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S01.E01: Dulcinea

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Not airing until December, but it's online and on demand now, so there'll be spoilers in the thread. http://www.syfy.com/theexpanse/videos/101-dulcinea

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvZeQD1Vf2s

 

I'm on board, but as a fan of the books I've been looking forward to it for ages. Jane is better than I expected; it looks like they've made him older than he is IRL. Lots of setup in the pilot, so hopefully we'll spend more time with Holden and crew in the next few episodes.

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My expectations were sky high. This first episode met them.

 

The world is exactly as I imagined, the characters are mostly perfectly realised (on the evidence so far). I liked Holden a lot, felt he came across as a strong, decent guy, disenchanted with his place in the world. I liked Naomi too. She seems smart and tough, as she should. Alex is just as I imagined him, but I still think Amos is too young.

 

Hope no one new to the story is pissed that Jonathan Banks only had that cameo. It's a risky bit of stunt casting, when audiences are so fickle. But they did a good job of masking who the important characters were, other than Holden, Miller and Avasarala.

 

Their fix for the belter elongated bodies issue was smart. Just a bit of throwaway dialogue to say, 'someday all belters will look like that' lets them get away with having Miller, Naomi etc look just like the Earthers, while still having the alien look amongst others that reinforces the racism against Belters.

 

They sold the danger of being out in space very well. It's a precarious, fragile life they lead, and they all know it. Freaking out over the idea of answering a distress call, because they don't know what might be on the other end (and it was going to cost them money). Accelerating hurts, maneuvering is a complicated task, the distances are vast. This is a far cry from the blasé space travel of Star Trek, or even of Battlestar Galactica. Which is obviously exactly what the writers originally intended.

 

The show itself looks amazing. Great effects, wonderful visuals, just the right amount of light/dark to hopefully avoid the whinging about not being able to see what's happening. When does this show start in earnest, again?

Edited by Danny Franks
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With just 45 minutes of show, they managed to make me feel regret at the road not taken--but I'm not sure I want to watch a show that makes me feel that way.

I didn't know Jonathan Banks was in it until I saw his name in the opening credits--so not much time to regret his character's demise.

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I know nothing of the books or its history but I think it could be worth watching, fantastic visuals, good sound interesting story although it cuts about scenes at the wrong moment for me. It seemed to refrence most shows from Alien, Bladerunner, Outlands to Babylon 5, the speech from the belter was very reminiscent of a Babylon 5 opening sequence even with a Londo Mollari accent. Bring on the next episode.

Edited by Danez
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It's now available On Demand. Since it hasn't aired yet there are no commercials. I've not read the books but I put in a request for the first one at the library. I also have not watched any Syfy show since it was Scifi.

 

It was okay. I didn't get anybody's name so I can't identify any of them. They did a good job of establishing the well, character of each character but names were not emphasized and who the hell is Shorah Agdashloo supposed to be? Some politician who approves of torture, that's all I got. They showed a few review blurbs at the end in a 'this season on The Expanse' preview and one claimed this is the Game of Thrones of space. Not even remotely.

 

My main complaint is that the sound mix is shit. When there's background music you can barely tell what anyone is saying. When there isn't any background noise the dialogue still sounds muddy. I'll probably get around to watching the whole thing either on DVR or Demand but for something in the same vein I'd much rather see a decent adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

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I watched it OnDemand last week. I have no connection with the source material; I had not even read a synopsis, just saw it on MovieBox and recognized from fast forwarded trailers during Haven. 

 

For me, the amount of plot! packed into the pilot was overwhelming. And, in contradiction, it wasn't really even action packed. Weird. It was efficient; connecting all the spinning plates through the thread of the missing girl kept my attention but I was only able to invest in Holden. I think I could like Thomas Jane's Miller, but- due to watching at a low resolution/ skimpy sound offering through my iPad- I could barely make out what was happening except in broad strokes. Same for Shohreh Aghdashloo's Avasarala.

 

I found the final scenes on the launch to be well executed. I'm looking forward to see how Holden leads his team for their survival, who fired at them, what the weird crap was in the engineering area Mao screamed at (and, again, I was really hampered by the poor resolution on my iPad, that I was watching while in the bathtub, and that I wasn't fully invested yet- not enough to stream it again and watch more closely anyway), etc. 

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I enjoyed this pilot ep. I really had no expectation going in, except for what I saw in the previews. I know nothing of the source material.

 

This show, at least the pilot, definitely had a high production value. I was impressed with the special effects and the sets. I thought I was watching a movie and not merely a tv show. I agree that the show had an Alien and Blade Runner vibe to it.

