The Expanse: Season 1: "Dulcinea" through "Leviathan Wakes"   Books Included 
February 4, 2016 12:59 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

A thread to discuss the entire first season of The Expanse, as well as the James S. A. Corey book it's based on: Leviathan Wakes.
posted by zarq (58 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm one of those people who wasn't read the book since 2011 and barely remembers anything. I'd love some discussion of Book-Amos vs. Show-Amos. I remember him being the "tough guy" off the crew, but I don't remember him being nearly so badass and nonchalant about violence.

Am I misremembering him from the book?

Did he kill Sami in the book? Because I don't remember that either.
posted by 256 at 1:10 PM on February 4, 2016

Book Amos is at least as nonchalantly violent as Show Amos.

In the books, I think Sami (Semi?) just disappears after the shootout in the hotel. Not mysteriously; they just don't run into him again. IIRC.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:43 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Almost my entire memory of Amos from the books is that he's badass and nonchalant about violence, for what it's worth.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:47 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am really looking forward to Thomas Jane's take on Ghost Miller, so I hope Ghost Miller happens.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:08 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

No no no no no.

This did not happen. It is not disappearing from my screen for A YEAR. I cannot WAIT, goddamnit.
posted by prismatic7 at 4:28 PM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I knew that with 2 episodes left they didn't have time to finish what the book covers. I really wanted the action finish. I wonder if this show was plotted for 13 episodes and had to squeeze it to 10, or maybe had an SFX budget ceiling that the whacked into with that final look at the Protomolecule. Next time, cut the stupid floating-in-air computer monitors! Fred Johnson can use cuecards.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:38 PM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I recall book Amos being even more non-chalantly violent, but less overtly aggressive. My take on him was that he's used to violence but since he's so good at it, he doesn't have to actively telegraph out that he's a violent person. AFAICR he's almost affable and friendly, and also looks like a bit of a baby.

Show Holden's kind of growing on me, but I hated book Holden's "gotta tell the truth to everyone all the time."

I rather wanted Thomas Jane to be cast as Holden, but he's too old for the part, and Miller was essentially Jonathan Banks (who has a small role here?) in my mind's eye. Echoing someone else in a late-episode thread; all the actors brought their A-game and Thomas Jane is wonderful. I hope he can continue to channel Christopher-Lambert-crazy, especially once he turns into ghost Miller.

The casting for Naomi was fine, and I *am* pleasantly surprised at the casting for many of the belters. Beyond expectations.

Show Alex is a bit of a shadow of book Alex, physically, but I like this actor in this role. Can't wait to see who they cast as Bobby!

In my mind's eye, book Fred Johnson was more Peter Mensah, but Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese on The Walking Dead) - wow - mind's eye changed, and changed good.

Again, I'm surprised at the high production quality coming out of SyFy for The Expanse. Far beyond my expectation when the show was originally announced.
posted by porpoise at 5:39 PM on February 4, 2016

I was surprised at the lack of SPACE ZOMBIES on Eros. Do we think that decision was made for budgetary reasons or narrative reasons?
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

My understanding from reading other discussions is the toning down of 'vomit zombies' to 'really sick people' was a combination of things:
  • Desire for somewhat less in-your-face grossness; making it a bit more palpable to a slightly wider audience
  • Zombies were a thing back in 2010/2011 as the source book was being written/published, but they're less popular / played out now & it would have been seen as a negative
  • Easier on the budget for both FX and acting/actor reasons
  • Makes the 'Holden & Miller get back to the Roci' sequence take less time (handful of run-ins with thugs only, vs lots of thugs and lots of vomit zombies, IIRC)
I'm mostly OK with the decision, though the vomit zombies were one of the most gripping things I remember about the book; it would've been neat to see them. But as with most of the other changes, I understand budget / time is limited, and there was still some good body horror in the Julie flashback sequences.

Also, that final shot of the larger-scale protomolecule structures after Adam Jensen Kenzo gets plucked (he definitely didn't ask for this)? SO GOOD. I hope we see more in early S2 when people are tuning into the feeds.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:13 PM on February 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

In the first book Amos and Alex (and to a lesser extent Naomi) are just kind of there.

It's not until Caliban's War that they really start getting fleshed out.... and Alex is still kinda 2D in Cibola Burn (the last book I've read).

Also, man... can we get to Bobbi yet?
posted by Mezentian at 2:52 AM on February 5, 2016

"Again, I'm surprised at the high production quality coming out of SyFy for The Expanse."

I wrote a long comment that I didn't end up posting in the other thread, but I think a big part of this is that the show is completely Alcon's -- they're financing it themselves and they own it -- and Alcon is a movie studio that's made a bunch of major movies, notably has deep pockets, and this show is basically the tentpole of their new TV division. An article I read mentioned how they're using their resources for the below-the-line stuff. A old friend of mine is married to one of the Alcon principals, she used to be Alcon's Development VP, but she mostly produces her own films these days and she's not involved with Alcon TV or this show. And I haven't spoken with her in a few years. So I don't have any inside information on this, although I've been paying attention to what's publicly available. I've been meaning to write or call her, anyway, so I might have some interesting inside information later this year. We're both from New Mexico, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck live there, and I've wondered if that had anything to do with Alcon developing this project. I don't know.

Anyway, it's kind of a confluence -- I think that Alcon developed this and conceived of this as their big foray into television and so it was always their intention to put a lot of money into it, and then SyFy has been looking for something like this, as they want to get back some of the credibility they gained and then later lost with BSG.

I'm mostly pleased with the show, but I'm not really that sure that it's living up to the hopes of either Alcon or SyFy. The response here on FanFare has been very positive, but I think most of us are exactly the kind of people who were always going to like it a lot as long as it wasn't crap. What I'm not seeing is a very strong positive response from critics, a lot of discussion of the show in the media, or exceptionally high ratings. It's worried me. Because I'm a big fan of Abraham's (I've read every novel he's published under all his pen names) and my connection to Alcon and that I have enjoyed these books quite a bit (like many older SF fans these days, I've been starved for space opera, which has become increasingly rare). So I very much want this show to succeed.

"I recall book Amos being even more non-chalantly violent, but less overtly aggressive. My take on him was that he's used to violence but since he's so good at it, he doesn't have to actively telegraph out that he's a violent person. AFAICR he's almost affable and friendly, and also looks like a bit of a baby."

That's my take, as well. I've pictured him as a really big guy, and as scary looking when he chooses to be scary, but otherwise not so threatening and sometimes even pretty friendly and approachable. Except that, really, he's an extraordinarily violent person who is a very pragmatic, even eager, killer and his one saving virtue is that he recognizes this in himself, that's it not good, and that he is still capable of caring about a few, select people and allowing his care for them, and their own judgment, to define the limits of what he will and will not do, because he can't do that for himself.

"Show Holden's kind of growing on me, but I hated book Holden's 'gotta tell the truth to everyone all the time.'"

It's annoying, but also interesting. To me, anyway. The books don't shy away from how dumb this compulsion of Holden's really can be, sometimes. I think the books want us to recognize that if someone has to have a vice, that's a much better vice to have than its opposite, as well as a whole universe of other possible vices. A lot of times, in the end, it's better that Holden reveals the truth. But, even so, it's also clear that it can be self-defeating and, most importantly, self-indulgent. I think the books show how this is a pathology of Holden's, something that results from his developmental psychology, and insofar as that's true, his belief that it's the product of an actualized and examined value system is at least partly BS. It's as much a self-serving, self-defeating compulsion as it is a sincere and deliberate expression of internalized values.

