The Expanse: Salvage
January 28, 2016 11:49 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The Roci crew check out a derelict stealth ship and find some weird stuff. Miller gets to Eros and meets the Roci crew. Miller finally finds Julie Mao.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe (55 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I'm sold on Amos now, that look he gives Holden after Miller arrives at the hotel and heads upstairs...that did it.

I really like the ways in which they have changed the show from the books. And What Happened To Julie was suitably horrifying, moreso than I thought they'd make it. Thomas Jane is really making Miller his own character, different but recognizable, and very compelling.
posted by biscotti at 2:41 PM on January 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

[Haven't read the books]

This show is really getting interesting.

- I liked the meeting between the crew and Miller... Amos was great in that whole scene, especially reaching for his gun before anyone else had any idea what was happening.

- I guess the spy is gone? That's a shame.

- Hat Cop leaving his hat behind was worth it for the scene where he finds his friend on Eros and his friend says "Where's my damn hat?"

- So the Rocinante crew found something (alien? nanotech grey goo?) that seemed to feed on energy, and then they fed it a humongous source of energy in the form of a torpedo. This may have been a mistake.

- I had assumed Julie might be alive through all this, but I guess she was really just the McGuffin of the story.

- As someone who grew up Mormon I loved the Mormons building the ship with the giant Angel Moroni, and the guy who talked to Miller on the shuttle. It was all done with a perfect mix of mockery and respect for the religion.
posted by mmoncur at 5:10 PM on January 28, 2016 [10 favorites]

So, so very good. The exquisitely slow pace of exploring the Anubis was a phenomenally brave move, letting you feel every clunk and crunch of boots on the steel deck. I was practically climbing the walls with tension (watch Alex pilot that drone - the fear and apprehension slowly grows on his face as it becomes clear the stealth ship is empty and cold). biscotti i totally agree about Amos in that moment, the smirk and the cheeky nod, "that's how you play it, Holden you simp".

"Where's my damn hat?" was great, too. Kevin Hanchard is tremendous in Orphan Black, and I squee'd to see him here.

Agh. The detail. Alex's headphones suspended in free-fall as he pilots the Roci; Amos' wary eyes; the massive, lunatic angel Moroni (it is space, I guess - you don't have to be streamlined); the marvellous way every character - even the dock master with his gambling app and the hotel 'concierge' and his ruined eye - get attention and nuance. The best of that was Miller and the Space Mormon. On the face of it, it was totally unnecessary, backfill for story points we don't need yet, but it was full of evocative detail about the universe and Miller himself that makes the whole much richer.

Other shows should be taking copious notes. Srsly.
posted by prismatic7 at 5:22 PM on January 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

- I guess the spy is gone? That's a shame.

This isn't a spoiler -- the spy doesn't appear in the books -- but I would guess that he'll keep popping up as long as Earth is interested in what he's doing, or until he's dead presumably at Amos's hands.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:01 PM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

So the Expanse is basically Traveller: the TV show, right?
posted by Sebmojo at 8:03 PM on January 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

How can next week already be the season finale? HOW?

Need more episodes.
posted by Justinian at 9:12 PM on January 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

The thing about the Expanse is that it still isn't actually completely clear to non-book readers what the story is, Sebmojo. Which I really like. How many shows go a full season just working up to the story?
posted by Justinian at 9:14 PM on January 28, 2016

Also, next weeks episode titles make me very happy.
posted by Justinian at 9:15 PM on January 28, 2016

I really liked this episode, too.

This is one of those shows where I enjoy it so much that I find myself worrying that the episode is going to end too soon, but not quite enough that I forget to worry that the episode is going to end too soon. Which is slightly annoying.

I'm sad that next week is the end of the season. But I think it's going to be two episodes?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:47 PM on January 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

> - So the Rocinante crew found something (alien? nanotech grey goo?) that seemed to feed on energy, and then they fed it a humongous source of energy in the form of a torpedo

I spent a few book chapters thinking this kind of thing, but don't worry, its food source will be revealed, and it's not as all-encompassing as you fear-- that would make this Star Trek, or maybe The Fifth Element.

> But I think it's going to be two episodes?

