After years of hanging their laurels on “we made Battlestar Galactica” and multiple Stargate series reruns, Syfy has been making a strong comeback over the last couple of TV seasons. It started with Defiance, but at the start of the year they also released the mini-series Ascension (which I’ve only seen the first episode so far because I’m lazy about catching up on my DV-R) and later today their TV adaptation of the sci-fi cult classic 12 Monkeys will be debuting.
However, I do love me some space opera, and I think The Expanse is the series, the trailer for which Syfy debuted yesterday, is the show I’m most interested in. It is based on a book series by the same name written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (though they used James S.A. Corey as the pen name for the series. If you haven’t heard of the book series, you may be more familiar with the title Leviathan Wakes, which is the first book.
The premise is that 200 years in the future humanity has expanded into the solar system, colonizing Mars and the asteroid belt. Tensions between the outer colonies and the Earth and Martian inhabitants is high. In the midst of this, a police officer teams up with a freighter pilot to try and find a runaway heiress. But as they search for her, they unravel a conspiracy that threatens war between the different factions.
Thomas Jane will be playing the lead role of the cop Josephus Miller and is paired with Steven Strait as Jim Holden, the freighter pilot. I think Jane is a great pick up for the show, as he is a fairly notable actor. Other notable casting choices include Shohreh Aghdashloo and Chad Coleman. Overall it sounds like a talented line up. And Syfy producers have been good at casting upcoming or unknown actors for other shows in the past, so I’m not worried about that.
On the show writing side, Mark Fergus and Hawk Otsby, the writers behind the first Iron Man film and Children of Men put together the script for the pilot. Syfy also brought on board veteran showrunners Terry McDonough, who has worked on several shows including Breaking Bad, and Naren Shankar, who has worked on Grimm, Farscape, and multiple iterations of Star Trek.
Naturally the thing everyone seems to be taking away from the trailer is the space sex (and of course the physics of it), but outside of that, I think this show has a ton of potential. The sets, the costuming, and the atmosphere of the setting shown in the trailer are great, and it looks like the CGI aspects of the show are limited (my feeling on CGI is that if you can’t do it well with a big budget, then use it as little as possible). I think the premise is compelling and the type of thing that can translate well to the small screen.
The release date for The Expanse is unclear, but it will be out later this year, and personally I can’t wait.