The Expanse had all the right ingredients to be something I adored yet somehow fell a little short of the mark.
Set hundreds of years in the future in a colonized solar system a cold war exists between Earth and the independent military nation of Mars. The first season follows the lives of Detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) and Captain Jim Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew as they attempt to solve the mystery of wealthy heiress Julie Mao’s disappearance. A disappearance which has left a trail of death and destruction in its wake and which threatens to ignite a war. It is set against a backdrop of bleak survival in increasingly harsh conditions. The show explores the growing dissent among the oppressed Belters who essentially live to serve the needs of Earth.
Strong plot – check. Wicked cool setting – check. Solid acting – check. Suspense – check. I think the major issue was that I didn’t care enough about any of the characters or feel as though there were any meaningful friendships or relationships. I watched the first seven episodes in one night, drawn along by the hope that something would click for me and I would start to become invested in the people carrying the story. It was three weeks before I made myself sit down to finish the series.
The last three episodes were by far my favorite and the reason I will give the second season a watch. I finally started to feel involved. Let’s hope season two builds on the strong finale of season one. Although not everything I was hoping for, I do feel like The Expanse has enormous potential and rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
If you’re excited about fresh sci-fi definitely give it a shot. I’m off to read the books.