Ed. Note – Happy 100th Post to everyone!
Airs: Tuesdays 10pm EST on SyFy Network
Review: Two-night Premiere Episodes
Apparently, it is space opera premiere week. The Expanse opened its series run on Monday and Tuesday, and then I think there is some sort of big movie opening tomorrow that is set in space. The cast of The Expanse is all very familiar, if you watch enough TV, you recognize everyone – you may not remember where you’ve seen them, just that you’ve seen them before. It bodes well for the future quality of the show.
Set 200 years in the future, humans have colonized the solar system. Earth, Mars, and those that mine for resources in the asteroid belt (aka “Belters”) are the major factions in the solar system. With the scarcity of resources, particularly air and water, tension runs high (as it always does with limited resources). The show begins as Earth and Mars are on the brink of war. The Expanse begins slowly – rather than an action sequence (like almost every show), it is a woman alone on a spacecraft who screams when she sees…something (I don’t know what it was). Like Humans, The Expanse has many storylines, but unlike Humans, they tied many of them together before the end of the first episode (with one storyline that hasn’t tied in to the others as of the end of the second episode). With that many storylines, it was a little confusing to follow, but once they are tied together it made more sense.
The ending of the first episode was surprising (to me) and probably hooked me for the first season. The second episode wasn’t quite as dramatic, but they did start building the characters – there are a lot of them, so it may take some time to fully “know” who each of the characters are. With war looming, it sets the stage for a good premise. And while there are no aliens (like Killjoys), I am not entirely convinced that there aren’t aliens out there (in the show, because of course there are aliens in real life).
The Expanse is another of SyFy’s attempt to get back to its roots with a space opera. With a prominent cast and a solid premise, this promises to be a worthy effort. The danger with multiple plotlines, it is easy to get lost. The danger with the large cast is it can get bogged down and drag at times. If they can avoid these pitfalls in the future and continue to surprise me, I’ll be in for the future.
WWYT Rating: 7.0
Nielsen Ratings: 0.3 I’m sure this is lower than what SyFy wanted, but they have already renewed it for a second season. Premiering the same week as Star Wars should have been a boost, but it’s during the holiday season when no one really watches much TV.