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I think that this was horrible, a slowing moving story and mediocre acting. However, it was the pilot so I will give it a few more episodes. The technology looked something from the original Star Trek series. Syfy must have given it a $1 and said go to the Scifi Dollar Store.

 

Too bad they killed off Nora from Being Human. Also, I was surprised to see Evan from Royal Pains. I would think that he could easily get more prominent gigs. I was glad to see the show was giving work to tons of Canadian actors that I recognized from other shows.

Edited by SimoneS

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I think it has potential, but there was a lot going on, and I'm not sure I quite get everything that is going on.  And there are certainly characters that didn't do much, but I have to think their roles will expand in future episodes.  In particular, I have to think Shohreh Aghdashloo is going to be more important, despite barely being in this episodes.

 

So far, I'm a bit more intrigued by Holden and his story.  It sounds like he was content with his position and never wanted too much responsibility, but now he more or less has to assume it, now that most of the crew his dead.  Oh, and it was him going behind his captain's back and informing the company about the distress call that got them in this position, so I'm sure he's going to feel some guilt over those deaths.  I wonder what his girlfriend was going to tell him, before that all got blown to hell.

 

Good seeing Thomas Jane again, but I hope Miller ends up being more interesting then another hard-drinking, snarky detective, who fights authority and bends the rules when need be.

 

Jonathan Banks showing up for a cameo was entertaining.

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I think the show has managed to recreate the mystery and confusion that begins the Holden storyline pretty well. I remember being baffled as to who was shooting at the Canterbury and why, when I read Leviathan Wakes. So I don't think that part of it is supposed to make sense yet. TV critics (and a fair few viewers) sometimes annoy me when they feel like they need to have all the answers now, and aren't satisfied with something being a mystery for a while.

 

Here's a quote from The Guardian:

 

I know I’ve been joking about this, but is it as confusing as it sounds? Totally, and the first episode is a headache. You’re not sure who is going to survive, who is important, and what their relationships are to the other characters. Between figuring out the way this new future world works and decoding the roster of characters, it’s all a bit headache-inducing.

 

 

Seriously? You don't know who's going to survive or who's important? Then watched the damned show and figure it out! Stop asking to be spoon-fed, especially when you get paid to watch TV. Fortunately, most other reviews seem to accept that a story begins with some mystery.

Edited by Danny Franks
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Good seeing Thomas Jane again, but I hope Miller ends up being more interesting then another hard-drinking, snarky detective, who fights authority and bends the rules when need be.

 

I thought the lead looked familiar, but I could not place the face. I cannot believe that I did not recognize Thomas Jane. Has he lost a lot of weight? Maybe it is the long hair. 

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Oh SyFy. I love that you're trying harder these days to put out good shows. Watching Childhood's End and the Expanse , I almost forgot that you put out Stargate Universe. Then came the floating sex scene and I remembered.

I

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My main complaint is that the sound mix is shit. When there's background music you can barely tell what anyone is saying. When there isn't any background noise the dialogue still sounds muddy. I'll probably get around to watching the whole thing either on DVR or Demand but for something in the same vein I'd much rather see a decent adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

I watched this when they released it on Amazon. I enjoyed the show, but felt a bit disengaged from it mainly because I couldn't hear a dang thing anyone was saying even after turning up the volume. Then, I bought the book. After reading the first couple chapters, I went back and rewatched it and enjoyed it a lot more since I could tell what was happening. I could even parse the muddled dialogue better. I also think they could've set up the background dynamics a bit better in the show.

They showed a few review blurbs at the end in a 'this season on The Expanse' preview and one claimed this is the Game of Thrones of space. Not even remotely.

Yeah, that comparison was a total head scratcher for me.

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I watched it last night and I'm fairly impressed with the look and feel of the show. The plot was a bit complicated but I never have that much trouble following along storylines. Siffy owes us all a lot because of the nonsense they've been pursuing the last 12 years or so (since they axed Farscape for no good reason). The network bounces around offering us a few little morsels while trying to shove 'wrasslin' and crappy reality shows down our throats. I wasn't sorry to see "Defiance" go this  year since despite some promise, the showrunners drove it into the ground but the addition of this show, and a couple of others this summer like KillJoys and Darkmatter (yes, yes I know but it's really better than people think it is) make me think they are slowly moving in the right direction. 

 

Gonna give part two a try tonight.

Edited by Philbert
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I think that this was horrible, a slowing moving story and mediocre acting. However, it was the pilot so I will give it a few more episodes. The technology looked something from the original Star Trek series. Syfy must have given it a $1 and said go to the Scifi Dollar Store.

 

Too bad they killed off Nora from Being Human. Also, I was surprised to see Evan from Royal Pains. I would think that he could easily get more prominent gigs. I was glad to see the show was giving work to tons of Canadian actors that I recognized from other shows.

 

I didn't recognize Kristen Hager! Now, retroactively I'm upset that she died. While watching I didn't care much what happened to anyone. Naomi looks interesting but I don't know whether she will be a major character or a glorified extra crew member, so I don't know whether to invest. All the bearded guys looked the same and I didn't catch anyone's name. There's Guy Who Doesn't Want to be XO for Some Reason and Blonde Who's Now Dead, Cop with Anachronistic Hat and Anonymous Sidekick.

 

Didn't mind the tech, because everything looked dirty and beat up, which aesthetically reminded me of Star Wars and Alien and BSG which are things I like. The big open shaft down the middle of the spaceship reminded me of Avatar. Sure, it's all derivative, but it's derived from stuff that's cool. The setting of the show is intriguing, I just don't feel like I met any characters.

 

Seriously? You don't know who's going to survive or who's important? Then watched the damned show and figure it out! Stop asking to be spoon-fed, especially when you get paid to watch TV. Fortunately, most other reviews seem to accept that a story begins with some mystery.

 

The thing is, I don't have a lot of free time, my DVR is so backed up with things I haven't had time to watch that it keeps threatening to delete everything and I need to make sure there's enough room for the Doctor Who Christmas special which airs while I will be out of town. I have not read the source material and have no plans to do so unless the show turns out to be stellar. Which, so far it's not. The setting is interesting, but so far there are no characters to speak of.

 

This is why it's not "Game of Thrones in Space." With GOT I also had not read the source material, but was hooked by the pilot even though I didn't know what was going on. 2 Decapitations! Amazing Double Acts: The Fat King and his reluctant adviser, the Incest Twins, the Bastard and the Dwarf, the Tomboy and her nerdy brother! "The things I do for love!" I had no clue what was going on, but I wanted to know more. With this show, I think the tragedy of timing is that it aired the same night as Childhood's End, making a two hour premiere impractical. The show started to get interesting in the last 10 minutes. I'm sure I would have kept watching, but I'm not sure I'll ever get around to watching Episode 2 when I could re-watch last week's Into the Badlands instead.

 

The fake-out, where I was sure they would meet the woman from the beginning on the ship, and instead there were pirates, was effective, except that I was looking forward to finding out something about the woman from the beginning, and didn't get to see any pirates either, just some CG. His decision to go check out the distress call seemed like the right thing to do at the time, when I didn't know there was such a thing as space pirates and thought the Captain was just being an asshole and trying to preserve his bonus. But finding out he was right, and the distress call was pirate bait, just makes Our Hero look like an idiot.

 

But if there are pirates, why are freighters responding to distress calls? Why isn't there a Space Navy? There are probably explanations for this in the source material, but on the show it's just kind of weird. This might be some kind of thing to cause a war between Earth and Mars, but we were shown very little Earth and no Mars at all, so why do we care? Maybe it's in Part 2? Like I said, should have been a 2 hour premiere.

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The fake-out, where I was sure they would meet the woman from the beginning on the ship, and instead there were pirates, was effective, except that I was looking forward to finding out something about the woman from the beginning, and didn't get to see any pirates either, just some CG. His decision to go check out the distress call seemed like the right thing to do at the time, when I didn't know there was such a thing as space pirates and thought the Captain was just being an asshole and trying to preserve his bonus. But finding out he was right, and the distress call was pirate bait, just makes Our Hero look like an idiot.

 

 

 

They did acknowledge the possibility of pirates when they were initially discussing whether to pursue the distress signal. That's the justification the captain uses for not checking it out, although he seems more interested in protecting their bonus. I don't think any of them really thought it was pirates, because as Alex (the pilot) said, would pirates really bother operating "that far outside shipping lanes?" 

 

But if there are pirates, why are freighters responding to distress calls? Why isn't there a Space Navy? There are probably explanations for this in the source material, but on the show it's just kind of weird. This might be some kind of thing to cause a war between Earth and Mars, but we were shown very little Earth and no Mars at all, so why do we care? Maybe it's in Part 2? Like I said, should have been a 2 hour premiere.

 

Maybe there is a space navy, but they haven't had time to talk about that yet. There have been navies in our history, but pirates have always existed. And Ade did say, "what goes around, comes around", which makes sense when space travel is as tough as it seems in this show. You never know when you might need help, so the unspoken agreement is that ships help each other when they can. That's not book knowledge, just what I extrapolated from the attitude in that scene. They all knew what they should do, but they didn't want to do it.

