SyFy’s flagship space opera begins to live up to its potential as The Expanse returns to U.S. screens tonight.
The first season of ‘The Expanse’ has been something of a slow burn, only really picking up traction when the show found a home on Amazon Prime in the U.S, and Netflix in the U.K.
The show’s debut season was undoubtedly clunky and flawed, but remained compelling and exhibited the potential to become an established space opera.
Season two kicks off at 10/9 Central in the U.S. on SyFy tonight with a double-bill premier, and very quickly draws a line under the first with a neat narrated summary of events so far.
Episode 1 – Safe | Episode 2 – Doors & Corners
Immediately setting a faster pace the writers are quick to establish the political landscape. Within the colonised solar system Earth, Mars and The Asteroid belt simmer on the brink of war.
Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) returns as the manipulative master politician whose maneuvering suggests a long-game strategy that will make viewers wait to discover her true motives.
Meanwhile, amid rising tensions between Earth and Mars we find the now familiar crew of the Rocinante, a commandeered Mars gunship under the command of James Holden (Steven Strait), reluctantly allied alongside Fred Johnson (Chad L. Coleman) of the OPA (Outer Planets Alliance). A semi-militant rebellion, fighting for the rights of Belters.
With a mixed crew (Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar and Wes Chatham all reprise their roles from season one) from each planet as well as ‘Belter’ and ex-cop, Joe Miller (Thomas Jane) the Rocinante is quickly thrust into battle against an unknown enemy with superior technology and a hidden motive that involves alien biology.
The most noticeable improvement over season one is the distinction between the elements that form the overall narrative. The writers seem to have identified and carried over the strongest elements of the plot from the previous season whilst developing core groups of characters making for a better pace and clearer story telling.
Within the first two episodes there’s a good balance between action, and political posturing. Violence and pragmatism. As well as a growing sense of camaraderie between the crew of the Rocinante that encourages the viewer to root for the good guys.
‘The Expanse’ Season 2 premieres tonight | 10/9 Central | SyFy