• James Hewlett

The Expanse is Back!


I’ve been tearing through the new season of The Expanse on Prime Video since it dropped on Friday. I’ve banged on about this series, both the books and tv adaptation many times before but it really is one of my absolute favourites of both.

The show does such a good job of adapting the series on the whole as opposed to sticking to a one book one season format. It worked against it when it was on broadcast tv on SyFy, but now that Amazon have acquired the show and you can watch straight through the story breaks flow more naturally.

Because of the prose style of the novels, each book having chapters told through the POV of particular characters, and the geography of the series being what it is, there are some books that don’t feature major characters. The show doesn’t just write these people off though, instead they have chosen to adapt the short stories and novellas James S.A. Corey have written that feature some of these characters and happen at roughly the same time as one of the main novels. And because the authors of the books are involved in the production of the show, even when the writers room has to create a wholly new plot line or adjust a character for whatever reason it still fits the overall narrative of the series.


One of the big and pleasant surprises for me this season, without giving anything away, is the inclusion of a character who will be extremely important going forward. This character doesn’t enter the fray for the book POV characters until later on where we learn of the machinations that have been happening for some time. In the show we get to see some of that play out.

It’s a testament to the writers room having the confidence that they’ll be able to get to tell that story, something that has come with the move to Amazon. The fifth season is currently in production as the fourth is released, in years past it has been weeks if not months after the current season has wrapped when the announcement of whether or not another season was coming or not.

The other big thing that has come with the move to a digital streaming platform is a higher production budget as well as less regulation on episode length, language and violence. The show doesn’t feel drastically different from the first three seasons but when we see ships in space or nice sweeping exterior shots, particularly on Mars, the increased budget becomes evident. Episodes are still fairly standard, but they can be longer or shorter as determined by the plot not by the time slot and ad breaks that need to exist on broadcast television. The violence and language isn’t over the top and is only used where necessary but when one of the main characters of the book series has a notoriously filthy mouth, getting to hear her ream her aides or political rivals with a delicious slew of curses on the show for the first time just feels right!


I fucking love this show, I’m six episodes into the new season and I’m sure I’ll have it finished by mid week. The ninth and final book is due out in March, I’m just wondering if I have enough time to go back through the whole series before then or if I should just wait until its wrapped up and enjoy it all.

Favourite music of the decade post coming on Sunday, hoping to be able to get it out before I head up to London for a RevPro show.


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©2017 by James Hewlett.