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Books vs Show: Has It Gone All Pear-Shaped Yet?

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13 hours ago, Haleth said:

It's been a while but I seem to remember Prax and Mei reuniting, correct?

Yes, towards the end of Caliban's War and they return to Ganymede.   The doctor kept her alive because Prax and the Roci crew had made a public plea for information which also brought in money to continue searching; everyone knew who she was. 

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I thought I'd seen that Clarissa (that's her name, right?) had been cast. The show is moving pretty slowly if they are going to fit in her storyline along with everything else that will be happening. 

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According to the Expanse Wikia she's cast (Nadine Nicole). I'm glad they do not skip her. I wonder if they will tie her arc with Mao whose arc is definitely deviating from the books by now.

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For me, this episode (which hasn't happened in the books I've read) seemed total filler.  What was the point of introducing 3 new characters we're never going to see again?

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Didn't feel like filler to me - quite the contrary. Those three Martians were used to bring Bobbie into the Roci crew and help her bond with Alex - and of course they are about to contact Admiral Souther. The show's really moving away from the books by now; speeding things up and dropping plots (like all the stuff with Prax and his wife) and I'm all for it.

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I finished "Leviathan's Wake" on Wednesday and started "Caliban's War" last night and it's likely because I started the show before the books, but I so prefer the former.  The books' world building is riveting, the characters are interesting, and the overall narrative is awesome, but the writing is terrible.  Like, I almost put down the book when Holden described his prostate "as dry as the Sahara desert" while reminiscing about brothels.  That's a middle school level metaphor and it rarely gets any better, which also made it harder for me to connect with the characters.  Bad prose is bad prose, even when it's telling a cool story, and it makes the characters more one-dimensional than they actually are.  Further, since the show isn't limited to two perspectives, the non-POV characters are fleshed out far more than in the books.  Naomi is a fully-formed character, with tangled loyalties and a complex past, while in the book(s), she's a cipher.  I don't think we know anything about her beyond her engineering talents.  Same story with Amos and Alex, and they get even less air time in the books.  Amos' backstory is one of my favorite things about the show.  We learn so much from so little and Wes Chatham is amazing at making Amos feel real and authentic while speaking in a monotone and wearing a blank expression.  I like having more screen time with them and letting the actors tell stories that are missing from the novels.

 

And yet, my least favorite scene in both book and show was Miller yelling at Julie's boyfriend(?) for "letting her go", as if either man had any say in a grown woman making her own decisions.  Fuck you, Miller.  His relationship with Muss was uncomfortable and manipulative, and his obsession with Julie was creepy and unhinged.  I didn't mind him projecting his own failures into the case, but when the fixation turned into Julie herself, I found myself reading and watching with increasing levels of unease.  The Madonna/Whore trope has never done women any favors and that's what Miller did here: he idealized a woman he never met, made her bear the burden of his redemption, without ever caring about <i>her</i>.  Julie Mao was this thing to save him and give him purpose, but we never got to know her, the real her, beyond wanting to do good.  That's not a woman, that's an avatar of one, especially in the book when she becomes a literal angel to guide him through his own misadventures.  For all Holden's sanctimony, he owned his own decisions and grappled with his guilt without a pretty young thing to prod him along the way.  We don't need any more portrayals of women as innocent victims and virtuous naifs that float through life to serve as broken men's consciences.  It's a tried trope, but also a dangerous one, and significantly reduced my enjoyment of both the first book and 1.5 seasons of the show. 


There are always grumblings when a TV/movie version of a book starts veering from canon, but I'm on the side of the series in this debate.  It's taken the material and kept to the spirit of the story and the essence of the characters, and elevated it to a genuine commentary on current events.  It feels very relevant -- almost unsettling -- as the different elements of the military-industrial complex are exposed and megalomaniacs inch closer to MAD :(.  I'm also fascinated by the microaggressions each group throws at the others, like the scenes of Havelock learning Belter slang in season one and everyone scoffing at the "Belter Food" in the most recent episode.  Those three second, seemingly throw away lines said so much more about the relationships between the characters and their ideologies than the pages and pages of inner monologue in the books.  TV has the benefit of show rather than tell, but the clunkiness of the writing in the books kills any subtlety. 


