It looks like it has good names behind it. I bolded their names below. I wouldn't mind if the pre-premiere launch hype adds up to something good. Maybe it will further inspire SyFy to rebrand itself as the
It may be challenging to gauge what Syfy's The Expanse is all about us based on the new (and cool) trailer, but we've got some more details for you about the series, which is based on a the best-selling sci-fi book series be "James S. A. Corey" (a pseudonym for authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham), thanks to the cast and creators appearing recently at the Television Critics Association press tour.
First, check out the trailer for the show, which Syfy's president Dave Howe called the network's "most ambitious series to date." Which is saying a lot when you consider Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica remake, the current series Defiance (which is integrated with an MMORPG), and the new 12 Monkeys adaptation.
Epic in scale, The Expanse is set 200 years in the future after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective, played by Thomas Jane, and a rogue shipâ€™s captain, played by Steven Strait, come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman, but quickly evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.
Creators Mark Fergus (writer of Iron Man and Children of Men) and Naren Shankar (writer/producer for Grimm, Almost Human, Star Trek: TNG) were on hand at the TCAs to explain further what The Expanse was going to bring to TV.
"The setup of the world is that humanity has gone out into the solar system and settled, the moon, Mars and out into the Astroid Belt," Shankar said. "Thereâ€™s mining colonies. Thereâ€™s commerce. So whatâ€™s happened is youâ€™ve got humanity in sort of three different places culturally, ethnically, and to certain extent, even biologically. So we have Earth, the original planet. We have Martians, which is now an independent state, very high technology. Itâ€™s a culture thatâ€™s devoted to terraforming the planet."
"And then you have the Belt," he continued. "Which is sort of a ragtag area with astroid stations and miners and little colonies. Those are the three distinct elements of humanity. And what is happening is when people get to the point where they can identify somebody else as different from them, thatâ€™s when conflict starts to happen, when you can say that person is not the same color as you or is not the same tribe as you. That gives you a reason to fight. And part of and one of the themes we have at the heart of the show is this sense that that same quality that enables human beings to conquer space are the same qualities that cause us to fight and cause us to wage war."
Fergus, following up on that, added "We always felt that the great struggle of a lot of sci-fi we grew up on takes us into a story world where weâ€™ve already jumped over the interesting part, which is the first fumbling steps of us pushing off this planet, getting out into the solar system, sorting ourselves out as a race. All the struggle and the pain and the glory of that, usually sci-fi kind of hops over it. Everything is kind of done. And to us, we really got turned on by the books because they told of this world where 'Here is the scaffolding. Here is how it got built. Here is who built it. Here is how humanity starting looking at itself differently and getting rid of old forms of racism and creating new forms of racism.' So letâ€™s tell that story."
How long could The Expanse run for if it turns out to be a hit for the network? According to Shankar, the sky's the limit. "There are currently, I believe, four books out, a fifth about to come out and plans for, Iâ€™d say, nine, ten? So itâ€™s an amazing amount of material. Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham who are collectively James S.A. Corey, they just created a truly living, believable, fully rendered, fleshed out place. And in terms of where the series can go, it can just keep going, and thatâ€™s a wonderful thing to have underneath everything weâ€™re doing."
With authors Franck and Abraham on the show's writing team, the question was raised: Do they push back against changes from their source material? "Theyâ€™re not so worried if we play with the Lego blocks a little bit and move things around," Fergus said. "But generally Iâ€™d say itâ€™s a really faithful adaptation with opportunities that weâ€™re allowed to take in TV and also that we can slow down a little bit and fill in corners that they didnâ€™t have the opportunity to, especially in the first book. We can make their universe more rich than kind of to do the things they intended to do and didnâ€™t have the space for."
The Expanse stars Thomas Jane as a detective named Miller who's searching for a missing woman; Shohreh Aghdashloo plays Chrisjen, an assistant on Earth to the undersecretary of executive administration at the UN; Magic City's Steven Strait plays rogue ship captain Jim Holden, who's been running from responsibility his whole life; Dominique Tipper plays Naomi, the brilliant, tough, superintelligent head engineer of the Canterbury, which is a ship; Cas Anvar plays Martian pilot Alex Kamal.
The Expanse premieres on Syfy later in 2015. The first season will be based on the first book in the Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes.