Expanse Season 2: Why It's Fantastic Sci-Fi TV

Expanse Season 2! Expanse Season 2! Expanse Season 2!

We’re 5 episodes into the second season. Here are some thoughts on how it is so far, the new cast members, and other various nerdstuff.

If you’ve never heard of the The Expanse, check out my writeup of the first season. The new season picks up right after the first, which is about 2/3 of the way through the first book (they’re long).

Before the new season, I went back and re-watched the first season. It’s been about a year since I’d watched it. I actually enjoyed it more. Maybe it was because I’d gotten used to the actors in their roles, or was less nit-picky about details and just enjoyed the show as a show.

What struck me most about the second season so far was how much more comfortable the actors were in their roles. Wes Chatham as Amos, the most. He really fine-tuned Amos’s 1000-yard stare, managing to pull off interest in what is being discussed, but emotionally uninterested in the outcome. “We saved these people” and “Thousands died” eliciting basically the same reaction, but getting the job done (either way) causing lots of interest. That’s the character, and on screen that’s hard to pull off.

Speaking of hard to pull off, the producers decided to bring in Bobbie Draper even though she doesn’t really appear until the second book. Since she’s one of my (and a lot of people’s) favorite characters, this works. But what a hard character to cast. Bobbie is a 6.6 foot plus, 220 pound, heavily muscled and intimidating Martian marine of Polynesian decent. There’s probably only a handful of actors in the world that could match how the books describe her. And I’ll admit, when I first saw photos of actress Frankie Adams I wasn’t convinced they’d pulled it off.

But wow was I wrong. Adams might be a bit smaller than Draper is in the books, she absolutely nails the character’s intensity. She exudes a “don’t mess with me or I’ll mess you up” demeanor that is expertly accentuated by camera angles and lighting. There is no doubt she’s a badass. That is some impressive casting work. I sincerely hope Expanse lasts long enough to dive into some of Bobbie’s better storylines.

As of this writing, we’re up to episode 5, where Eros has just done its thing with the thing (no spoilers). The conclusion of the episode feels more like a season finale than last season’s actual season finale. I hope SyFy ups the budget and episode order for season 3. This is becoming some fantastic sci-fi TV.

If you still watch TV live, The Expanse airs on Wednesday nights on SyFy. Otherwise, it’s available for purchase from Amazon and iTunes.