 

If you don't like the pilot, then that's fair enough. Television is forever a subjective medium. I just don't think it's quite fair to criticise serialised shows for not explaining everything in the pilot episode (or even the first few episodes). I know plenty of people who didn't bother to continue with Game of Thrones after watching the first episode or two.

Edited by Danny Franks
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I think the show has managed to recreate the mystery and confusion that begins the Holden storyline pretty well. I remember being baffled as to who was shooting at the Canterbury and why, when I read Leviathan Wakes. So I don't think that part of it is supposed to make sense yet. TV critics (and a fair few viewers) sometimes annoy me when they feel like they need to have all the answers now, and aren't satisfied with something being a mystery for a while.

 

Here's a quote from The Guardian:

 

 

Seriously? You don't know who's going to survive or who's important? Then watched the damned show and figure it out! Stop asking to be spoon-fed, especially when you get paid to watch TV. Fortunately, most other reviews seem to accept that a story begins with some mystery.

 

Thank you.  This has been my most personally anticipated show this year.  The Expanse is my favorite book series right now and I have wanted to see it play out on screen since I read the first prologue.  It's annoying to me how many of my friends and reviewers have been complaining that we dont know the entire story in the pilot.  It's a serial, people!  We're only getting a basic introduction to the world right now, along with a set up for the season's arc.  

 

 

 

 

But if there are pirates, why are freighters responding to distress calls? Why isn't there a Space Navy? There are probably explanations for this in the source material, but on the show it's just kind of weird. This might be some kind of thing to cause a war between Earth and Mars, but we were shown very little Earth and no Mars at all, so why do we care? Maybe it's in Part 2? Like I said, should have been a 2 hour premiere.

Well, we've only gotten very little information on the military mights of the three factions that were introduced.  I don't think one needs the source material to know that space is freaking huge and there is no way that any single entity could patrol every single corner of it.  It's a bit like being out on the ocean.  It's so huge and harsh and custom dictates that anyone around who hears a distress signal responds to it.  As explicitly mentioned in the show, you do it for others because it might eventually be you out there in distress.  Especially when on a freighter that is falling apart and working for a company, as Holden mentions, that would find it cheaper to pay out widow's wages than adequately repair the freighter.  

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I missed the first 20 minutes of the show but got pulled in anyway. I love the scrappy freighter setup even though it's a personal nightmare. The vulnerability of being that cutoff from solid ground both intrigues and terrifies me. I long ago acknowledged that I lack the Right Stuff. I enjoyed the characters, even though Nora from Being Human niggled at me the whole time. I recognized her as a familiar face but couldn't place her. Being Canadian, I had that feeling a lot during the show. Julian Richings (Death, in Supernatural) got tossed down the air shaft. I was stunned and upset when the Canterbury was destroyed. I liked the crew so I'm in. I want to get to know this story. Space is repeating the premiere before airing the second episode so I'm going to rewatch tonight.

I was in the bookstore this morning so went looking for Leviathan Wakes. The store had a good deal on a boxed set so I went in for one and left with three!

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I'd much rather see a decent adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

 

Sweet baby jeebus, make this happen!

 

I was surprised to see Evan from Royal Pains. I would think that he could easily get more prominent gigs.

 

You mean Evanargh?  I'm surprised he can find work at all.

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I just watched it.  Thought it was alright.  The only storyline that really interested me was the stuff going on in the ship.  The cliché gumshoe didn't impress me.  The stuff with Earth, Mars and the Belters reminded me of the Red Rising series, written about two years after it.  But The Expanse and Red Rising are two different animals.

 

I really liked the looked at it, the ship stuff especially.

 

Was surprised to see Jonathan Banks show up.  Was he doing it as a favor for someone?

Edited by benteen

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I didn't realize episode 2 was on tonight. Mock me if you will, but I will be watching The Voice and dvr-ing Childhood's End. I too am running out of space and this hasn't grabbed me enough to want to watch live.

 

My request came in at the library so I am now in possession of Leviathan Wakes. Anyone know if season one is supposed to be the first book, or the first half of the book or what?

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I'm not familiar with the source material, but a big sticking point for me is the scarcity of water they implied. Isn't there TONS of water ice in the asteroid belt? In fact, last year water vapor was discovered on Ceres itself. If they can send spaceships out to mine other materials, they can send them out to bring back tons of ice to keep everyone from dying. Being dependent on Earth for something harder to get, maybe fertile soil or nitrogen for atmosphere maintenance and plant growth, would have been better.

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They did say that Mars (and earth?) had stripped Ceres of it's ice.  Sure, they can send ships to bring back huge quantities of ice from the asteroid belt -- that's exactly what Canterbury was doing!  But it's a long way away, and the job is dangerous, which is why water is so valuable.

 

The asteroid belt is essentially made of CHON (according to Pohl, anyway) so they don't need nitrogen from earth, they can get it in the asteroid belt, probably more easily than water.  (They can make water from CHON anyway, but it costs energy, so water is more desirable.)

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I don't think a show needs to lay everything out or reveal all of its mysteries right off the bat, but I think the show didn't do a great job setting up its world and central dynamics. After reading the first couple of chapters, I can see the attempt to do it, but I think non-bookreaders wouldn't necessarily get the full meaning which is why there are so many questions. With the background info from just the beginning of the book though, I think the episode was great. Maybe a longer pilot would have helped.

I just saw a commercial forThe Magicians. There was a shot of people levitating while having sex much like the scene with Ade/Holden. What is SyFy's fascination with floating sex?

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I'm not familiar with the source material but was drawn in right away and enjoyed it a lot. Great sets and so far none of the main characters annoy me, although Chrisjen scares me. Sweet old grandmother she ain't.

 

But I may just be easy to please. I appreciate most of Syfy's original programming; they're certainly in my top tier of networks. :)

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My husband has audiobooked a couple of books in the series, so he was excited. It sounded interesting, so I figured, why not? 

 

I really felt like they packed in way too much info in the first hour. I find it rare that a visual medium can start with a written or spoken epilogue/crawl, and still be good. To me, that's a sign that you have a bad story, too much story, or bad pacing. As someone else commented, I think this would have benefited from being a 2 hour episode, because it got good in the last 10 minutes. I really felt like there was information overload, and my husband actually agreed. It ultimately made sense, but, let's keep it real, the average tv viewer isn't going to sit through all that, though, I think sci-fi viewers tend to skew a bit, um, smarter, and more patient. 

 

I'm glad we weren't the only ones who complained about the sound mixing. Between that and the accents, a lot of the dialogue came out garbled, which was really frustrating.

 

On a good note, I do think the story/stories are interesting, and I absolutely love the cast. Diversity, Yay! And I mean for both the actors and the characters, who all seem to come from different races, religions, nationalities, languages, and planets. This really feels like a global and planetary system-wide story.

 

It's a relatively short series, so I'll probably finish it out. I suspect that I might be happier reading the books. 

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I just watched it.  Thought it was alright.  The only storyline that really interested me was the stuff going on in the ship.  The cliché gumshoe didn't impress me.  The stuff with Earth, Mars and the Belters reminded me of the Red Rising series, written about two years after it.  But The Expanse and Red Rising are two different animals.

 

Leviathan Wakes was published three years before Red Rising. But I think the politics in this show are more like a Cold War analogue than anything else. Two superpowers in a deadlocked, antagonistic faceoff.

 

They did say that Mars (and earth?) had stripped Ceres of it's ice.  Sure, they can send ships to bring back huge quantities of ice from the asteroid belt -- that's exactly what Canterbury was doing!  But it's a long way away, and the job is dangerous, which is why water is so valuable.

 

I guess the modern day equivalent would be those fishing jobs where guys work about twelve weeks a year and get paid thousands for it. Only, in this world, it seems like hauling ice doesn't pay as well. From what Holden said about their bosses not wanting to refit the Canterbury, they're more interested in keeping costs down than keeping people safe.

 

In space, you aren't going to survive without air, food and water, and while those things can be cultivated and gathered, it's not easy. That's why I enjoyed this series so much. Nothing in space is easy, unlike Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape and any other space opera you'd care to mention. They don't have the technology for that yet.

 

I think this would have benefited from being a 2 hour episode, because it got good in the last 10 minutes.

 

I would have welcomed a two hour pilot. I've seen a few people latch onto the BSG comparison and say, 'BSG set up their world so much better'. Well... yeah. BSG had a three hour miniseries to set up their world, before the first season even started. I'd have loved it if the show had been given that much time to introduce everyone and set up the dynamics.

 

Edited by Danny Franks

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Can someone tell me why this episode is titled "Dulcinea"?  I confess that I have had some trouble understanding all of the dialogue.  Generally enjoying the show, especially the world-building detail, which again, sometimes flashes by too fast for me to absorb.  