What I find interesting about this is that, really, that's so often the case for many people. But, also, with regard to this specific personality trait, it's arguable that society needs people like that, regardless of what their motivations really are. In this respect it's not unlike other kinds of personalities that do helpful and valuable things from motives which are often questionable. And, likewise, even if society benefits, the people closest to this kind of personality often pay a personal price for these decisions.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:32 AM on February 5, 2016 [9 favorites]

The response here on FanFare has been very positive, but I think most of us are exactly the kind of people who were always going to like it a lot as long as it wasn't crap.

I haven't finished the season yet, but this feels true to what I've seen. The show isn't pandering, per se, but it's not exactly giving viewers a lot of reasons to like it beyond, well...
posted by tobascodagama at 8:25 AM on February 5, 2016

I'm hoping for more body horror (nsfw).
posted by books for weapons at 9:23 AM on February 5, 2016

I'm betting the zombie sequence was mostly cut for budgetary reasons - I pictured the Eros stuff being a lot more like Dead Space set in Space Vegas in the book, which would have involved a lot more makeup/SFX, extras, and set design work than I suspect their budget would allow.

I kept hoping we'd at least get Bobbi introduced before the end of the season, but I guess they're reserving that and flashbacks to Phoebe for season 2 to make Avasarala's plotline more compelling; as it was, they probably could've skipped about half of the Earth sequences.

Overall, definitely a solid season and I'm glad it's getting another one. This is one of the few shows I'm actively recommending to my fellow nerds.
posted by tautological at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't know who on earth you'd cast as Bobbie, though. Are there any six-foot-something overmuscled polynesian actresses?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:56 PM on February 5, 2016

ROU_Xenophobe, the closest we might get is Dichen Lachman.

She is an experienced stuntwoman from her roles on Dollhouse, The 100 and Agents of SHIELD.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ugh, no. No offense to Dichen Lachman--I've liked her in everything I've seen her in--but she's like 5'6" and maybe 120 pounds. Bobbie is described as being around 6'5" and a muscular 220 or so (at one G). I want them to cast someone massive enough to pull off both her physical presence and the impression she gives off in her power armor of being a small ambulatory tank.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:10 PM on February 5, 2016

I suspect they'll either have to take liberties with the casting or try and find someone 'close enough.'

Gwendoline Christie is 6'3".

Robin Coleman is probably too old for the part.
posted by zarq at 2:34 PM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

They're never going to size everyone right without pulling some serious Lord of the Rings scale distortion, which is costly to shoot. If they can't make Belters tall, they can't make Martians tall. I'm okay with Dichen Lachman for this. She projects tough-girl just fine, she's experienced with combat action and other physical acting, she's gonna be plenty easy on Alex's eyes, and her acting is up to snuff... we'll just have to hear her Texas accent. Maybe they'll just let her armor do the physical intimidation bit.

Whoever they get for Sgt. Draper, I can't wait to meet her.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:37 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I just hope they have the budget and designers to get the suit right!
posted by sammyo at 3:47 PM on February 5, 2016

ROU_Xenophobe, the closest we might get is Dichen Lachman.

That's terrible casting.

I'll bet good money there's an actress in Canada, Alaska, New Zealand or Hawaii who can pull off Bobbi well and looks sufficiently Polynesian and hulking, since I doubt they'll blackface up Gwendoline Christie, who would be otherwise perfect because she has the presence and the acting chops.

Still, we're getting way ahead of the show now.

And they'll probably just cast Garza from Continuum anyway.
posted by Mezentian at 7:02 PM on February 5, 2016

I'm mostly pleased with the show, but I'm not really that sure that it's living up to the hopes of either Alcon or SyFy. The response here on FanFare has been very positive, but I think most of us are exactly the kind of people who were always going to like it a lot as long as it wasn't crap.

I'm inclined to agree. I haven't read the books yet, and I was surprised to find the Fanfare threads were mostly book readers. Compare with something like Game of Thrones where probably 3/4 of the audience hasn't read the books. And compare with Battlestar Gallactica which attracted a mainstream audience very quickly, not just SF fans. I'm not sure a show whose audience is mostly sci-fi book readers is going to make enough money to survive.