Yup. And considering what's left in the book to be covered, they're going to be exciting as hell, and I can't wait.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:49 PM on January 28, 2016

> Alex's headphones suspended in free-fall as he pilots the Roci;

This detail bugged me, because he was still maneuvering the ship, so they should've started dancing around the room as the ship moved changed course while the headphones continued in the direction they were moving when he released them.

Also, air currents. You never see shit sitting still in midair on the ISS. Of course, they probably have ventilation kicking all the air around.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:53 PM on January 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wonder if it's like that in Amos' head all the time?
posted by bq at 10:58 PM on January 28, 2016

A few thoughts, unrelated:
  • They're definitely shuffling around the order of events in this adaptation and I think it'll end up working well. The story seems to have been streamlined quite nicely.
  • I loved the extended suspense scene in the hotel lobby. Enough so that the sort of uninspired action scene that followed didn't bug me too much.
  • I was wondering how the show was going to handle some of the more disturbing imagery from the book, and I guess the answer is that they've toned it down! Not that I blame them. The book's version of the reactor room would have been a hard sell for general audiences.
  • I was a bit underwhelmed by the reveal of Julie's body. Obviously it couldn't have been as gnarly and graphic as the book was, but the image I have in my head of the... stuff is just so weird and disturbing. In the show it looks like Julie just has, what? Spikes sticking out of her? It seems like a step down in the creativity department.

posted by brundlefly at 12:57 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, and yes. Amos is fucking great.
posted by brundlefly at 12:58 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

brundlefly, with an ID like yours I'm guessing you may have a high bar for body horror...?
posted by Major Clanger at 1:16 AM on January 29, 2016 [6 favorites]

The "Thing" on the stealth ship, and Julie looked no where near what I imagined. I mean, in the book both are horrific.

Here it looks like Julie slipped in the shower wearing tinsel.

But the Blue Hotel (Blue Falcon) shoot out did, exactly.

How odd is that?

And, those EarthGov uniforms.... unless stuff happens in the later books, this could be a Babylon 5 prequel.
All the Mars stuff, for example. But mostly the Earthgov uniforms.

But, mostly, I love this show. How they've fiddled with the books, humanised the characters, mixed the plot, and stretched the tension.

If you told me eight weeks ago I'd be loving this Amos, I am not sure I'd have believed you. I think I am even warming to Holden.
posted by Mezentian at 3:37 AM on January 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

And, those EarthGov uniforms.... unless stuff happens in the later books, this could be a Babylon 5 prequel.

I was thinking the same thing. If it was an intentional homage, that was a nice touch. But I expect it's just convergent evolution from the costume designers on both shows being given the job "Make me a uniform that looks like something a military would actually choose" instead of the more usual SF "make me something weird and future-ey."

I swear the first time on B5 where you saw a character reach into their pocket for something was almost as much of a revelation as the first time a Starfury dropped thrust and spun to shoot at something behind it. I would love to have access to the alternate universe where Paramount bit on JMS's initial presentation and made B5 with a budget and more continuity
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:52 AM on January 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Loved the in-universe engagement with the Hat Cop mythos.

Also loved the subtlety of showing the spy calling for help via ocular implant. Or ... it happened so fast, was he calling for help, or was he simply identifying that unrelated armed people were coming and setting himself up for an exit?

Space Mormon was a good time. Not quite the right sect, but I thought it was interesting how Miller was holding Julie's necklace like a rosary.

The reactor room, and the Julie reveal, were definitely toned down quite a bit from what I was expecting, as a book reader. Not bad, but almost weirdly anticlimactic. I kinda wonder how strongly it played for total neophytes, because for me it felt like they were still avoiding much of a reveal at all.

That said, this show is getting stronger and stronger. I'm really interested to see if they follow up in S2 with even more budget. It feels like, if they do it right, this could be a bridge for SyFy to getting into the premium content game, and maybe shedding at least part of their low-budget camp image.
posted by tocts at 8:23 AM on January 29, 2016

I'm a neophyte/non-reader and totally confused by the living blue goo. Seems obvious it's a sentient life force and yeah, probably shouldn't have shot a missile into it -- if that was the best way to disable/destroy said lifeform, surely Julie Mao would've triggered it to blow after leaving in the escape shuttle?

