SyFy’s the Expanse: Why it Could Be the Best Thing Ever – Or the Worst…

Some Ship... Somewhere... (The Expanse)
What ship is this? Beats me.

Wow! Syfy is the best! An Expanse TV show! Syfy is the best! Oh, wait. I remember Ascension. Oh, no! Anyway, if you read my previous post, on Leviathan Wakes, then you know that Syfy is picking up the sci-fi thriller series The Expanse for a TV adaption. How do I feel? I can’t wait! Unless it’s bad, in which case, I’ll be really angry. Seriously, Syfy. Don’t screw this up.

Let’s talk about Ascension! I know, a lot of you (myself included) would immediately like to say “let’s not”, but before we get too hasty, I think that Ascension can give us good hopes (or bad expectations) for what’s to come in The Expanse.

For starters, there was one of the most obvious things in Ascension, sex. Now, I already have seen the hint of a sex scene in the trailer for The Expanse, which is kind of worrying. The fact that Syfy made the conscious decision to put it in the trailer means that they are using it a selling point, and they also made the scene happen in zero gravity. That didn’t happen in the book. So, yes, I am worried that Syfy will use sex as a selling point, just as they did in Ascension. Hey, maybe they’ll even put together a relationship tree. (Not that the book needed one)

Detective Miller and his Existent Hat (The Expanse)
Hey, at least they got the hat right!

Everything’s contagious on Syfy. Seriously, I’m sure half of their scripted series involve some sort of dangerous virus or pathogen escaping and trying to kill everyone. But that’s sort of what The Expanse does too. Inside Leviathan Wakes and it’s sequels, there’s a protomolecule that acts like a virus, infecting people and changing them into something non-human. They are constantly referred to as “zombies” in the books, but they are never really treated like them. There are really no survival aspects of the book, or points that I found to be overly or unnecessarily horrific.

In the novel, the alien protomolecule was launched at Earth by a powerful extraterrestrial civilization, with the intent of sculpting the then single celled organisms we were into something completely different. But, it collided with it’s worst enemy: Saturn. It was trapped near the ringed planet for billions of years, until one of the villains unearthed it. In this case, the villains weren’t really the protomolcule, but the humans who had weaponized it. The only reason the protomolecule’s victims were turning into zombies was because the virus was designed to transform single celled organisms, not the advanced creatures that we are today. All of the “zombification” is because the protomolecule has to work with our bodies. If Syfy turns the really innovative concept of an alien virus that isn’t scary on it’s own, but is once the humans get their hands on it, into some generic zombie show, then I’ll be really disappointed.

The Belt (The Expanse)
I think I can see the protomolecule from here.

Also, they seem to be changing the plot up, to my disbelief. There’s a really great character that comes in for book 2, Caliban’s War, and they seem to be adding her to the first season. Now, this wouldn’t usually be a problem, but all the evidence has been pointing towards Syfy doing one book per season, so they must be changing up that character’s role, or just introducing her earlier. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does create something new. Again, new isn’t necessarily bad (it may actually be better), it just that I won’t know what to expect the moment I tune into the channel (or watch the recording, more likely.)

Anyway, I’m going to tell you all exactly what I tell my friends whenever they ask me what I think about Batman vs Superman, or Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or Star Trek XIII (the working title is apparently Washington – seriously: Memory Alpha: Star Trek XIII). I’m not expectant, but I am hopeful. And seriously, if this turns out bad, it will be bad. And because it’s Syfy, then my parents will somehow get the crazy idea into their heads that I’m reading space porn in my downtime. Which I am NOT. So, seriously. Don’t mess this up.

EDIT: The first season is out, and I’ve posted a full review of it, which basically means a lot of yelling. Read it here.


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