I'll report back after "Caliban's War" and see if my feelings have changed.  As the world expands and more characters gain perspectives (already loving being in Bobbie's head!), I might prefer the books to the show, but as is, the tighter writing, stronger characterization, and tangible connections to real life are putting me on the side of the show.

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I prefer the show to the books too and I don't think it's simply a matter of what came first. I can't really comment on the writing (not being a native-speaker) but for me it comes down to two things. First the POV writing: I closes down perspective and it can get tedious when the POV character is not a favorite *cough*Miller*cough* The show allows for more simultaneous character development. And not being tied to one POV only at a time we get a better understanding of various conflicts and shifting alliances. The other thing is that I think all the books are simply too long and overstuffed. That's an affliction often plaguing sicfi and fantasy writing - not sure why but there you go. Once those books get adapted to the screen a lot of plot pruning is happening (s.a. GoT) that in my opinion should have happened in the editing process for the book  and you'll end up with something more streamlined, more consistent (provided the adaptation is any good) and more enjoyable. Of course YMMV but for me this is definitely the case here.

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On 5/4/2018 at 8:36 AM, Lila82 said:

Amos' backstory is one of my favorite things about the show.  We learn so much from so little and Wes Chatham is amazing at making Amos feel real and authentic while speaking in a monotone and wearing a blank expression.  I like having more screen time with them and letting the actors tell stories that are missing from the novels.

If you're interested, The Churn explores a lot of Amos' backstory.

I've read a lot worse than these books.  I think I like the show better -- as others have said, it can show the interactions and shifting alliances better.

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I was surprised that Naomi brought up her son to Holden. I thought that happened much later in the books. And I'm not really happy with what they did with her backstory. But maybe she just gave Holden the brief version here and once that plot comes into play for real on the show we'll get the whole more complicated picture.

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If Souther is dead (or even just out of the picture), I wonder who will coordinate the UNN fleet with the Martian one once Nguyen meets his maker Holden?

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7 hours ago, MissLucas said:

And I'm not really happy with what they did with her backstory.

I think the show is generally kicking ass but some of the character changes bug and this was one of them.  Not so much that they brought up Filip so early - you're correct, he isn't mentioned at this stage of the story - but that Naomi brings him up in a contrite manner to Holden, talking about her ex Marco in sort of an admiring way.  In the book, at this point she was wayyy over him and knew him for what he was.   Her leaving the Roci to deal with Marco and Filip was one of my favorite bits. She tells Holden that if he loves and trusts her, he will not get in the way of her going to take care of business and that she is not ready to tell him what she's doing.   Also, Naomi chose to leave Marco, which meant leaving Filip as well (I don't remember why exactly, Marco may have hidden him) but she knew she needed to do it to save herself.  I'm not surprised the show didn't go this route; probably thinking it would make her unsympathetic to viewers.  I really appreciated this about her in the books, I thought it was an interesting decision and true to character.

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16 hours ago, raven said:

I think the show is generally kicking ass but some of the character changes bug and this was one of them.  Not so much that they brought up Filip so early - you're correct, he isn't mentioned at this stage of the story - but that Naomi brings him up in a contrite manner to Holden, talking about her ex Marco in sort of an admiring way.  In the book, at this point she was wayyy over him and knew him for what he was.   Her leaving the Roci to deal with Marco and Filip was one of my favorite bits. She tells Holden that if he loves and trusts her, he will not get in the way of her going to take care of business and that she is not ready to tell him what she's doing.   Also, Naomi chose to leave Marco, which meant leaving Filip as well (I don't remember why exactly, Marco may have hidden him) but she knew she needed to do it to save herself.  I'm not surprised the show didn't go this route; probably thinking it would make her unsympathetic to viewers.  I really appreciated this about her in the books, I thought it was an interesting decision and true to character.

