With the recent interview on site with Jeremy Benning, director of photography on ‘The Expanse’, I thought it was about time that I watched the first season. Probably the biggest problem was identifying who was who, not helped by a little lack of name usage to help build up a picture of the characters. It was a lot easier to remember them by profession and sub-plot than name. One of them, played by Dominique Tipper, didn’t even get a name until the fifth episode. Not exactly a good way to encourage viewers to get involved with the characters. It might seem as the means to make you work with the story but it is still a potential weakness.
The reality is a point in the future where there are mining colonies in the Asteroid Belt, beholden to Earth. Mars has its independence and space fleet. All three have various spacecraft flying around and some get attacked from time to time. By who is often the crux of this opening season.
The story roughly divides into three sections. On Earth, there is an Asian leader (actress Shohreh Aghdashloo) who is nice to her kids but totally ruthless otherwise. On Ceres, one of the detectives (actor Thomas Jane) has been given a private hire to locate a missing person. Another spacecraft returning with the results of a mining expedition receives an SOS from another spacecraft. They were going to wipe their records to avoid wasting time except, discretely, one of its senior officers (actor Steven Strait) makes it official and he joins three other crew in a shuttle to investigate. Unfortunately, their mother spaceship is attacked and destroyed. They make their way to another asteroid and are persuaded to use another small spaceship to investigate the lost spaceship.
Obviously, it’s more elaborate than that and there are connections between the three sub-plots that come to an accumulation in the final double episode. The real problem is working out who exactly are the goodies as everyone seems out for themselves or are secretly working for someone else.
The money is obviously spent on the reality which looks like it is in outer space. However, apart from the usage of spacecraft, the plots are lacking in the Science Fiction element. You could quite easily transpose the plots into a regular reality and still have the same effect which is a shame. Granted there is a suggestion of something to some but as that’s spoiler and who knows where that will lead in the second season.
(region 2 DVD: pub: Universal. 427 minutes 3 DVDs 10*43 minute episodes with minimal extra. Price: about £14.00 (UK) if you know where to look. ASIN: B01AHWLXEC)
cast: Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Dominique Tipper
check out website: www.Great-TV-Shows.com