Why The Expanse is the Greatest Sci-Fi TV Show in Years

Season 3 of The Expanse drops on the Syfy channel State side on April 11th and will no doubt follow suit on Netflix again in the UK once all episodes have aired, giving us a bit of a wait and having to avoid dreaded spoilers.

It’s getting insane. Not just SyFy, and not just Sci-Fi, but generally. The ‘golden age of television’ rhetoric doesn’t appear to be as much bollocks as it sounds.

Here’s a little list, which is of course biased by my particular tastes.

The Expanse
Peaky Blinders
American Gods
Game of Thrones

I could chuck more in – but those above I imagine have wider appeal.

Even if these aren’t your cup of tea, the production values are way above what we’ve seen before. It’s not long ago people were spewing hot yoghurt over Breaking Bad. Most of those above kick Breaking Bad in the ballsack.

The Expanse, like many of the above is based on a series of novels of the same name.

What’s not to love. The Expanse has rocketed,  right to the centre of my heart and top of my favourites lists on so many grounds. Does it get much more dramatic? That’s not even because of the ramping up of imaginary weapons or expensive CGI or sweeping space battles, but because the characters’ internal motivation and the conflicts between their world views and ethics are being explored more. Some really tough-minded exploration of the philosophy of war, the rule of economics, how technology changes culture, the inherent flaws of humans, individual vs group rights etc of a much more sophisticated kind than you often get in Sci-Fi. There is nothing about it I don’t like, I just want more of it and thankfully there’s not long to wait.

It’s space opera with enough hard sci-fi flourishes to keep nerds like me happy.

There are some bits where it dragged but when it’s going, it goes. I haven’t read the books but I’ve read many a commentary that this is a rare case of the TV show actually being better than the books. In particular plot points, moments that don’t exist in the book but do in the show that create better tension and character interest.

Fantastic stuff. I continue to feel the actor playing Holden is the weakest of the bunch but the rest of the cast just knock it out of the park and I love the near future tech.

The final episode of season two was ace, great to have a full on all action nailbiter – if I had any criticism of the series before it was that it sometimes lacks real drama, like they didn’t quite know how to pull off real jeopardy, but that episode had it in spades.

All three storylines full of drama and nuance, character progression and some really juicy plot moves. And a bunch of (totally realistic) kick-ass space combat to boot. Who do I have to throw out of an airlock to make sure this never gets cancelled?

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