Here at Star Name Registry, we love ourselves some science fiction! Considering we spend our days naming a star for each customer that comes to visit our website. Whenever we dedicate a star, name a star, or register a star we always have our eye on the expanse that is outer space.
And speaking of the Expanse, now seems a good time to mention the very recently un-cancelled TV show of the same name.
If you haven’t watched the show yet, it’s definitely worth your time if you love Science Fiction. Here are 5 good reasons to start getting into this amazing – just when it gets un-cancelled too!
5) Noir + Cold War Intrigue IN SPAAAAAACE
The Primary conflict that drives the plot is a looming war between the two interstellar superpowers, the UN (Earth and the Moon) and the MCRN (The Martian Colonies), with the Belt (colonies that lie within the asteroid belt) being caught in the middle. While that contextualises the setting very effectively is much of the story is told from the perspective of a hard-boiled detective. While it takes all of the first season for the two plots to converge when they do they compliment each other very well.
4) Accurate science
As good as many science fiction shows are, they tend to lean to a more fantastical idea of how space travel and science work. The Expanse, in contrast, fully embraces scientific accuracy and uses it to drive the plot forward; a good example of how this is demonstrated is in how Martian society represented. Their vision of terraforming Mars and subsequently giving it a breathable atmosphere is what gives Martians a drive. However, much like our current understanding of science, such an endeavour will likely take decades, if not several hundred years. But the cold war with Earth means that the Martians must invest much of their resources into their military rather than their terraforming operations, creating resentment from toward Earthers.
The one aspect of the show that’s based on more speculation that current understanding of science involves the alien subplot. Unlike most alien subplots, however, the alien entity is never clearly defined and seems to be more existential in nature. It’s the one part of the show that deliberately defies reality, and juxtaposing it with the more grounded tone of the political and noir-inspired plot only makes this perspective of the show seem all the more intriguing.
2) Great characters
Any piece of fiction survives by the strength of its characters. Happily, the Expanse has a fantastic cast that really sells this amazing world that they inhabit. Holden is a man raised to start a revolution, Miller is a grumpy detective, Naomi a former freedom fighter, Amos a killing machine, and Alex an ex-soldier with a strong sense of duty. The comradery they develop is slow, but it feels earned. Like all good dramas,’ their characters inform the plot, not the other way round and we get genuine consequences for their actions and inactions.
1) Amazing world (or solar system) building
When it comes to any type of speculative fiction, be it science fiction or fantasy, the writer needs to make the world believable and feel lived in. While the Expanse is set in a possible future, the creators still had to create about 300 years of history for that period and make the colonisation of the Solar system appear as something that happened years ago. The Expanse pulls this off perfectly, and it does it my highlighting little details that you might not notice, but enrich the world as you watch. For example, the Belters are shown as having their own Pidgin. A Pidgin is a language that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. Considering that humans from a multitude of backgrounds will have ventured into space, with different languages, it’s no wonder they would develop their own unique mode of speaking from different sources. It’s these little touches – and there are many of them sprinkled through the show that gives it that extra edge that makes it one of the best shows in modern television.
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