Also, anecdotally, I was at the CES show in Vegas a month ago and SyFy had a booth set up in the LVCC foyer promoting The Expanse. It was not attracting much attention, and I'm sure that was expensive. (I wish I'd seen more than 3 episodes at the time, because now I wish I'd talked to the people there and tried to get any show souvenirs I could get!)

Then again shows like this can be slow-burn successes, and I hope they get to make a few seasons. I'm certainly looking forward to S2!
posted by mmoncur at 12:37 AM on February 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been trying to get my partner to watch without much luck.
(Well, I've been trying to get everyone to watch).

I'm pretty much waving money around for the DVDs and all.
posted by Mezentian at 7:41 AM on February 6, 2016

Is it just me, or is everyone weirdly blase about space junk? They lose a wrench, and it's "fuck, now we don't have a wrench" rather than "that's going to kill a whole station 100 years from now". They blow up a big rock, and it's "we lost some of our payday" rather than, well... "that's going to kill a whole station 100 years form now".

Does this hold true in the book series, as well? Or is there some kind of explanation about how ships and stations all anti-junk defences that didn't make it into the show?
posted by tobascodagama at 10:12 AM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Space is Really Really Big. The odds of a wrench floating out in the middle of the Solar System ever causing a problem are so low that it's hard to quantify. It's hard to hit a planet sized target when you're actively trying to do so much less by random chance.
posted by Justinian at 10:58 AM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

(The problem with Space Junk is when it's already floating in orbit around a planet you're trying to launch from, not that it might someday thousands of years in the future migrate from the middle of nowhere to a planet.)
posted by Justinian at 10:58 AM on February 6, 2016

Space is big, but everybody is heading somewhere, and merely "dropping" a wrench isn't going to cause it to deviate significantly from whatever vector you were on. It's not like there's an infinite range of places that stuff could be, either, gravity constrains where stuff can be. At a long enough view of time, your space junk is either going to hit something or escape the system, though if you're lucky the something it hits won't have people on it or in it at the time.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:14 PM on February 6, 2016

I wasn't so annoyed with the space junk aspect, but I was irritated at the dripping water everywhere. IIRC the books made a big show about the value of water - can't waste a drop/etc/etc. But the show just has the stuff pissing out everywhere.
posted by coriolisdave at 6:55 PM on February 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

My space junk nitpick might just be a result of having seen all of Planetes a while ago.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:17 PM on February 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

That, plus the "Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bitch in space" speech from Mass Effect.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:18 PM on February 6, 2016

I was irritated at the dripping water everywhere.

So was I.

posted by coriolisdave

posted by Mezentian at 4:40 AM on February 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

omg I never thought it would happen to me and I missed it
posted by coriolisdave at 6:18 PM on February 7, 2016 [14 favorites]

> Space is big, but everybody is heading somewhere, and merely "dropping" a wrench isn't going to cause it to deviate significantly from whatever vector you were on.

The thing that makes the human colonization of the solar system possible is the Solomon Drive, which allows very fuel-efficient thrust over periods of days to months. Actually, the Nauvoo probably planned to run their engine for a couple hundred years. The books just say the engines are just so, and that they run on some kind of reactor, and you should just accept that space travel is now staggeringly cheap, at least from planet to planet.

A ship under constant thrust takes a very different course than a ship with Isaac Newton at the wheel. Dropped wrenches, though, do not thrust. For that reason, simply dropping a wrench in a transit corridor is still generally safe, insofar as the Space-is-really-really-big concept makes things safe. You would have a lot of wrenches that blunder into planetary atmospheres (if any) at superbly high speed, but then you have the proposition that planets are really really big.

I always liked it when the books talks about the practicalities of long-distance travel in the Expanse: hours-long stretches of high-G flight while everyone's strapped in to their acceleration couches, and then they cut back to 1G for a mealtime and to give everyone a chance to stretch. And, frankly, if they're outside turning wrenches, they're probably not under thrust, or much thrust. (A little thrust would let you use a regular wrench, rather than dealing with a complicated space-wrench with the counter-turning flywheel.)
posted by Sunburnt at 4:02 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Speaking of mechanics, I loved that the ship docks were definitely down. And so are all the airlocks on stations. Because "down" on a spinning station is outwards!

