'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Expanse: Season 3 (and the show in general).

This is of course largely a gaming blog, and aimed at the pulp genre of the early part of the last century. How futuristic sounding is that? That being said we take ideas and inspiration from everywhere and there is a lot of good content out there these days. Despite my feeling that more and more people simply do not read books, we have a plethora of authors out there writing and creating worlds.

The Expanse is, IMHO, some of the content that you should be consuming on the sci-fi level. Written by James S.A. Corey, the series tells the story of humanity in the near future. Earth, Mars and the Belt working to survive at odds with each other. This post is about the TV show running on SYFY, but I think you should pick up the Expanse novels as well, and the first three are on sale AND on Amazon Prime right now!

April 11th saw the debut of this much loved series, and I got to sit down and watch it last night on Google Play. True to form, the opening of this season was tense and full of action. The story arcs of our main characters are told and they themselves as people grow. We see some characters step up and be incredibly bad ass in their environment, while others we know to be strong be forced to take the back stage. The TV series doesn't follow the books exactly, or maybe not at all. They tell the same story. They follow roughly the same story paths, but apart from that the writers have taken the material and pulled it apart and rewoven it into an exceptional TV show with compelling on screen characters.

Do I think this is a perfect show? No, but I was looking forward to the new season. So what don't I like? Casting wise the characters have grown on me and I understand the reasoning behind not using really famous people. Having read the novels, as is often the case, the characters didn't fit how I had imagined them, sometimes strikingly in some ways. The actors have grown on me and more often than not when I am reading the novels they have supplanted my original imagined views of the characters.

Specifically in Episode 1 of Season 3, I liked it all. As I said it was tense and well executed, I don't recall any time where it was slow, we had some excellent character growth and a few revelations. As well there were a few well timed moments of levity to ease the tension. The worst single part of this show right now is that I need to wait a week till the next episode. Is this really how we watch TV now? :(

If you like Sci-fi and are not watching this, you need to. If you like Sci-fi and are reading this and think my praise of the show is misplaced because you couldn't get through the first few episodes, I urge you to try again. This show is smart and visually pleasing. The near future version of space travel and combat are well conceived in the novels and executed well on the screen.

The Expanse on TV gets a solid.....
4 out 5 Skulls of My Enemies!

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