Yes, book Naomi's past had more shades of grey than what was presented here. (And yes, Marco was hiding Filip from her - among her OPA 'comrades' - to keep her from leaving him.)  

14 hours ago, Haleth said:

Ugh, I'd be happier if Marco and Filip are never mentioned again.

Well, looks like we don't have to deal with them on the show anymore :(

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4 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

Well, looks like we don't have to deal with them on the show anymore :(

I know!  I feel like I jinxed it. ?

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Plenty of people feel that way. Not that it makes it any better. I've actually deluded myself into thinking the show was safe because it was an adaptation. No going off-the-rails narrative-ways *cough*BSG*cough* and an end-point in sight. They pretty much knew what they were getting into from the beginning. It was a long-term investment that would pay off if not in hard bucks then in getting back some credibility for SyFy. And that's why I grudgingly accepted the cancellation of Dark Matter - that show took too long to find its stride but The Expanse hit the ground running.

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5 hours ago, MissLucas said:

They pretty much knew what they were getting into from the beginning. It was a long-term investment that would pay off if not in hard bucks then in getting back some credibility for SyFy.

ITA.  I thought they were really committed to the show.  I watched the show first and it led me to the books and though I prefer the books (I've read them all now) the show is one I watch live and then re-watch to catch what I missed.  I can appreciate the show on its own while still book-nitpicking. 

There's a lot going on in The Expanse but it seems like it's all coming together.   There's a ton of stuff in the books and they've done a great job of adapting them.  

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I had to force myself to finish "Cibola Burn," and I couldn't even get through half of "Nemesis Games," in large part because it reintroduces a character I absolutely could not stand. 

I think the show has done a great job of tightening up the many story lines and consolidating a bunch of threads from later novels.

If the series ends with the protomolecule from Venus 

Spoiler

creating the interstellar gate, then I'd be OK with it. Someone elsewhere mentioned that might have made a good ending point for the trilogy. I agree.

Edited by SmithW6079
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On 11/05/2018 at 12:39 AM, raven said:

I think the show is generally kicking ass but some of the character changes bug and this was one of them.  Not so much that they brought up Filip so early - you're correct, he isn't mentioned at this stage of the story - but that Naomi brings him up in a contrite manner to Holden, talking about her ex Marco in sort of an admiring way.  In the book, at this point she was wayyy over him and knew him for what he was.   Her leaving the Roci to deal with Marco and Filip was one of my favorite bits. She tells Holden that if he loves and trusts her, he will not get in the way of her going to take care of business and that she is not ready to tell him what she's doing.   Also, Naomi chose to leave Marco, which meant leaving Filip as well (I don't remember why exactly, Marco may have hidden him) but she knew she needed to do it to save herself.  I'm not surprised the show didn't go this route; probably thinking it would make her unsympathetic to viewers.  I really appreciated this about her in the books, I thought it was an interesting decision and true to character.

I think the Holden/Naomi relationship, in general, hasn't been translated to screen that well. I really enjoyed the scene in the books where Holden tries to claim he loves her, and she calls him on it. But later makes it clear that they absolutely can have a sexual relationship without being in love... as long as it will hopefully lead to more than that. I just felt they went from that initial hook up to 'I love you' way too fast, but I suppose that's normal for television.

Regarding Marco, I can understand why she doesn't necessarily seem as over him in the show as she did in the books. Remember, by the time we learn of him in the books, Naomi has been in a settled relationship with Holden for some years, and is completely comfortable and secure in who she is, and what she wants out of life. This Naomi is younger, less sure of herself, and certainly less secure in her relationships. But by the time we meet Marco in the show (if we get that far), I'd want to see a Naomi who has nothing but contempt for him.

And I would also say, she still only gave Holden the very brief editorial on what happened, so we could still get a lot more detail later on (again, if the show finds a new life).

