‘The Expanse’ Episode One Review: Finally, an Impeccable Space-Opera
Fans of sci-fi and space opera will be heartened with Sci-fy’s new show, “ The Expanse.” Based on a series of science-fiction novels by James S. A. Corey, the show sees a solar system that has been colonized by humanity. With flawless world-building, scientific accuracy and character exposition, “The Expanse” is maybe the best science-fiction coming to TV any time soon.
One hundred years in the future, humanity has colonized the solar system, with the main powers being an UN controlled Earth, and independant militaristic Mars, and the asteroid belts around Ceres used as a mining outpost. As the camera pans into the first scenes of the show, we learn that Earth and Mars are on the brink of War, with tensions that have been escalating over decades.
The main characters follow a morally compromised ‘Belter’ (inhabitant of the asteroid belt) detective Miller, portrayed by Thomas Jane with a Skrillex-haircut, who is in search of the scion of a rich trading clan. Parallelly, we have Steven Strait, who portrays a happy-go-lucky second officer at a rust-bucket ice-mining spacecraft, thrust into a lethal situation when his ship receives an SOS call from a seemingly abandoned vehicle. Of course, things are rarely as they seem, and soon there are gangsters and belligerent martian ships all over the place.
Expanse really shines with its perfect world-building and effective use of science. Scenes of water droplets floating in the vacuum of space are rendered with near physical perfection, as are the effects of the belts weak gravity on the physiology of its inhabitants. The first episode does a good job of fleshing out the world with its different stratas of society: a prosperous Earth, a warlike and mysterious mars, and a large unemancipated ‘belt’, whose residents are used as something very close to slave labour by both planets.
Resentments and tensions run high throughout the show, and a mystery is presented. The episode ended in a cliffhanger and we were left craving for more. All in all, this is a first class show and we cannot wait to see what direction it will take.
“The Expanse” airs on Sci-Fy from Dec 14, but the first episode is out on streaming, if you, like us, cannot hardly wait.
Photo Source: Facebook/The Expanse