DISCLAIMER: Spoilers for The Expanse abound in these here parts of the solar system. Tread lightly, friends. Actually, you should binge the series first because it’s splendiferous. Then return to this article.
Screaming Firehawks, Thursday evening revealed some troubling news. SyFy has chosen not to move forward with a fourth season of The Expanse. This decision has triggered an immense outpouring of support from fans the world over. Thankfully, as I type this our Powers That Be are tirelessly shopping our favorite space opera to other networks. Netflix has been a popular candidate for breathing new life into series. Hey, the streaming giant wishes to bolster its sci-fi roster, and you won’t find a better option than The Expanse. While my heart feels as though it’s been torn asunder, mercilessly ripped into tiny pieces, I have a small flicker of hope.
Now, I’ve compiled a list of five reasons why The Expanse deserves to live. Why this story should be told. SyFy may have dropped the ball on what’s clearly morphing into a cult favorite, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find a home elsewhere. There’s a petition at the bottom of this post that can help in finding that home!
1. There’s a ton of story left to tell.
Did you know that The Expanse is a TV adaptation of several novels penned by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)? Presently, there are seven published novels with two more on the way, four novellas and two short stories. Now, Chrisjen Avasarala and James Holden meet in the second book Caliban’s War. Currently, the show is in its third season, with the very same Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and Holden (Steven Strait) meeting for the first time.
Alright, you do the math. There’s still so much story ripe for telling. So much left to cover! The war between Earth, Mars and the Belt has only just begun. Essentially, the wellspring of ideas is chock full – overflowing, even. Our writers should never have an issue with running out of source material. And if they do, they can always log the saga of Holden’s search for the perfect cup of coffee, or Alex’s thrilling love story with the Roci. Both are perfectly acceptable.
2. The Expanse is one of the most diverse shows on TV.
Now, The Expanse is a celebration of diversity, boasting many people of color in its talented cast. Not to mention, a whole lot of them are strong female leads. Women unapologetically wielding their strength on screen. It’s incredibly inspiring to see a wonderfully diverse cast of intriguing characters on a genre show.
Of course, as a woman, I also dig seeing a female captain of a ship and a female engineer. A female Marine and a whip-smart female politician. A courageous female lieutenant sacrificing herself for what’s right. White men aren’t the only heroes in this world, and The Expanse does a fantastic job of conveying that truth. So many folks still lack the recognition they so deserve, and should The Expanse come to an abrupt halt then we’re silencing said folks – we’re saying they aren’t worth being represented. Everyone is unique and deserves to be uplifted. Television has the power to heal, to boost morale and to inspire. Let’s make sure The Expanse has the outlet to do all those things.
3. The visual effects are beyond stellar.
Have you ever watched an episode of The Expanse with your jaw quite literally dropping to the floor? I know I have. We all bow down to the awe-inspiring heroes crafting the visual effects on this show. Those epic, sweeping images of our solar system are breathtaking, to say the least.
Now, if you go on IMDb, you’ll see that 217 people are credited as contributing to the visual effects on The Expanse. 217! It takes a village, people. Not just the faces you see on screen should receive credit for the success of a show. So much goes on behind the scenes, each part crucial to the ease with which a series flows. Those breathtaking images of Mars, the Belt or the battle on Ganymede wouldn’t have been possible without a talented visual effects team working 24/7 to bring said images to life. I feel like we’re really in space, you guys!
4. However, the actors are pretty rad too.
Shohreh Aghdashloo, anyone? Her portrayal of Avasarala is award-worthy in my book. Cas Anvar is another favorite of mine. He injects layers into the Roci’s Martian pilot Alex Kamal, making him more than merely comic relief. In Season 3 Anvar has been granted moments to display his dramatic chops, and he does not disappoint. Dominique Tipper does a stellar job of breathing life into the fiery and brilliant Naomi Nagata, the Roci’s engineer. However, Season 3 has given Tipper the opportunity to show off Naomi’s vulnerable side.
Steven Strait is an expert at showing us just how conflicted James Holden is, while putting his bouts of heroics on display for all to see. In short, the actors on The Expanse go above and beyond, always painting a visceral portrait of what life is like in the future. Of course, with more source material left to cover, they’ve only scratched the surface of what lies ahead.
5. Despite being set some 200 years in the future, the story is incredibly relevant today.
Great sci-fi is like a mirror – it puts our societal flaws on display. Great sci-fi is also allegorical. The Expanse is no exception. We see a future riddled with the same problems that plague our current society – political tension, threats of war and social issues abound. Earth and Mars parade about, boasting of their immense nuclear capabilities. Meanwhile, the Belt (akin to our middle/lower class, in this case) suffers regardless of where the chips may fall in this interplanetary war. Sound familiar? For me, the current tension between the United States and North Korea comes to mind.
Even as we look back on our history, we realize that while technology has advanced and medicine has progressed, humanity is virtually the same. The Expanse shows us that even though the events we watch are taking place two hundred years into the future, humans think and react as they would today. We humans are the constant that unites the past, present and future.
Now, I could go on and on listing reasons why The Expanse deserves to live, but I believe these core five should suffice. Netflix, this series would suit your current desires to expand your sci-fi roster. In addition, the streaming site has the monetary capabilities to continue giving us those stellar visual effects. Amazon would be another prime candidate, especially since it boasts quite a few critically acclaimed gems. The Expanse may finally receive the accolades it so deserves with more eyeballs on it. Not to mention, more people may sign up for Amazon Prime. Everyone wins!
Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox. Here’s to enjoying the rest of Season 3. Here’s to sharing it far and wide with our friends and family. Finally, here’s continuing to fight for The Expanse in our quest to find it a new, and hopefully permanent, home. Time to flip and burn, friends.
Yam Seng Beltalowda!
Here’s a petition calling on Netflix or Amazon to buy the rights to the series. Sign away!