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This is why it's not "Game of Thrones in Space." With GOT I also had not read the source material, but was hooked by the pilot even though I didn't know what was going on. 2 Decapitations! Amazing Double Acts: The Fat King and his reluctant adviser, the Incest Twins, the Bastard and the Dwarf, the Tomboy and her nerdy brother! "The things I do for love!" I had no clue what was going on, but I wanted to know more

 

I think the key to this series is getting past the first two episodes. You're absolutely right about GOT-it got you hooked in the first few minutes and this show does take a lot longer than that...basically two hours. Once you get into the third episode (and I watched them all last night on SyFy.com) the action gets moving and you start to see the various factions forming-I count at least four and probably five emerging in this drama. The acting isn't on the same level as GOT but it's not bad and benefits from some very good guest actors. I haven't read the source material for this series (I have all 5 ASoIaF books by contrast) but I find myself wanting to know more about the story and the characters. I highly recommend watching all four episodes that are available before making a judgement. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was. I think this is probably the best piece of work that SyFy has done in....years.

Edited by Philbert
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I think the key to this series is getting past the first two episodes. You're absolutely right about GOT-it got you hooked in the first few minutes and this show does take a lot longer than that...basically two hours. Once you get into the third episode (and I watched them all last night on SyFy.com) the action gets moving and you start to see the various factions forming-I count at least four and probably five emerging in this drama. The acting isn't on the same level as GOT but it's not bad and benefits from some very good guest actors. I haven't read the source material for this series (I have all 5 ASoIaF books by contrast) but I find myself wanting to know more about the story and the characters. I highly recommend watching all four episodes that are available before making a judgement. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was. I think this is probably the best piece of work that SyFy has done in....years.

 

I think that's a fair assessment. As I've said, the show doesn't explain everything and lay it out for you. Like the books, it expects you to learn as you go and I'm sure it will fill in blanks, which will retrospectively make some things make more sense. I was lost for the first few chapters of Leviathan Wakes, and not entirely sure if I was enjoying it. It takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it really doesn't let up at all. By the end of the book, it was breathlessly paced.

 

The Game of Thrones comparisons are a cheap way of branding the show, and I don't really think they're accurate. But they come more from the fact that Game of Thrones is a huge success, and it focuses on political struggles as well as the usual fantasy tropes. This show takes a similar approach to science-fiction. You'll see spaceships and explosions, but you'll also see agitators and insurgents and politicians who will do anything in their power to win.

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I watch this episode back when they first put it online/on demand, but of course am only getting around to commenting now (but I wanted more people to watch and comment). As others have said, I think this would have benefited from a 2hr pilot (which I guess is technically what you could call the two day premiere, but whatever) because my feeling from the first episode is that it gives the bare bones of the set-up/world/characters, but only just gets to the tip of iceberg in terms of action and really hooking you. Honestly, I can't say I've formed any hard and fast feelings about the show as yet. I am a huge fan of the source material, so I have been looking forward to seeing this brought to the screen, but I need to see more episodes before I can make any judgement, good or bad. I am certainly hopeful right now and think it has a lot of potential, but it's definitely something that's going to build as we go along. I plan on watching the second (and hopefully third and fourth) episodes tonight, so we'll see how I'm feeling after that!

 

I wish they hadn't liken it to GoT, because I don't really know if it's a fair or true comparison-- I've only read one GoT book compared to reading the whole Expanse series thus far-- but it does set up certain expectations and some people will be disappointed when it fails to meet those expectations.

Edited by catray

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But they come more from the fact that Game of Thrones is a huge success, and it focuses on political struggles as well as the usual fantasy tropes. This show takes a similar approach to science-fiction.

 

Another similarity is the propensity to kill characters in rather shocking ways. As I said I've skipped ahead and watched the first four so I'm spoiled but man it gets real in episodes 3-4.

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Edited:

The Game of Thrones comparisons are a cheap way of branding the show, and I don't really think they're accurate. But they come more from the fact that Game of Thrones is a huge success, and it focuses on political struggles as well as the usual fantasy tropes. This show takes a similar approach to science-fiction. You'll see spaceships and explosions, but you'll also see agitators and insurgents and politicians who will do anything in their power to win.

 

Edited:

I wish they hadn't liken it to GoT, because I don't really know if it's a fair or true comparison-- I've only read one GoT book compared to reading the whole Expanse series thus far-- but it does set up certain expectations and some people will be disappointed when it fails to meet those expectations.

I'm quoting these edited posts to build on my question. I am not attacking the OPs or anyone else with this view; I'm legitimately asking:

 

Why do you all feel that GOT is an unfair comparison? As noted in one of the posts, both have political issues, use standard tropes (fantasy vs sci-fi). In addition, both appear to have interlocking stories and issues related to socioeconomic class and nationality.

