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 Post subject: The Expanse
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:12 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Anyone know the books this is based on? They're hoping to make this a sort of "Game of Thrones" in space, and SyFy seem to have put a lot of money into it.



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Yes, please. Syfy has given a direct-to-series order to The Expanse, a new show based on James S.A. Corey's acclaimed space-opera novels, with the first season comprising 10 episodes. And they're describing it as "Game of Thrones in space." This is everything we've wanted from Syfy for years.

We've raved about these books by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck before. But in case you missed our discussions of them, here's a synopsis of how the TV show will capture their story, via Entertainment Weekly:

A thriller set two hundred years in the future, The Expanse follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship's captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

As we reported before, this show is being written and developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man). And there's a quote from Syfy President Dave Howe:

The Expanse is epic in scale and scope and promises to be Syfy's most ambitious series to date. Bringing this coveted book franchise to television with our partners at Alcon and the Sean Daniel Company is a giant win for Syfy, reinforcing our overall strategy to produce bold, provocative and compelling sci-fi fantasy stories.The Expanse joins a killer line-up of high-concept, high quality series, along with recently announced original projects Ascension,12 Monkeys, the renewal of Helix, and the soon to premiere Dominion

If they do this right, it really could live up to the legacy of BSG's first couple seasons. Fingers hella crossed!

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:46 am 
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I'm shocked and delighted. I've read "Corey"'s Expanse books and the ancillary novellas avidly. They're great noir detective/space opera mashups with a fair amount of pure horror for spice. Great characters—that's what keeps me going from book to book—what happens to them next? But the settings both within and outside the solar system are vividly and exactly drawn. And there is a solid thread of humanity throughout. SF with horror elements isn't usually founded in humane values; they go for shock. In these books they go for tragedy, which means there's also room for triumph.

I do not ever hope for much from Syfy, but they've pleasantly surprised me before. The trailer leaves me hopeful. Good cultural richness, decent effects. And they kept the hat.

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:47 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:54 pm 
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The horror elements, by the way, aren't supernatural. Everything has a scientific explanation. For me that makes it much more frightening.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:19 am 
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Horror...hm...just how much horror? I'm deeply affected by it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:40 am 
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Very encouraging to see that the Children of Men writers are involved...


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:04 am 
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The horror is relatively sparse and is never the point. The writers do a great job of using the reader's memory of particular events and images to shadow later events and build tension. The events themselves are horrific, but I think it would be possible to skim them. And as I said, the horror doesn't exist for its own sake. It's part of the story, and part of every character it touches.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Getting good reviews!

http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2 ... -in-years/

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There was a time—a long time—when every new science fiction TV series raised the same question: Is it as good as the first Battlestar Galactica miniseries? And always the answer was no. Until Syfy released the first four episodes of The Expanse, a rewardingly complex new series about interplanetary tensions after humans have colonized the solar system.

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:13 pm 
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Yes. I've seen the first four episodes and I like it more than BSG. It's complex and gritty, and the effects are excellent but in a backgrounded way, as in BSG—just further tools to tell the story. What elevates it, to my mind, is the presence of hope—there are people in this story who mean well, and some of them manage to succeed; we don't just watch them make terrible mistakes and fall into bitterness.

So far it's very true to the book, too; I could recognize almost all of the characters from their descriptions. We haven't hit the real horror yet, and the main characters haven't melded into a crew yet, but I feel confident that all this will be done well. In the books, the dynamics among the characters who are together on a ship reminds me strongly of Firefly. There's the same complicated "family" relationships, the same mutual humor, the same central importance of everyone sitting down to eat together. It's not copied; they're just both reflections of the way families work.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:38 pm 
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So I've done a little googling and its recommended for Teens and up. Would you agree? I'm happy enough watching things like Gotham and Agents of SHIELD with the whole family, but I don't let Aoife watch more adult stuff (she's 10 now but used to more adult material so long as its not too violent or sexual).

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:21 pm 
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To be honest, I wasn't watching it with those filters on, so I'm not sure. There is also some frightening and horrific imagery coming up, if it follows the books—hinted at in a flash at the very beginning of episode 1, where we see what happened aboard the abandoned ship where Julie Mao was hiding. The full reveal comes across very strongly to me even in the book. Shown visually, it might be nightmare-inducing. Or they might turn it down a notch.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:56 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Yes. I've seen the first four episodes and I like it more than BSG.


Blasphemer!! :rage: :rage: :rage:
(Says guy who's never heard of this show before.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:25 am 
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After five episodes, I'm liking this more and more. I'm very happy that a second season has already been ordered. I've rewatched a couple now that I'm trying to hook Tom, and I'm impressed with the depth of detail and the (really almost incredible) faithfulness to the books. And just the amazing background detail tossed off as if it doesn't matter, except that it's another layer in the depth of this show.

And it's deeply political. Without being boring.

Spaceships make noise. That's my only gripe, and that's a battle that I think is lost until more people know how vacuum actually works.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:12 am 
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I've now seen nine out of ten episodes of the first season, and I'm beginning to think this may well be the best science fiction television I have ever seen. I strongly, strongly recommend anyone who is intrigued by the descriptions here to seek it out. You won't be sorry. It's intelligent, frightening, moving, and deep. SF where the moral dimension is a powerful part of the plot. That comes straight from the books, where characters also have religious beliefs (of many kinds, but it's surprising how completely absent religion is from much of the SF canon). And even marriages and children (gasp!), which are even more rare. And politics. There is politics, but not of the axe-grinding kind (to my taste).

And I have gotten Tom hooked. I'm watching it with him, second time for me, and it only seems even better. And (a minor issue, but still important to me) the effects are splendid: future technology well thought out and flawlessly depicted. Details like how an elevator from one part of a space station to another would work, all solidly plausible. And they aren't afraid to depict how gravity works realistically (that in space, there isn't any except in a ship under thrust or in a body artificially spun up to produce it; and then there are oddities with how liquids flow, etc., all clearly shown by a character pouring tea).

But at the heart of it is the characters, who are flawed and three-dimensional and real; the dialogue is heartfelt and painful and sometimes very funny.

Go see this, dammit! It's on demand on Comcast, anyway, through the end of the year, will surely come out on disc and download, and is well worth your time if you're still reading this rant.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:41 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Very duly noted. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:54 pm 
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I've only watched the first episode, and I feel like I need to watch it again... it hits the ground running and expects you to keep up. Feels like I'm gonna love it though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:25 pm 
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It's unusual for TV science fiction in that it does what good SF books do: the reader/viewer is expected to put together an understanding of the times and culture of the story by absorbing details of setting, behavior, dialogue, etc.—there's no overt explanation of anything.

It's not an impossible learning curve (and it's fun for anyone who likes this aspect of good SF), but watching the first episode twice is probably a good idea, unless you've read the books.

The adaptation continues to be extremely close to the book. Characters, too.

I've preordered book 6 from Amazon—it doesn't come out until August, but I want to get it the day it comes out.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:53 am 
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Sounds intriguing. I'll take a look when Agent Carter is done. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:26 pm 
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I just bought the book "Leviathan Wakes" but haven't listened to it yet. I didn't know a TV show was happening. I'll put the book aside until I find a way to see this. Hmmmm.......

Ha! It's on Hulu! :D I can already see where this month's allotment of bandwidth is going to go. :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Expanse
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:54 pm 
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I think I need to see it, now that I can binge on my Streaming Stick.

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