Based hundreds of years in the future, The Expanse is quite possibly the greatest science fiction show since BattleStar Galactica. The show is currently in its third season, and as of today is sitting at a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. My bet is that you have never even heard of it. That is a massive problem. The show itself is based on a series of books written by James S.A. Corey, a pen name for two authors, Daniel Abram and Ty Franck. The show was recently canceled and a massive effort has been undertaken by the fandom to save it. With a petition that has well over 100,000 signatures, and some creativity, the fandom has officially saved it.
Set hundreds of years in the future, The Expanse takes place across the solar system, where humans have developed advanced engines allowing them to reach the furthest stars. Asteroids are being mined for riches we cannot even believe, ice is being hauled across the system to provide water to space stations, and Mars is trying to claim its independence. But within this, is what happens when a rich girl goes missing, and a rogue Ice Hauler commander sees something that he is not suppose to. It begins as a simple missing girl case, and expands to an entire galaxy.
The show is obviously more complex than this; think of it as Game of Thrones in space. It has every aspect of both literature, and science fiction featured in it. From political intrigue, to espionage, to massive fleet space battles, you will find a little bit of everything in this series. The show has developed its own culture and even its own language, which some people are apparently fluent in.
The fandom of The Expanse came to a screeching halt when it was announced that SyFy would not be renewing it for another season. There are many parties being blamed for the cancellation, perhaps one of the biggest is the deal SyFy made with Alcon Entertainment, the company that has the rights to and actually produces the series. The network only had the rights to the first run of the show, meaning that the only way they made money from the show was for people to watch it live.
To add to this, the show was available next day on Amazon Prime, meaning you could buy the episode, or the series, and watch it the day after. There are also problems with the international audience having no option to watch it live, only being able to stream it when it was brought to Netflix, six months to one year later. See the problems here?
Many people on The Expanse Reddit, and throughout the fandom, also complain about the lack of advertising that the SyFy channel has done for the show. There are many threads that have popped up speaking of how they had never heard of the show before #SaveTheExpanse. Yet now that they have given it a chance, they are hooked.
The day the cancellation was announced, the fandom of the show rallied. Fearing that the show would follow Firefly (R.I.P) they immediately began getting to work on spreading the word about the canceling and The Expanse. The fandom began to push for other outlets to pick the show up, with Netflix, and Amazon being the two major players. As Amazon has the series available for purchase, and Netflix has the first two seasons already. Multiple hashtags were born on Twitter, many videos, and articles were put out. A petition was created, which at the time of this writing has well over 150,000 signatures. However, where the fandom really began to rally, was the airplane.
Several fans put together a GoFundMe page to gather money to hire an airplane to make two, two hour flights over the Amazon Studios in Los Angeles, flying a “Save The Expanse” banner behind it. The plane showed how serious the fanbase was taking this, and people began to take notice. The stars of the show were perhaps the first to truly acknowledge the fact that there was this massive effort underway, Tweeting their support and their suggestions on how to direct the efforts. Next, several major entertainment organizations picked up the stories. Some major entertainment icons even got involved, including George R.R. Martin and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. The latest GoFundMe Page, has raised $4,000 in order to send a model of the main ship on the show the “Rocinante” actually into space via the group Sent Into Space.
As of Saturday May 26th, The Expanse has been officially picked up by Amazon to continue with Season 4 as a Prime Original Series. The Expanse is no stranger to Amazon. During most of the Amazon Kindle presentations, it is actually the first book in the series that is displayed on the device.
As a devoted fan of both the books and the show, if you have not heard of the show, I encourage you to give it a chance. It has a little bit of something for everyone. As I said before, both Netflix and Amazon have the first two seasons available. The show is extremely well cast, and has some of my favorite characters of recent memory. It has a character that easily rivals Olenna Tyrell for you Game Of Thrones fans. It fills that gap that was left by shows such as BattleStar Galactica, Stargate, and Farscape. I believe that it is one of the better shows on television right now. I believe that because The Expanse is on a streaming service, it will make the show even better, giving it more flexibility to do the books justice. Give it a chance, give it a watch.