 

Also,

I've been told that both have POV chapters, unexpected deaths, and some fantasy/mysticism.

 

 

I've read the GOT series, but not the Expanse series. This may be why I don't understand why the comparison is unfair. Can someone elaborate without spoilers? (I'm putting this question here, because the other threads didn't seem to fit).

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Edited:

 

Edited:

I'm quoting these edited posts to build on my question. I am not attacking the OPs or anyone else with this view; I'm legitimately asking:

 

Why do you all feel that GOT is an unfair comparison? As noted in one of the posts, both have political issues, use standard tropes (fantasy vs sci-fi). In addition, both appear to have interlocking stories and issues related to socioeconomic class and nationality.

 

 

While there are a fair few similarities, I think there are just as many differences. The Expanse is not as dark as GoT/ASOIAF, and doesn't have the same nihilistic, outlook. Yes, people die, but not usually because the writer is making a point about how 'in this world, good people are dumb so they die'.  I feel like GoT focuses too closely on the darker aspects of humanity, and doesn't really give any of its characters much in life to enjoy. While this series will have darkness and a serious tone, it never forgets that the reader wants to enjoy what they're reading. At its core, I see this series as an old fashioned space opera, with some twists for modern sensibilities, while GoT is seen as more of an inversion of the genre itself (which I don't really agree with, I think Martin just cobbled together a bunch of historical stories and added more blood).

 

I also think the political similarities are really only surface deep, because GoT focuses on medieval style, feudal politics where it's all about individual power and influence, while this show is about power blocs interacting in a way that feels much more like 20th century politics. The historical influences that the collective known as Daniel S.A. Corey have drawn from is definitely the Cold War and movements like Suffrage and Civil Rights.

 

But the biggest issue I have is that people hold up GoT as the pinnacle of genre television, and are likely to frown at any comparisons, never mind if they live up to the billing or not.

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I have been a mega fan of both the ASOIAF and The Expanse book series.  I'm an uber nerd.  I participate on fan forums for these series and go to comic cons just to connect with other fans.  I can't remember it ever being discussed that these books are so comparable that they are practically interchangeable.  I never read Leviathan Wakes and thought "well hey, this is just like Game of Thrones, except in space."  Nor have I read Game of Thrones and thought it was just like Leviathan Wakes, except in a fictional middle ages-esque world.  Sure, both series touch on some of the same themes, but that's not a reason to say one is just like the other.  I could name a hundred books or shows that have political issues, POV characters, use standard tropes and explore various social concerns.  Shit, with those parameters, we might as well also say this is The Walking Dead in space.  There was some sort of zombie-ish weird creature in the opening scenes, after all.  

 

It's clearly a marketing ploy to liken it to GoT.  This show can be likened to any show that is or has been popular if they think it will bring in viewers.  It was a gamble to sell this show as the space version of GoT.  I'm not sure it will pay off.  Hard science fiction is a niche genre.  Syfy is a niche network.  I think it would have made more sense to market to the known target audience and then build from there rather than trying to start off with trying to grab as many GoT type viewers as possible.  People unfamiliar with sci-fi and Syfy are more likely to be disappointed if they come in expecting to be offered the same sort of intro into fantasy that GoT offered, and that came on the heels of years of the audience being treated to successful fantasy blockbusters.  Hard science fiction is just barely getting a foothold in Hollywood.  They probably couldn't have done it due to rights and such, but it might have made more sense to market it as something fans of Interstellar or The Martian would enjoy.  

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I miss Babylon 5 which I hope this will be like. So far they're spending their special effects money on sets rather than aliens though. That's okay, no jump drive, local space and humanoids only, no bugs to be found. Still can be a good story of course.

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I just feel that by likening the Expanse to GoT, you are (potentially) setting up unrealistic expectations from people who are fans of GoT/ASoIaF but not necessarily The Expanse. I'm not trying to say they don't have thing things in common (like the politics, etc) just that I don't like, in general, when marketing tries to sell product A as Product B in whatever difference, because often times it's just a marking ploy to draw in viewers, who then may be turned off when it doesn't fit a certain criteria. If they would just say "fans of GoT might like this because of all the political maneuvering" or "BSG fans might like this because it's a space opera" I wouldn't care. 

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I understand Belters having their own language (though it seems early) why is it so clearly heavily influenced by French and actual Creole?