Though, there's some serious marksmanship demonstrated considering the coriolis forces involved. Can you even meaningfully aim a pistol when your station is spinning as much as Ceres or Eros would be? Maybe it's small enough to be within an ordinary gunthug's margin of error, but I wonder.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:09 PM on February 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I gave up on the book around chapter 2, and hearing it has space zombies, think I'll continue to give it a pass. I've enjoyed the tv show but also found it uneven.

Something about many of the settings and societies feels off to me. Maybe because I have some very particular mental images of hardscrabble belter life from such books as Cherryh's _Heavy Time_.

And then there are little details like ship docks being Down ... except they're docks at the spin axis (if Eros is spinning at all). Oh well, at least they're trying to depict a lot of stuff that is normally just ignored onscreen even if they often don't get it quite right.

The characters though are developing very well. Space mormons are rather more interesting than space zombies. And as long as this space virus doesnt turn out to be some kind of supernatural thing, I expect it'll be interesting.

So, not completely sold, don't think it touches BSG at all, but it is the best SF on TV right now. If you don't count Sense8 and Black Mirror as being on right now, at least..
posted by joeyh at 6:33 PM on February 8, 2016

The thing that makes the human colonization of the solar system possible is the Solomon Drive, which allows very fuel-efficient thrust over periods of days to months. Actually, the Nauvoo probably planned to run their engine for a couple hundred years.

Ok, got it. The show mentions this not at all, but that does explain a lot of things.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:44 PM on February 8, 2016

> I gave up on the book around chapter 2, and hearing it has space zombies, think I'll continue to give it a pass. I've enjoyed the tv show but also found it uneven.

The books are not about space zombies, and space zombies as such don't appear after book 1, though other alien creatures do. The aliens are never the main antagonists in the books, though they do sometimes provide a venue for conflict. (The start of book two may appear to belie this, but as with all starts of books, there's more to the story.)

I'd really hate for you to avoid these books based in any part on annoyance with zombies, because they're just a passing event made to ramp up the peril on Eros a little, and you've already seen, I presume, how it turned out for our characters.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2016 [5 favorites]

I think the "vomit zombies" from the books would be distinct enough that it wouldn't feel too formulaic.

I was surprised that S1 didn't finish out the ending of Leviathan Wakes. That would be a pretty bonkers cliffhanger for a season to end on.
posted by brundlefly at 3:14 PM on February 16, 2016

I finally finished the series last night. I am also worried about the show. I was really glad to hear it got picked up for Season 2, but I sure wish I was hearing more social (and regular) media chatter about the show. I think it is great and want to see lots more seasons.
posted by bove at 2:50 PM on February 23, 2016

posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:01 AM on April 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Cool! Interesting interview in that article as well.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

So happy they aren't whitewashing Bobbie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:47 AM on April 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Moar about Bobbie. And what appears to be her power armor. And plans for more characters from the books.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Great casting for Bobbie!

I was really looking for more of a hardsuit for the armor; I always gathered that the Martian Marines were pretty well mechanized on two legs. We'll have to see how they film it, though-- as long as they're suitably (pun!) amplified, I'll be happy. I'm already on board for s2.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know this is an old thread, but I read the books this summer and just started watching season 1 two weeks ago. I've been enjoying so much I started a podcast to recap all the episodes before season 2 starts.
posted by gofargogo at 9:50 AM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bumping this old thread to say two things. Season 1 is now on Netflix in the UK (I'm almost finished it). And there's a Season 2 trailer up on Youtube.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:15 PM on November 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Following Happy Dave's lead, just popping in to say all of Season 1 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video in the USA.
posted by seasparrow at 11:43 PM on December 21, 2016

I've been binge watching season 1 again thanks to Amazon. And wow is this show good. I'd read the book and barely remembered it, then watched season 1 as it was being broadcast and liked it but barely followed it. Watching it two episodes a night the show is much stronger and easier to follow.

