don’t always agree with his decisions. There are also a lot of other supporting characters, and it would go too far to describe them all in this review. Suffice it to say though, that the cast for this show is truly wonderful and another very good reason to start watching this.

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Yep, what would the human race be without some big guns.Β 

Are there also negative things to mention? Well, honestly I have been wracking my brain for an answer to that question, but I would be hardpressed to find them. If I were to name one, it might be that the story is pretty complex and certainly not always the easiest to follow. This is not one of those shows you can watch while also texting with your best friend. But I never do that anyway, so I don’t really see this as a weak point. It is very nice to finally have a great science fiction series back on the small screen. The third season for this show was just announced, so there is luckily plenty more to come. For everyone that loves intelligent science fiction storytelling, I can’t recommend this series enough. And while you are at it, you might also want to try the novels that this show is based on. I’m almost certain that you will not be disappointed by this, but hey I could be wrong of course.

I give The Expanse season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

 

 

 

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42 thoughts on “The Expanse season 1, American/Canadian tv series (2015)”

  1. I loved this series! Think I watched it in 2 or 3 sittings. Could not get enough of it. Can’t wait for season 2! Jane played Miller so well. Hands down my favourite character.

    I don’t ordinarily enjoy the diplomat characters. But the Indian diplomat played the role so well. Kindly grand mother/dark diplomat who will do anything to get her way.

    Genuinely struggled to find anything bad to say about it.

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  2. I love this TV show, and I loved the first book too! The series does seem to stick with the source material, for the most part though I noticed a couple of changes (the fate of Holden’s partner is quite different in the book – he gets a transfer off Ceres, which becomes quite important pplus there are a few mentions of shortage of riot gear which become important later) and it muddles the order a bit (The undersecretary isnt in book one, but she is such a brilliant character anyway I can overlook that!) Awesome show. Looking forward to seeing and reading more

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    1. Yeah, I finished this first season in one day. I just could not stop watching. And season 2 (for me) is just around the corner as it gets released on Netflix in the weekend. (So another bingewatch coming up lol πŸ˜‚). You are quite right, there are a few changes too, but overall it does seem to follow the story really well. And you are right about the undersecretary: she is such an amazing character. Really looking forward to the second season, and as far as the novels go, I will be starting with part 3 somewhere later this month 😊

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      1. Yeah, I just found out I got the date wrong. It is 8th September here as well 😒 Oh well, it’s not that I don’t have anything else to watch lol πŸ˜‚

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    1. I’m going to see season 2 in the weekend (it will appear on Netflix at that moment), so my weekend will be spent by eating crisps and watching way too much tv lol πŸ˜‚ Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it πŸ˜€

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  3. 200 years in the future?! Wow.. and everything sounds interesting. I do like conspiracies and surprises. I will have to reinstate my Netflix subscription haha.. I had to cancel for awhile because I was behind on my reading haha.. Thanks for introducing me another show to watch! Fantastic review Michel! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, appreciate every time. Haha, yeah it is a hood series, so worth to reinstate your subscription for that 😊 But the novels are really great as well, and just as good (if not better), than the tv series πŸ˜€

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    1. It really is very good. I already loved the novels, but the series is just as good which is very enjoyable 😊 As for Matthew Healy, I’m ashamed to say that I did not know who that was, so I had to Google him, but yes, I can definitely see the resemblance πŸ˜€

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  4. That title image is absolutely gorgeous.I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction – I like it but I’m not specifically enthusiastic about it but still, this sounds like a solid show. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. You are very welcome. I was already a huge fan of the novels that the series was based on, so I really hoped this series would dooit justice, and I am very glad that it did. Can’t wait for season 2 πŸ˜€ Off topic, I haven’t yet had a chance to respond to your email. Been a bit busy, but I promise to get to it ASAP 😊

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      1. Well….I just finished episode one of the seci d season, and it was very good. I unfortunately have to work tomorrow, and I don’t think my boss will appreciate me watching Netflix at work lol, but hopefully I can watch a few more episodes on sunday. Have fun watching the season. Looking forward to exchanging some thoughts for it later on 😊

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  5. SUCH A GREAT REVIEWW!!!!!!! 😍

    Okayy, so here’s what I am going to do – clear my schedule, read Leviathan Wakes – ALL OF THEM, and then I’ll watch the hell out of this series!!!

    Not kidding! Your review makes me want to watch it right away but that’d be sooooo unfair to the books.

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    1. Haha, thank you very much for these kind words 😊 Love your enthusiasm πŸ˜€ It really is a great series, both the books and the television show. I think the books are even a little bit better. I just started watching the second season yesterday, and it started off really good. Hopefully it will continue in this way. Thank you for your comment πŸ˜€

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    1. I defintely can believe that, I am about halfway through the second season myself now, and I totally agree it’s even better than the first one. But the them again, the second book in this series was better than the first as well 😊 I have yet to read the third book, but I really hope this show will continue to be this good. It’s truly a great science fiction series and has become one of my favorites as well πŸ˜€

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  6. ooh cool I *love* a good sci fi programme!! And this one sounds awesome!! Very excited to check it out!! Brilliant review πŸ˜€ hehehe also love your asides under the pics- yes that guy does need a haircut!! And that other dude needs to lighten up!!

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    1. Haha, yeah that dude really needs to lighten up lol. I am now currently in season 2 and I can tell you that’s even better than season 1 (which wasn’t a real surprise as the second novel in the series was better too). I can say it’s really turning into one of my alltime favorite scifi series, because of the really clever storyline that contains so much different aspects 😊 Thanks again for commenting and the kind words πŸ˜‰

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    1. Thank you so much again for these words πŸ˜€ It really is a great series, and the second season for it is even better ! 😊😊 The novels are amazing as well by the way πŸ˜€

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