I just feel that by likening the Expanse to GoT, you are (potentially) setting up unrealistic expectations from people who are fans of GoT/ASoIaF but not necessarily The Expanse. I'm not trying to say they don't have thing things in common (like the politics, etc) just that I don't like, in general, when marketing tries to sell product A as Product B in whatever difference, because often times it's just a marking ploy to draw in viewers, who then may be turned off when it doesn't fit a certain criteria. If they would just say "fans of GoT might like this because of all the political maneuvering" or "BSG fans might like this because it's a space opera" I wouldn't care.

That's honestly the one of the biggest reasons on the list of way I began watching. I don't see it yet, but I guess the comparison will be more obvious as the show goes on, like GOT. Edited by ralph

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I wondered at the "Dulcinea" title and just assume there's some reference to Don Quixote that I missed with the lousy sound and multitasking.

 

I need to rewatch this on demand with full focus, and hopefully better sound control: or at least I'll turn on CC :)

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I'm finding this an absolutely fascinating watch - I haven't read the books, just saw some promos for it over the summer, and added it to my "will watch" list. I spent some time confusing Havelock and Holden, but I have that sorted out now I think. I've watched this twice now, and probably could stand a third viewing, to catch everything I missed the first two times!

 

The entire cast is excellent, love seeing Paolo Constanzo! Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham are also great in their roles (I'm finding that plot line the most interesting so far). I suspect I will continue following many of them in future endeavors. And are my eyes deceiving me or was that Lola Glaudini as Miller's boss giving him a side job?

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I have no real point of reference since I haven't read the books. But for those that have, does it make more sense to read the book first?

I felt lost with the story line and feel that I will need to watch the episode again in order to get all of the details.

Any reference to GoT is lost on me as I don't watch the show, so I'm not sure if it's a good or bad reference.

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I have no real point of reference since I haven't read the books. But for those that have, does it make more sense to read the book first?

I felt lost with the story line and feel that I will need to watch the episode again in order to get all of the details.

 

I think a show should be able to stand on it's own without requiring the viewer to read the source material.  So far, I think this show stands on it's own well.  What parts are you feeling lost with?  Some of it may be intentional as there is a central mystery that's introduced and none of the main characters know what it is yet.  The cast is also rather large so it will take time to get to know all of them.  I've heard that the sound isn't great in the first episodes so some of the intentional dialects presented with the different factions (Belter, Mars, Earth) might cause some confusion, though I think that's something that one will just get used to over time especially if one has familiarity with any foreign language or a creole language.  

 

I think the books are great and would recommend them to anyone, but I don't think they are necessary to understand the show.  

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I understand Belters having their own language (though it seems early) why is it so clearly heavily influenced by French and actual Creole?

 

Nobody knows what form future language will take of course, so they just pick a language randomly to represent it. The Jamaican lilt when speaking English is a good compromise - signals difference yet is still understandable. I think it's cool that they try, years ago everybody would have just spoken standard US English in such a show. Martians still speak English though. Have to strike a balance, can't be subtitling major characters.

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Nobody knows what form future language will take of course, so they just pick a language randomly to represent it. The Jamaican lilt when speaking English is a good compromise - signals difference yet is still understandable. I think it's cool that they try, years ago everybody would have just spoken standard US English in such a show. Martians still speak English though. Have to strike a balance, can't be subtitling major characters.

I think an acceptable amount of made up modern slang words would've been more realistic for everyone in the time period and some regional slang for Martians and Belters. A little context would've been enough to teach the audience what the words meant. When watching I just think it's weird that people are so easy to understand and the English hasnt changed much in the time that's passed.

But it doesn't really matter because I'm not a pro at this, but I really admire that they were detailed enough to consider any changes in language at all.

Edited by ralph

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I watched 10 minutes and wasn't impressed.  It was dark and dreary and didn't really make me want to watch anymore.  But, I will give it another chance and watch the whole episode to see if my early impression was correct.

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Just watched this last night, and I really enjoyed it!  But man, I can't hear anything they are saying!!  And I don't know any of the character's names.  So... I'm mostly just confused.

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Just watched this last night, and I really enjoyed it!  But man, I can't hear anything they are saying!!  And I don't know any of the character's names.  So... I'm mostly just confused.

 

Closed captioning is my bff!

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...

 

Was surprised Jonathan Banks had such a small role.  I guess he didn't stow away and is in fact written out.

 

Some of the sound mix seemed off when I watched it - the background noise drowned out the dialogue, which was a shame because the dialogue seemed to be setting up Many Important Things.

 

The visuals are generally pretty excellent, and they are either doing some amazing CG Set Extension or building truly massive sets for this show.  Not sure which.

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