I say all this as a criticism. I think the complexity may be a big part of why this show hasn't gotten more popular buzz. It's just hard to follow. The only conventional plot structure in the first few episodes is "plucky foursome escapes from a series of space disasters". Which are fine, but then we keep confusingly cutting to Earth or various hard-to-remember planetoids where things are happening that seem largely disconnected from Our Heroes. Also it's a bit too much of an ensemble cast, there's no charismatic Starbuck or Jon Snow for us to hang on. I think Holden is supposed to be that star, but it doesn't quite work.

Watching it again with familiarity of all the characters and a stronger sense of the plot, all the pieces actually fit together very well. It's a remarkable distillation of a complex book. And then the TV production is just phenomenal. I'm particularly enthralled with Jared Harris as Anderson Dawes, he acts the hell out of that part. He gets the most Belter accent lines which are delicious.

So excellent TV, but slightly difficult TV. Couple that with a smaller cable channel and limited marketing and, well, I hope their budget is small enough they can keep making the show.

If you want more hype btw, Amazon has a couple of video features.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on January 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

I agree with all that.

I do think this is an expensive production. I've still not talked to my friend at Alcon -- but I've been meaning to catch up with her and ask her for a favor (she made my step-niece's favorite movies and I was hoping to get some memorabilia for my step-niece because she's had a difficult life and her mother just died). I'd dearly love to know all the deatails about the production of "The Expanse" and what its chances are going forward.

It's a good show and a fine adaptation of complex source material; but I fear it's not been the breakout success that the network was hoping for. And the network put a lot of irons in the fire this last year.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:45 PM on January 13, 2017

I also agree that the show is complex in a way that doesn't always suit its own interests. I expect that some of that is wanting to start with a firm foundation instead of "Who is this Avasarala person?" at the start of season 2. Season 1 was trying to mash half of Leviathan Wakes with half of Caliban's War with some plot points from Nemesis Games. It's impressive to see, and if they can keep funding show-only people are going to be surprised at how much was telegraphed in season 1.

But hopefully this should calm down a little now? We're probably not going to see anyone on Ceres this season except maybe Dawes, and the crew have started to gel and turn into Our Crew finally, and they've met Miller. So we should *mostly* be down to "What the Roci people are doing" and "What's going on on Earth." Mostly. If they don't spend toooooo much time with Bobbie's marines before they kill them and send Bobbie to Earth.

I expect that if Frankie Adams has the right charisma for Bobbie, she'll turn into the show's face.

Also I read somewhere that they're going to let Avasarala swear more?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:35 PM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just got a chance to binge 2-10 after watching the first episode online when it first premiered.

A couple caveats. (1) I always have low expectations for book adaptations. (2) I'm pretty sure when I binge watch TV series, I get a bit caught up and overlook flaws I'd notice otherwise.

That said: I thought this was a fantastic adaptation, though I'm not sure how well it works for those who haven't read the books and/or are watching it episodically week-to-week.

Other than Jane as Miller (and Chatham's delightfully round-if-not-terribly-baby-like face), I wasn't too sure about the casting after watching the first episode, but everyone's grown on me over the course of the season. Amos is clearly Amos for me (do I dare dream we'll get as far as seeing his experiences in Nemesis Games?). I do appreciate the writers working in more of the backstory for Naomi, Alex, and Amos earlier than I recall getting them in the book series.

I too missed having a vomit zombie swarm in the casino scene on Eros, but Miller calling for the thug only to shoot him from the elevator almost made up for it. And if they can't shoot certain scenes from the books due to cost, I'm willing to accept that seeing as we do get good attempts at space production (the visibly lightweight/cheap doors and walls on Ceres, no sound in space or sound conducted through suits/hulls, nods toward zero and low-G, Coriolis effects, etc.). I love the look of Tycho station. I am curious how well the gold plating on the Moroni statue would have held up to a 100 years of interstellar travel.