But I don't get why there was a distress signal still coming from the ship if she disabled the power and opened the airlocks... why tell others where an abandoned cloaking ship was hidden away, but offer no explanation of the danger waiting inside? Was the distress beacon battery-powered? If so, why didn't the blue goo drain that power source, too? Apologies if I missed something -- I'm trying to watch each ep twice but haven't re-viewed this one yet.

When we saw the giant gold Moroni ship, my husband and I screamed WHATTTT! and rewound, paused, and just took a moment in to ponder the audacity of it all.

As someone who read the Book of Mormon when I was 11 years old because I wanted to understand the boy I had a crush on a bit better, it 100% makes sense. If you believe heaven is really in space and each family will be allotted their own spiritual planet to fill with new Mormon descendants, then hell yes, gold Moroni ship! I say that with genuine enthusiasm and no disrespect whatsoever to any Mormon MeFites. Plain vanilla Christianity doesn't have a dog in this sci-fi race, so I'm loving the Mormon storyline and looking forward to more discoveries about the wealthy religious faction that's obviously another power player in the Earth/Mars/Belter chess game.

And finally, Julie's body... I rewound and re-watched a couple of times, but tbh, I still can't figure out what happened to her, exactly. She's contaminated, I'm guessing? But if the blue living goo traveled with/inside her, wouldn't it be draining the hotel on Eros already (and pulling humans into a giant glob and eating them, or whatever it's doing)?

Okay, enough questions! Everyone else already covered what made this one a great episode, and I'm also sad that it's the season finale next week. Hopefully the next season won't take a year to come out, but SyFy productions often drag out too long for my taste (*cough*12 Monkeys*cough*).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:42 AM on January 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

There was no distress beacon from Anubis.
posted by bq at 9:29 AM on January 29, 2016

Also - this episode was where husband and I figured out that the very first opening sequence, where Julie breaks out of her cell, wasn't on the Scopuli. Since that name was on the uniforms, that's what we thought we were looking at.
posted by bq at 9:30 AM on January 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

But I don't get why there was a distress signal still coming from the ship if she disabled the power and opened the airlocks...

I think you're a bit confused (and rightfully so; the show has been a little unclear on this). To clarify:

The Scopuli is the ship that Julie Mao shipped out on, and is the ship that sent out the distress signal that lured in the Canterbury. While Holden and crew were on a short-range vessel* investigating the Scopuli, another ship (which we later learn to have been the Anubis) blows up the Canterbury.

The stealth ship that Holden and crew were investigating in this episode was that same Anubis. The impression we're given is that something like the following timeline happened:

1: the crew of the Anubis boarded the Scopuli and did ... something. At the very least, they set up a distress signal to lure in someone (which is what brought the Canterbury to its destruction).

2: during these actions, some members of the Scopuli crew were brought aboard the Anubis. This is the ship we see Julie Mao on in the first episode, escaping from a locker she was hidden in / locked in.

3: post-Canterbury explosion, the Anubis had ... something ... happen, and was then abandoned, leaving it open to space and powered down.

4: after the destruction of the Canterbury, somehow Fred Johnson got the location of the Anubis and believes Julie (under a pseudonym) is on it (Julie is actually at Eros Station, and probably is the person who abandoned it).

So yeah. Confusing.

* This vessel was the Knight, which is more or less a lifeboat for the Canterbury. The books make it clear that it has the ability to fly in atmosphere, which is why they have it, because even though a deep-space mining vessel's crew would never need to do that, you're required to have a lifeboat ship that can do that, just in case. The show vaguely refers to this when someone asks about whether it is in working condition for the scouting mission to the Scopuli, and I think someone comments on not knowing whether it'd be OK in atmosphere since it never comes up.
posted by tocts at 9:31 AM on January 29, 2016 [5 favorites]

Okay, I thought FOR SURE that Fred Johnson said he'd picked up a signal from the Anubis - I must be mis-remembering that detail.

Thank you tocts for the helpful recap :)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:36 AM on January 29, 2016

This was the best episode so far IMO. More Rocinante, less Earth.
Still a stupid trope of shows like this is to have almost the entire crew board the Anubis, poke around gooey alien "ain't never seen nuthin' like this, yuk yuk" stuff while there is a perfectly good drone capable of safely doing the exact same thing.
I wasn't disappointed by the Julie reveal, but it would have been cooler to have her pinned to the ceiling by the sea urchins rather than just laying limply on the shower floor. oh well.
Amos gets better and better, and it's about time Miller started shooting stuff!
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:54 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved the tone of this episode, the whole Space Detective thing. Particularly the scene in the sleazy flophouse which could have come from any of a number of noir films from the 40s and 50s. All the noodle bars are getting a bit too on-the-nose though.

