‘The Expanse’: StarBattleFireTrek of Thrones

If it is possible for a single show to save a network, “The Expanse” is on track to recover some of SyFy’s lost revenue and pride.

the expanse poster

If it is possible for a single show to save a network, “The Expanse” is on track to recover some of SyFy’s lost revenue and pride.

A quality space opera seems almost out of place on such a degraded channel. While the History Channel was ditching its historical content for reality gimmicks, SyFy ditched any attempts at producing quality science fiction in lieu of funding multiple “Sharknado” remakes.

Cue “The Expanse.”

Many years in the future, humankind has colonized the solar system. The United Nations controls Earth and the Moon, while an independent military organization, has control of Mars. Both planets rely on materials mined from the asteroid belt to survive, while “Belters” rely on water shipments to continue living.

Featuring an ensemble cast, “The Expanse” lives up to its name covering four distinct plotlines spread out across this future, showing what life is like during a cold war. A gritty fedora-wearing detective out on the Belt, a smartass ice miner, and a morally questionable UNrepresentative are among a few of the more interesting characters in the show.

At first, previews gave the impression someone at SyFy said, “We need a ‘Game of Thrones’ in space, stat.” Of course, it could’ve just been the trailer’s use of a review quote citing the show as “‘Game of Thrones’ in space” that confused me.

My choice of headline might give the impression I think the show is a melting pot of “Star Wars,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Firefly,” “Star Trek” and “Game of Thrones.”

Thankfully, that impression is only half-right.

SyFy’s massive space opera is most certainly inspired by these media giants, but the ideas and concepts lifted from them are only the best. For instance, “Star Trek” dealt with racism in one episode, and had blonde women in go-go boots taking space-drugs the next week.

James S. A. Corey (author of the book “Leviathan Wakes,” on which “The Expanse” is based) did a masterful job of boiling down those go-go boot moments into something incredibly entertaining.

One might wonder why I’ve not mentioned specific plot details after watching all five currently released episodes. My answer is simple: You’ll be talking about this show in 10  years. I’m not going to spoil a single second of it.

I have not been as satisfied as a science fiction fan as I have been by this series. It felt like getting to watch “Battlestar Galactica” or “Firefly” again for the first time.