The premiere episode of The Expanse officially aired tonight, and the whole universe should have seen it by now! The episode entitled Dulcinea, provided us with a mystery directly after takeoff, and that mystery will surely lead to a lot of revelations, eventually. This will be my first full review for a show that is set mostly in space, and looking at a world 200 hundred years after it was colonized.
In the 23rd century, humans have colonized the solar system. The U.N. controls Earth. Mars is an independent military power. The inner planets depend on the resources of the asteroid belt. Belters live and work in space. In the Belt, air and water are more precious than gold. For decades, tensions have been rising. Earth, Mars, and the Belt are now on the brink of war. All it will take is a single spark.
The SYFY network has definitely gone back to its roots, when it comes to making shows that attracted viewers to the network in the first place. There are a lot of fans of the science fiction genre, and that number grows higher everyday, especially if you take into account shows like Childhood’s End, The Expanse, and the return of the X-Files. I suppose you could say that ‘if you build it, they will come’ was put into play. The network has given the viewers what they have been waiting for, and I think it will pay off in a big way.
As I stated in a previous post, my knowledge of Syfy is very limited, but I do know a great show when I see one. The Expanse is what I would classify as a great show, as it has it all! The premiere episode is world building at it’s finest, and it might feel a little overwhelming at first, but a stage is being set. Since I have seen the first four episodes of this brand new series, I can tell you that it’s quite the stage.
The world building begins with a bit of a mystery, with the disappearance of a young lady named Julie Mao. We don’t know why she was in the space predicament she was in (especially me since I haven’t read the books) but she clearly disappeared. Where is she? What happened to her? Could this disappearance be that ‘little spark’ mentioned at the beginning or will that involve someone or something else?
The world building continued with introducing us to three main locations, Ceres, Earth, and an ice freighter, named the Canterbury. As we were being introduced to Ceres, we hear a voiceover about how the working class are treated by Earthers and Dusters, and how war is soon to come. The ‘Belters’ feel as if they are oppressed second-class citizens, who are only stuck in the middle of two giants.
It is here that we meet Detective Miller (Thomas Jane), who is a ‘no-nonsense, in your face’ kind of guy, who is more than capable of getting any job done. He comes off kind of like an old film noir detective, and I like it a lot! I loved the little lesson he taught the creepy slumlord, who didn’t clean out the vents of the places that he owned.
Detective Miller is assigned to the mysterious disappearance of Julie Mao, who we were introduced to in the beginning of the episode. It seems, while in college, she joined an extremely radical group of protesters, and that could be another mystery all it’s own.
The second of our locations is The Canterbury, the ice freighter on it’s way to deliver ice to Ceres, a very hot commodity on that planet! We have already witnessed great effects, from the space scenery to high gravity, but seeing than man’s arm cleanly taken off by a huge chunk of ice was awesome.
Aboard this freighter, we meet Jim Holden (Steven Strait), who I like to call the ‘reluctant XO’. We really don’t know anything about Holden except that he doesn’t want to be an XO, that he obviously likes fraternizing with a member of his crew (apparently zero gravity sex is the next big thing), and that he can’t seem to find a decent cup of coffee.
Holden and crew decide to answer a distress call from another freighter, delaying their trip to Ceres, and this proves to be a fatal decision. I loved all the characters that set out to search the mysterious vessel that sent out the signal. I didn’t have a good feeling about the crew taking on this mission, but it was the right thing to do. Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) is a kick ass character, who speaks her mind, and knows her way around a ship.
She gives Holden a run for his money on the leadership department. She has a very loyal sidekick in Amos (Wes Chatham), he’s pretty kick ass too! Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) is the pilot for the Canterbury and is easily one of my favorite characters, along with Holden and Naomi.
The third and final location is Earth, where we meet the undersecretary to the U.N. Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), and she is quite the political powerhouse. She had absolutely no qualms about torturing suspects (waterboarding in a fashion) to gain any information needed. I don’t want to go into too much detail about this particular character, but let’s just say that political power plays seem to be her thing.
I loved how they made Earth look almost brand new, I would not have regonized New York if it wasn’t for the Statue of Liberty! These respective storylines might feel a little overwhelming, and have you wondering how they all connect. I am positive that fans of the book series already know the answer, but for non-bookies (like me), don’t let this discourage you, because you will find that out as well.
I found that I was really immersed into what was going on, and how everything seemed to be connecting. I love a good mystery, and I love a good show that makes me use my brain. Who doesn’t like a good, old-fashioned conspiracy theory?
I loved the fact that the world of The Expanse, mirrors the world we live in quite a bit, with the blatant prejudices towards a certain class of humans, and of course, the same political issues.
I would say that The Expanse is off to a great start with it’s premiere episode, it was definitely ‘out of this world’! Five stars and two thumbs up from this fan! What did you think of the premiere episode?
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