I'm on board for Space Mormons. It's such a brilliant narrative stroke. What other group of Americans would be organized and optimistic enough to build a multigeneration ark ship to strike out to another star system? Specifically ties into the missionary tradition, too.

But then the noir thing and the Mormon thing together serve to remind me how American this show is. I mean it's supposed to be the future, with all sorts of migration and mixing. Why are almost all the protagonists American? (Or Canadian? My bad.) I get the feeling Mars is supposed to be a Chinese culture, not just for the ship captain's ethnicity but more generally. Is that right?

(It turns out I actually did read the first book Leviathan Awakes, and even after reading my notes on GoodReads ("silly plot") I can still barely recall what happened. If you don't mind some mild spoilers, this article gives a good summary of changes from the book. I think the TV show is really great, enjoying it way more than I enjoyed the book apparently, so it's all good by me.)
posted by Nelson at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

On the topic of the blue goo, we've all been exposed for far too long by a lot of lazy science fiction monsters that can absorb every kind of energy in any amount and get stronger, and then you have to fight it with peace, love and understanding. I had the same vague worry as I read the books.

5 books later, well, don't worry about the stuff on the Anubis; everyone has other problems. Blowing it up worked just fine.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:22 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Why are almost all the protagonists American? (Or Canadian? My bad.) I get the feeling Mars is supposed to be a Chinese culture, not just for the ship captain's ethnicity but more generally. Is that right?

Holden is American, Naomi is a Belter, Amos is American, and Alex is Martian of East Indian descent (his last name is Kamal). His accent is vaguely Texan-ish for historical Martian reasons, but he himself isn't.

Half the protagonists are American mostly for the reason that the authors are American and writing for a primarily American audience. Would be my guess.
posted by Justinian at 11:42 AM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

As soon as I hit "post" I realized my use of the word "American" was imprecise. I meant all the people act American and seem like they have American values, whatever their accent or character-backstory-nationality. That's common enough of course in an American-written book made into a show targeted at an American audience. It just stood out strongly to me in this episode, with the basic American trope of hard-boiled detective along with the Mormons. Particularly in contrast to the worldbuilding, the accents and costumes and decorative stuff. (See also Firefly, which other than some nods to Chinese domination in the future is 150% Americana.)

I'm not complaining, I like my American TV! Just trying to articulate something I saw. Maybe I'm oversensitive because I just finished reading Liu Cixin's novel "Three Body Problem". That's a sci-fi novel by a Chinese author and the sense of a different culture there was really strong.
posted by Nelson at 12:01 PM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

The best of that was Miller and the Space Mormon.

I also appreciate the level of basic respect they're showing to the LDS this time around. Done poorly it would play as a "Ha Ha Space Mormons!" type joke, which is beneath this show. It's particularly heartening given that the last Mormon (getting bullied about by Fred Johnson) was a bit of a negative stereotype.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:11 PM on January 29, 2016

I found the Mormons a noticeably American touch, since my previous reading has suggested that funding interstellar missionary voyages was the demesne of the Catholic Church. There was also something about Mars' militarism, and the soldier snarking about government handouts to Earth people in a previous episode that made me think Republicans! In! Spaaaaaace!

I'm (a non-book reader) a little nervous of the blue goo thing, since I'm enjoying the relative mundanity of the setting so far. If it's aliens, it's aliens I guess...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:08 PM on January 29, 2016

The Expanse universe is actually one of the less AMERICA IN SPAAAAAAAAAACE settings I'm very familiar with but it doesn't really come across that way on screen, yeah. Dunno if that's a deliberate or an unconscious choice on the part of the showrunners.
posted by Justinian at 1:30 PM on January 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Datum: In the book "The Sparrow," by Maria Doria Russell, it was the Jesuits who sent their religious mission to another star.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:09 PM on January 29, 2016

Donkey balls.