What I'm most depressed about right now is, I only recently found out that they cast Clarissa Mao, and she's due to appear this season. But we'll never get to see her character arc, and her friendship with Amos.

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On 5/13/2018 at 2:32 PM, Danny Franks said:

What I'm most depressed about right now is, I only recently found out that they cast Clarissa Mao, and she's due to appear this season. But we'll never get to see her character arc, and her friendship with Amos.

Like Filip and Marco, I can do without Clarissa.  I felt there was no way to redeem her character after her actions.

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I was willing to go along with Clarissa although her motivations were extremely murky. Marco and Filip on the other, urgh! I really dread a redemption arc for Filip. Oh, how I wish Holden had pushed that launch button!

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Based on the promo, it seems like they might be shifting some things around with respect to Naomi, maybe moving the Marco/Filip arc up? Not sure what to think of that. What does it mean for the whole gates/Ilus/Investigator storyline? Not to mention Clarissa Mao. I expect we'll get the Behemoth because Drummer has gone to the trouble to retrieve the Nauvoo, but I'm wondering what direction the rest of this season will take.  

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Interesting that they had Alex and Naomi go to the Agatha King instead of Holden.  'm glad they did away with the "Prax is a child molester" plot-line, although they also got rid of his GoFundme account.

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With the probable possible cancellation of the show and the need to wrap things up, I'm going to be very disappointed if we don't see

Spoiler

Miller pop up on the Roci.

I was so looking forward to the reaction of non readers.

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1 hour ago, Haleth said:

With the probable possible cancellation of the show and the need to wrap things up, I'm going to be very disappointed if we don't see

  Reveal hidden contents

Miller pop up on the Roci.

I was so looking forward to the reaction of non readers.

Spoiler

When Season 3 was first announced, one of the later episode titles was "The Investigator" so I guess we'll see.

Edited by Tachi Rocinante
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On 17/05/2018 at 4:01 AM, freebie said:

Based on the promo, it seems like they might be shifting some things around with respect to Naomi, maybe moving the Marco/Filip arc up? Not sure what to think of that. What does it mean for the whole gates/Ilus/Investigator storyline? Not to mention Clarissa Mao. I expect we'll get the Behemoth because Drummer has gone to the trouble to retrieve the Nauvoo, but I'm wondering what direction the rest of this season will take.  

Well it looks like Naomi will be on the Behemoth, and teaming up with Drummer to become the show's (platonic) version of Sam and Michio Pa. But that just makes me almost certain that Ashford will kill Drummer, to solidify himself as a villain. Which would be incredibly disappointing, but there's not another 'expendable' character to put in that position, that people would care about.

Clarissa, as far as I can tell, is likely to show up in the next episode. But I'm betting we don't find out who she is for a while. It would imply a bit of a time jump, for her to have reacted to her father being imprisoned, and created a new identity to head out into space for vengeance.

I don't think Marco/Filip will move up to this season, at least (which means we may never see them). But I could see the show dumping most of the drag that was Cibola Burn, and instead establishing more about the new opportunities out there in general, rather than focusing on one planet. So that could happen in tandem with Marco being introduced.

Edited by Danny Franks

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Hey, we gotta talk ... about this episode. I kind of like that they didn't waste time on setting up the salvage/film crew/"Melba" story. I'll be curious to see what they do with Anna and how much of the book version will end up on screen. But I'm mostly interested to see what happens on the Behemoth. The roles are kind of jumbled up right now -- Drummer is captain, but also briefly took on the security chief role; Straithairn stopped the spacing, but he just oozes crazy bad guy; and Naomi seems to be an officer and an engineer, but also played a part in the drug crackdown. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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Yeah, I'm sad that we didn't get "hey kid, we need to talk". But maybe that's still to come, and they just want Miller to be a more mysterious presence to begin with.

