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So much change is ahead for the crew of the Rocinante and viewers of The Expanse Season 4 -- and, at least for us, it should be change for the better!
The series is based on the eight books so far by James S. A. Corey. Each TV season on Syfy was a rough adaptation of one novel in The Expanse series. However, when Syfy cancelled The Expanse after three seasons, it left the whole saga hanging. After a massive fan campaign, Amazon saved The Expanse for Season 4, which will drop all 10 episodes on December 13 on Amazon Prime Video. Everyone involved with the show was understandably thrilled to be saved, but particularly happy to be saved by Amazon, figuring the streamer to be the show's rightful home all along. (No offense, Syfy.)
We literally feel like we died and went to heaven. A streaming platform is really, I think, the home the show always wanted. I think we were always built for this exact kind of platform. It’s tremendously creatively free.
We couldn't be in a better place. Amazon is the best home for us. In hindsight, being cancelled was the best thing that ever happened to us. Syfy produced a great show with us. They did a great job. It looked good, it really did serve the books, it honored the story and everything, it was a beautiful, high quality show. But we weren't reaching the audiences that we could reach and it was being done in a format that didn't serve the kind of show we were: with commercial breaks and the four acts and all that stuff.
As Cas Anvar noted to CinemaBlend last year, and repeated in new interviews, this move frees up The Expanse in time, space, and content:
So when we moved to Amazon, all of a sudden we're not restricted by time, we don't have to bang on 47 minutes every episode, we don't have to worry about commercial breaks. We don't have the restrictions in terms of content: it's darker, it's sexier, it's a little more gritty, it's a little more real.
Darker, sexier, grittier? I think fans will be down for that. I'm also loving that all 10 episodes will drop at once, so fans can binge -- commercial free! -- instead of having to wait.
Steven Strait, who plays James Holden and also has a producer credit on the show, told EW there are parallel changes on and off screen for Season 4:
I was a fan of the books before we started filming this series. In Book 4, which we touch on this year, there is a shift. So we're following the books and it makes sense almost in a metaphysical way that we've moved into this new place for our show and have a platform that has this incredible reach and so much support behind it. It really feels like we've found our home.
It's like Holden finding the perfect new coffee maker.
In The Expanse Season 4, the ring gates have opened and reshaped the sociopolitical map of the universe. Dominique Tipper (Naomi Nagata) called Season 4 a "space Western." She also noted that, despite the move to Amazon, The Expanse team still got to work with the same crew in Toronto. So they didn't lose anything, they only gained in the move to Amazon.
I've read up to Book 5 at this point, and you can see from the new The Expanse Season 4 trailer that the TV show has made a few changes -- although nothing more than what they've been doing all along. The TV version of Book 4, "Cibola Burn," is showing more of Shohreh Aghdashloo's Chrisjen Avasarala, Frankie Adams' Bobbie Draper, Cara Gee's Camina Drummer, and David Strathairn's Klaes Ashford. The trailer also shows Naomi seeming to spend a lot of time with the crew on Illus, which looks like a bit of a change from the book.
I certainly trust The Expanse team to put everything together beautifully -- even more so with the elevated production values of Amazon. It's clear Amazon is heavily investing in this show, helping it become the streamer's own Game of Thrones -- with another major genre series to follow in the Lord of the Rings series. Amazon ain't playin' around, kids. It reaches out.
Come be a pioneer of Illus (or New Terra, if you're an Earther) with The Expanse Season 4 on December 13.