I'm holding off on rewatching the episodes until they're all out, but man, the escape of the Rocinante looks amazing in gif format and I need the DVDs with all the behind the scenes extras now.)

It looks less like a giant chisel than I expected, and certainly looks incapable of atmospheric flight.
posted by Mezentian at 6:54 PM on January 29, 2016

re: being sold on Amos. There's a comment from a character in one of the books about how Amos is the only one of the crew who has obviously been in actual combat more than once. And the scene in the hotel lobby shows (and doesn't tell) us this perfectly. He knows right away that something is up, he casually gets to where he needs to be and is ready and even ahead of the game when it starts, and he isn't worried about it (he IS a bit worried that nobody else seems to notice this except for spy dude, which further cements his impression of him), this is where he is comfortable and what he understands better than anything else in his life (his hurt and confusion about Naomi being scared of him as an example of the opposite). Wes Chatham is doing an incredible job (as is the whole cast, as others have pointed out in other threads) of nonverbal acting, especially with his eyes. We know Amos had a rough childhood, and learned early to be very wary and watchful as his default, and every time we see him, we know this just by looking at him. Well played sir.

Man I love this show!
posted by biscotti at 6:58 AM on January 30, 2016 [8 favorites]

Can we please have less book discussion, or else mark these threads "Books included".
posted by Pendragon at 3:22 PM on January 30, 2016 [10 favorites]

I'm excited to see this show is catching on here. The first few episode threads had decidedly mixed comments, and I was really wondering why people weren't as locked in as I was. It's been quite riveting throughout, and would agree with others here that this episode really shined.

The slow walk through the Anubis was a bold decision, and even though it did have the "oh noes, they don't see the glowing stuff! watch out for the glowing stuff!" bit, it was generally a very effective set of scenes.

Even more so the slow suspense in the Falcon Hotel leading up to the confrontation and the Miller/Holden crew meetup. Superbly done.

This show has so many facets, I'm both super excited for the 2-hour finale and prematurely bummed that it will be over, at least for this season.

Well done, SyFy. This ain't no Sharknado.
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:39 PM on January 30, 2016

The "second season" is 13 episodes, which means 22 total ordered. That's generally considered one season on a network show. I assume they made 22 episodes and then split it into two seasons? It's weird that season 1 is 9 episodes and season 2 is 13 episodes, though.
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on January 30, 2016

True, but there is a pretty natural point to end series one when the Roci and Hat Cop arcs converge.
posted by Mezentian at 7:48 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think there's something to be said for the cost per episode decreasing after the first season (reuse of sets and CGI assets for example) and also wanting to know how well a series does before committing to a greater number of episodes in a season.
posted by Green With You at 8:59 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I assume they made 22 episodes and then split it into two seasons?

Unlikely. They wouldn't spend money and time to produce 13 episodes, especially ones requiring extensive post-production, if there's a chance they will never be shown. The first season is 10 episodes, with the finale, formally, being two episodes.
posted by Gyan at 9:58 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

That makes sense. I demand many more episodes.
posted by Justinian at 11:52 PM on January 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, and to be clear, the number of episodes isn't particularly strange. 13 episodes per season (e.g. 1/week for a quarter of a year) has been common for some time now. 10 episodes per season has become common as well, particularly on premium channels -- for example, Game of Thrones is 10 per season.

It's possibly SyFy went with 10 for the first season to keep costs down, but now that things seem like they're going well they're interested in the more-typical-for-non-premium-channel 13 episodes per season.
posted by tocts at 8:01 AM on January 31, 2016

Ya this show better go the full run because it's one of the best new shows (if not the best) I've seen in the past year at least. I say this as someone who has never read the books either.
posted by some loser at 3:16 PM on January 31, 2016

The sounds they made while walking reminded me of "The Thirty-Fathom Grave." In space, you're always at the bottom of the ocean and running out of air. Even if you could get someone to hear you, it's likely impossible for help to get to you in time. And only a couple inches of metal between you and an ultimate thing.

(Yeah. I freaked myself right out.)
posted by merelyglib at 3:38 PM on February 1, 2016

What kind of ammo are they using in-station? Almost anything appears to provide complete protection (ie, when the couch got machine-gunned). Could it be some kind of low-velocity or lightweight slug that can shred people but not bulkheads?