The dynamics on the Behemoth are interesting, because the immediate set up makes Drummer look like the overbearing zealot, and Ashford the reasonable peacemaker. But he could just be taking the opposite stance to her for the sake of his own goals. I'm still fearful that Drummer will meet Sam's fate, especially now we didn't get any new Belters to sympathise with.

I understand them putting Naomi on that ship, and I understand her desire to be a through-and-through Belter for the time being, but I think we're going to see her coming to realise it's no longer her place. That should be an interesting journey.

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I wonder if Ashford/Diogo wearing similar uniforms is some kind of precursor to the Free Navy.  Ashford seems to want to play nice with Naomi, which makes sense if he's working with Marco.  That'd be a book departure but it would be a way to get the Free Navy into play, trying to take control of the Behemoth, rather than Ashford going crazy.

A funny bit in Caliban's War is that Holden is trying to grow a beard so he won't be recognized as much (unsuccessfully; it's why Avasarala tells him "Captain, you need a fucking shave"). Amos grows a beard as well, only Amos's is much more successful.  This seems to be noted in the show, where Wes Chatham has a decent beard and Steven Strait does not.  I thought that was a fun detail.

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8 hours ago, raven said:

I wonder if Ashford/Diogo wearing similar uniforms is some kind of precursor to the Free Navy.  Ashford seems to want to play nice with Naomi, which makes sense if he's working with Marco.  That'd be a book departure but it would be a way to get the Free Navy into play, trying to take control of the Behemoth, rather than Ashford going crazy.

I really like this idea because I always felt the Free Navy coming out of nowhere in the books and somehow that seemed unrealistic. 

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They've introduced Naomi's backstory very early so maybe Marco isn't far behind.  There is a lot to cover unless the season ends with a cliffhanger.

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So on the latest episode of The Churn podcast, Daniel and Ty stated that the addition of David Strathairn as Ashford has helped them retool that storyline quite a bit. Increasing Ashford's role, of course, which they said they planned to do anyway, but getting Strathairn just gave them an even bigger push.

They also stated that Drummer is there to take Michio Pa's place, but with some of Bull mixed in, and Ashford takes other parts of Bull. No mention of Sam, which makes me happy, because I'm still worried they'll kill Drummer to shock the audience. Hopefully not, now they've confirmed she's taking Michio Pa's place.

On 25/05/2018 at 2:31 AM, raven said:

I wonder if Ashford/Diogo wearing similar uniforms is some kind of precursor to the Free Navy.  Ashford seems to want to play nice with Naomi, which makes sense if he's working with Marco.  That'd be a book departure but it would be a way to get the Free Navy into play, trying to take control of the Behemoth, rather than Ashford going crazy.

Agreed. I'd be surprised if Ashford didn't drop some information about Marco to Naomi, before this season is done. I don't expect to see Marco or Filip, but I think we'll find out that Ashford knows them, which would set up the Free OPA Navy storyline much more organically. I, too, got a sense that Ashford was trying to feel Naomi out, in their interactions in 3x07. He knows a lot more about her than he's let on, and it's not just that she was part of the increasingly famous crew of the Rocinante.

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So I was wondering how they were going to handle the whole "It reaches out" thing in the show. Because in the books, it was not part of any character's POV (arguably unless you consider the Prototmolecule itself a POV character).

Turns out (3x08 stuff here, don't read if you haven't watched it yet) ....

 

...turns out they had Miller say it. And damn if it didn't work. I actually guessed that this was how they'd do it (if they did it at all), but I worried it would come off as hokey. Which, in retrospect, was a ridiculously unfounded fear, because this show is almost never hokey. Having not-quite-there-yet, mumbly Miller do that line, along with the talk of the "create/exceeded boundaries/kill" cycle, worked extremely well, and it was damned creepy ("creepy AF," as the kids say) to boot.

Pretty awesome. Other than the (sad, but understandable) absence of Bull, the adaptation of Book 3 is going quite swimmingly so far. I'm really pleased.

