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Syfy has done an amazing job of flipping its creative approach in the past year, and the upcoming debut season of The Expanse looks like the apex of this original programming resurgence. An adaptation of the critically adored novel sci-fi novel series from James S.A. Corey, the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, The Expanse released the brainy and bloody first trailer below. Hold on to your hat and pants, because zero gravity and all.
“We make it all this way, so far out into the darkness. Why couldn’t we have brought more light?”
Hearing Jonathan Banks say that line once was easily better than hearing Michael Caine quote Dylan Thomas 40 times in Interstellar. The Expanse looks like everything that’s been missing from TV sci-fi ever since Battlestar Galactica left the airwaves. (Sorry, Ascension, though you fooled us for a while there.) A vast solar system of locations and characters, mixed in with high-stakes drama and space adventure, and why would you need anything else? Well, I guess there's all that floating sex to be had.
The Expanse is set 200 years in the future, when humans have colonized many of the other planetary bodies in our solar system. But as you can imagine, that doesn’t mean that outer space is full of peace. The thrust of the story involves a detective named Josephus Miler, played by Thomas Jane with an interesting haircut, tracking down a woman named Juliette Mao (Florence Faivre), who is tapped into a massive conspiracy concerning just about everyone everywhere. Miller teams up with ice freighter captain Jim Holden (Steven Strait), who has a whole other set of problems involving extra-planetary government bodies.
It’s a good looking trailer as far as space and special effects go, with interesting angles and vibrant colors all over the place. As well, this is a pretty solid cast of actors, including Shoehreh Aghdashloo, who will hopefully bring this war-bound tale the justice it deserves. Just how successful this adaptation will be is up in the air, pun intended, but I'm more won over by our first look than I thought I would be.
Syfy would really like The Expanse to become a hit, since the novel series (starting with 2011’s Leviathan Wakes) is set to span nine novels. That’s a lot of plot to get through, and makes this a much more likely Battlestar successor than anything else Syfy has coming and going. And if multiple seasons of Thomas Jane as a cop in space doesn’t excite you, then you’re just a robot. Which, oddly enough, this series won’t have.
The Expanse will premiere its 10-episode Season 1 at some point later in 2015.