Guess I answered my own question. That's exactly the kind of gun that I want people to be carrying in space.
posted by Mogur at 4:05 AM on February 2, 2016

Could it be some kind of low-velocity or lightweight slug that can shred people but not bulkheads?

It is explained, you guessed it, in the books!
But, something like that, yes.
posted by Mezentian at 4:29 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Was thinking about Belter tattoos, and I'm noticing that not only do they go in for the neck tattoo replicating burn marks from the crappy old-style helmets, they do a lot w/ facial tattoos. Which makes sense, given that the face is all the skin you can see on someone in a spacesuit.

This show never feels like it makes the lazy choice, and I love it. I just noticed that there's a revival of Book of Mormon touring Ceres; you can see the poster along the main street by the Star Helix office.

Details. Love 'em.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:41 AM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]

Another thought: What is "Golden Bough"?

When Miller is on the transport tube in ep 5 he overhears two Belters talking:
MALE: Did you hear; Golden Bough took out the Donnager. OPA has gunships now, too.

FEMALE: Things just getting started. Dirtsiders won't pay us no mind unless we make them.
I'm thinking Golden Bough is one of the "radical fringe elements" that Anderson Dawes was talking about when speaking to Miller. Does death & resurrection figure into their symbolism somehow? I love that they dropped that hint in episode 5 and probably won't pay it off till 9/10... or even not until Season 2. THAT is long-arc storytelling at it's best.

Also, I too don't care what the books have to say.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:53 AM on February 2, 2016

This isn't a FROM THE BOOKS thing, but the Golden Bough sound more like a mafia organization to me, like the Loca Greiga. I heard that line as: "The Golden Bough took out Donnager. In addition to that, the OPA have gunships."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2016

Was thinking about Belter tattoos, and I'm noticing that not only do they go in for the neck tattoo replicating burn marks from the crappy old-style helmets, they do a lot w/ facial tattoos. Which makes sense, given that the face is all the skin you can see on someone in a spacesuit.

Apropos of nothing, but would make sense if this world mentioned it (haven't read books), one of the only (okay, really, the only) thing that was really interesting about the Fox's Minority Report was that people got face tattoos in strategic ways to mess with ever-present facial recognition systems.
posted by General Malaise at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2016

All the noodle bars are getting a bit too on-the-nose though.

It kind of makes sense beyond just a reference, though. I didn't notice if Miller's noodle bowl had broth in it, but shaping flavoured nutrient paste into noodle form would make a food that's pretty friendly to eat in low/zero-g but still has enough texture to feel like you're eating a meal rather than just pumping sustenance into your body.

my previous reading has suggested that funding interstellar missionary voyages was the demesne of the Catholic Church

Not familiar with the story you linked, but... Yeah, no, Mormons are by far the most interested in space out of all the major modern religions. The Catholic Church would definitely have a presence on every colony bigger than a room with four walls, but I don't think they'd be interested in going anywhere that humans haven't already been. Same deal for Islam. And of course the non-evangelical religions like Buddhism and Hinduism won't really have a specific interest in space per se, though they'll definitely be spread widely with their practitioners.

But, really, the Latter-Day Saints are really the only major religion for whom space, specifically, doctrinally, is a thing. So it makes total sense for the show to focus on them building this generational colony ship.

(The Jesuits, of course, have a big interest in science, but in a way that would lend itself more to building orbital observatory stations more than colony ships.)

None of which is to disagree with the fundamental premise that the show is distinctly American in its form, fashion, and interests. Americans love their manifest destinies and superpower conflicts, which is this show in spades. I just don't think that the Mormon subplot is evidence of this.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2016

Besides Amos picking up on the ambush, I appreciated how he recognized that they'd get more traction with the hotel clerk by implying that Holden was meeting a prostitute, which tied back to his earlier understanding of the situation at the bar (on Tycho Station?).
posted by jimw at 12:11 PM on February 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Johnson did pick up a call from the Anubis but not a distress call. In the flashback, Julie says she put an OPA beacon on it so that only the OPA could find it.

(I know this is yeara late, but some future person my be slow to pick up this show like I was.)
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:04 AM on March 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

So the Expanse is basically Traveller: the TV show, right?

The books are based on a tabletop game the authors were a part of, so basically yes exactly this.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:46 PM on August 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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