Edited by btp
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Something about the preview makes me wonder if they're adding a time-dilation aspect to the Slow Zone.  Which makes me further wonder if they're laying groundwork for several seasons ahead, to avoid having to age the actors up at a certain point.

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On 5/4/2018 at 8:36 AM, Lila82 said:

And yet, my least favorite scene in both book and show was Miller yelling at Julie's boyfriend(?) for "letting her go", as if either man had any say in a grown woman making her own decisions.  Fuck you, Miller.  His relationship with Muss was uncomfortable and manipulative, and his obsession with Julie was creepy and unhinged.  I didn't mind him projecting his own failures into the case, but when the fixation turned into Julie herself, I found myself reading and watching with increasing levels of unease.  The Madonna/Whore trope has never done women any favors and that's what Miller did here: he idealized a woman he never met, made her bear the burden of his redemption, without ever caring about <i>her</i>.  Julie Mao was this thing to save him and give him purpose, but we never got to know her, the real her, beyond wanting to do good.  That's not a woman, that's an avatar of one, especially in the book when she becomes a literal angel to guide him through his own misadventures.  For all Holden's sanctimony, he owned his own decisions and grappled with his guilt without a pretty young thing to prod him along the way.  We don't need any more portrayals of women as innocent victims and virtuous naifs that float through life to serve as broken men's consciences.  It's a tried trope, but also a dangerous one, and significantly reduced my enjoyment of both the first book and 1.5 seasons of the show. 

I am so pleased I managed to find this post again! I read this post weeks ago and thought it was so insightful and spot-on -- I should have commented at the time, but got sidetracked... But as time goes on, I have found myself remembering this post, and wishing I'd said YES YES I AGREE, YOU HAVE NAILED IT. So now I'm going to do that. Very insightful, very apt, very well put. Thank you!

This problem felt much more evident to me in the show than in the book. Not sure why.

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21 hours ago, lidarose9 said:

This problem felt much more evident to me in the show than in the book. Not sure why.

That's really interesting.  It seemed worse to me in the book somehow.  Maybe because Miller in the book seemed more like a classic washed out detective and the whole obsession just seemed completely overdrawn and too quick.  The only thing that seemed real to me was the idea that he would continue because he had been told to stop.  But even so I never really got it there.

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Waaaait a minute.  It's been a long time since I read the books, but shouldn't Anna be on the Behemoth?

Edited by Haleth

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On 6/16/2018 at 9:03 PM, Haleth said:

Waaaait a minute.  It's been a long time since I read the books, but shouldn't Anna be on the Behemoth?

Not yet, no.

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[averting eyes so as not to read spoilers]

One of the things I've loved about the show is it's sort of old-style hard sci-fi theme of rocket ships, space suits, space stations, interplanetary intrigue, etc.  As the story seems to be moving on from interplanetary to, well intergalactic, does the story lose that old-style hard sci-fi vibe?

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On 6/28/2018 at 11:04 AM, DavidJSnyder said:

It looks like Bobbie may be along for Cibola Burn.  I wonder how they'll juggle things if that is the case.

I think they could/will skip Cibola Burn. It was a nice book and a neat story if you're invested in the overall series, but don't you think you could just as easily skip straight to Nemesis Games and keep the narrative going? You'd have to resolve the Miller/protomolecule situation, but I think they'd be losing a lot if they dropped into Ilus for a season without dealing with the situation back home, which is the key narrative for the next three books (I'm only up to seven). 

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They've been shortening up the books so I could see them spending an ep or two on Cibola Burn.  We get the dead civilization and Proto-Miller's investigation as well as Belter colonist conflict.  Then I'm biased because I really enjoyed Cibola Burn :) 

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I can see season 4 starting off with the colonists in Cibola Burn. That opening, with the scientist observing lifeforms on the colonised planet makes a good 'whoa, what the hell's going on?' opening.

Then after the opening scene, cut to the Roci, ferrying Clarissa to her trial, and establish that Amos has built a rapport with her, while Holden still doesn't want to know.

They could still wrap up that storyline in a few episodes, by perhaps slimming down the sabotage plot, and focusing more on Proto-Miller wanting to investigate the planet.

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I think they could, but they either have to do the whole season there, or skip it because the next two books are going to need a season. I think you can combine them, but I don't think you can start with Cibola and then into the destruction of Earth without then going right into Marco's war. 

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On 5/15/2018 at 5:04 AM, Haleth said:

Like Filip and Marco, I can do without Clarissa.  I felt there was no way to redeem her character after her actions.

I waqs able to relate (if not sympathize) with Clarissa more in the book the the show.  In the book, she's got monomania, rather than being a sociopath.  Her (clinically insane) obsession with Holden makes her do things that she feels very guilty about -- like "carrying" Ren about even after he's gone.  And she doesn't drop her obsession because of one short speech by Holden.

The blending of characters -- especially of Drummer as Pa and Sam -- was hell done, and I'm glad we didn't have to suffer through Ortiz.  The show's version of Ashford was a lot more balanced -- he wasn't the weak bully (and murderer) that Bull had to contend with.

All in all, I love the adaptation -- there's a real love for the books that shines through.

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Lyndie Greenwood as Elvi Okoye is such a tone-deaf casting. There are so many beautiful, dark-skinned women they could have chosen to play this Nigerian character, but instead they went for the "but not too black" option? What's worse is that they chose this actress in particular? I've side-eyed a lot of the book-to-show changes they've made that seemed to go out of their way to diminish and even demonise the black characters in the story (if not outright whitewash them like Ade) and this is just the last straw.

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On 6/12/2018 at 10:59 PM, lidarose9 said:
On 5/4/2018 at 10:36 AM, Lila82 said:

And yet, my least favorite scene in both book and show was Miller yelling at Julie's boyfriend(?) for "letting her go", as if either man had any say in a grown woman making her own decisions.  Fuck you, Miller.  His relationship with Muss was uncomfortable and manipulative, and his obsession with Julie was creepy and unhinged.  I didn't mind him projecting his own failures into the case, but when the fixation turned into Julie herself, I found myself reading and watching with increasing levels of unease.  The Madonna/Whore trope has never done women any favors and that's what Miller did here: he idealized a woman he never met, made her bear the burden of his redemption, without ever caring about <i>her</i>.  Julie Mao was this thing to save him and give him purpose, but we never got to know her, the real her, beyond wanting to do good.  That's not a woman, that's an avatar of one, especially in the book when she becomes a literal angel to guide him through his own misadventures.  For all Holden's sanctimony, he owned his own decisions and grappled with his guilt without a pretty young thing to prod him along the way.  We don't need any more portrayals of women as innocent victims and virtuous naifs that float through life to serve as broken men's consciences.  It's a tried trope, but also a dangerous one, and significantly reduced my enjoyment of both the first book and 1.5 seasons of the show. 

I am so pleased I managed to find this post again! I read this post weeks ago and thought it was so insightful and spot-on -- I should have commented at the time, but got sidetracked... But as time goes on, I have found myself remembering this post, and wishing I'd said YES YES I AGREE, YOU HAVE NAILED IT. So now I'm going to do that. Very insightful, very apt, very well put. Thank you!

I'm coming to this late but I 100% agree with this on all counts.  I found Miller to be a creepy stalker-type personality when I read the first book years ago.  When I re-read the book last year as a refresher before picking up the series again (I had dropped off at book three), I found him and his actions even more disturbing.   In fact, I was dreading re-reading the book because I didn't want to experience Miller again at all.  His character is also why I put off watching the show for so long.  

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I've so far read books 1-5, and I'm curious how the show will handle Naomi's son, Filip, in season 5. Will they make him the sullen teen we see in Nemesis Games, or keep him young and have Marco use him as more of a pawn rather than making him a full fledged soldier? And who will they cast as Marco? My mind is already whirring with possibilities 🙂

Edited by Gillian Rosh

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