Definitely miss having a sweary Avasarala.

I've enjoyed the books a lot, so I'm looking forward to as many seasons as can be produced if they can keep up the quality of what I've seen so far.
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:39 PM on January 24, 2017

Also I read somewhere that they're going to let Avasarala swear more?

Stands to reason, what with Mr. Robot bumping the sweary bar.

Good question re Nemesis Games - I have to admit that by that point in the books my own interest flagged due to events, er, on the ground (both in-book and IRL). The specific SF subgenre the book participates in was nearly always deeply tiresome to me, certain brilliant exceptions proving the rule, and it's hard to see how they can write themselves out of that particular cul de sac. Would it play as TV? I'm skeptical.
posted by mwhybark at 5:59 PM on January 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just watched the last two episodes of Incorporated, which is on SyFy but hardly in the same league as The Expanse, and I swear they used the word "fuck" about six times.

So good news for Avasarala there...
posted by mmoncur at 6:24 PM on January 27, 2017

...I was irritated at the dripping water everywhere.

I loved this. Miller sarcastically says he wears a hat to keep the rain off of his head and then as soon as he leaves the hat behind on Ceres, his head is constantly getting dripped on.

Just finished watching this, finally. I saw the first 5 or so episodes as they were coming out, then decided I'd read the book first. After a few false starts I read the book, but didn't care for it too much. I'd go into why, but this isn't really a book thread. So then I restarted the season and made it through just now.

I liked season 1 well enough, though I'm in kind of a weird spot now. I think I enjoyed the show a lot more than I would have otherwise because I read the book, but I didn't like the book enough to read any more.
posted by ODiV at 8:03 PM on May 25, 2017

I started reading the second book last night, and there's a sequence on the Somnambulist where Naomi, Amos, and Holden are boarded by the UNN for an inspection, and Amos notices that Holden is looking so squirrelly and suspicious that he might tip of the UNN guys that something's wrong. So Amos starts trash talking the UNN guys to distract them.

What's funny is that the show used Amos's exact trash talk dialogue from Caliban's War, but the show has him say it very early on, when the crew gets picked up by the Martians right after Holden's initial broadcast about the Cant. In the show, the Martians herd everyone into separate cells and Amos starts trash talking them so that if they're going to screw around with anyone, they'll screw around with him (and not Naomi).

I thought that was interesting in terms of where the show wanted to go with Amos's character, but also/especially interesting in terms of how the show writers chose to structure the material versus how it's structured in the books. I mean, the show didn't even finish the first book's material in S1, but they were also already throwing in whole conversations from the second book by S1E3?

I also am genuinely not sure how I feel about how the show has been structured. The dense but unresolved first season, and then the second and third seasons that feel split into two entirely distinct parts, all do work pretty well despite themselves, but I still don't understand why the show doesn't just do one or half a book each season like most shows do?
posted by rue72 at 6:35 AM on September 7, 2018

Pretty sure the answer is that they wanted to take the first season slow on plot so that there would be time for a nonbook audience to soak up the setting, and that this locked them into s2's structure of finishing LW and starting CW. Or continuing to take things really slow and just finishing LW with season 2, but that would put them on a path of needing something like 15 years to try to tell the story.

Compressing AG down to half a season lets them switch to a book=season model if they want to, though I also wouldn't be surprised if S4 goes through CB's plot in half a season and then does half of NG, ending the season with a cliffhanger as Marcos's impactors hit.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:04 AM on September 7, 2018

I think the end-in-the-middle structure is due to cliffhangers being a useful audience-building tool.
posted by mwhybark at 3:54 PM on September 7, 2018

I just saw this adorable S1 recap. All the actors are replaced by cats, but otherwise, it's played straight.
posted by rue72 at 8:59 PM on February 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

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