The Expanse
The Expanse promotional poster

If you happen to be a science fiction diehard like me, you might have noticed news surfacing about the cancellation of an awesome show called The Expanse on Syfy.

The Expanse follows the crew of the Rocinante and Captain James Holden as they navigate our local solar system. In this palantir into what our future holds, Mars has become an independent military power just like its namesake while the Asteroid Belt has become colonized by miners sending resources back to Earth and Mars (the inner planets, as Belters call them). Earth and Luna (our lovely Moon) are one empire under the United Nations leadership.

The Rocinante
The Rocinante

The world of The Expanse is just damn beautiful. Let me explain further. When I started this blog, I was mostly fascinated with Mars and what a colony sent by Earth would look like on the Red Planet. Sure, I’d want to explore an independence movement of a potential Martian nation, but the thing is, in The Expanse, it has already happened. What The Expanse has given us (which in my mind might be even more important than Mars) was a glimpse into the Asteroid Belt and what happens when humanity has colonized it. Belters live in the most extreme conditions deep in space shipping goods back to Earth while developing growth defects due to living in microgravity. Their language is an English Creole of Spanish and French and with what feels like an Asian twist to it.

What’s even infinitely cooler is all those asteroids you get to visit and learn about in the Belt and all the cities built on them and across the Jovian and Saturn moons. Ceres, Io, Eros, Phoebe, Ganymede. I didn’t even look up those names to remember them, the show just keeps referring to them! The Belters use hand gestures a lot to convey meaning, and that is due to the amount of time they spend doing spacewalks either mining or repairing their stations. Staying there for long hours had them develop many ways to communicate just by hands, and that becomes a unique part of their culture. You’ll never find a more mesmerising and scientifically accurate depiction of what colonizing space looks like.

But that’s just the setting, we haven’t even talked about the characters. The mastery of character development by James S.A. Corey, the pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, can be currently matched only by the wizardry of George R.R. Martin. The set of diverse characters from all walks of life is phenomenal. One of the most influential people on Earth is an Indian grandmother who has a way with words that is probably going to be unrivaled in space for decades. Another, a Belter of Indigenous descent, has one of the most memorable and cool accents you’ll ever hear in a space show. The actor performances are top notch, with many hard hitters and new faces all clearly passionate about the show.

All of that makes for a very good story with strong chemistry and an engaging plot line, but that isn’t enough reasons to why we should support The Expanse and have another studio keep it alive. That’s just the tip.

The reason to save The Expanse starts with how it can eerily portray our future. The world is more open and that gives us hope, but the world still has its problems. Global warming causing ice cap melting over time has New York Island surrounded with anti-flooding walls, along with the rest of the world. Although Earthers aren’t feuding among themselves over race, gender, or sexuality, humanity is still pretty much the same, where the fighting between different planets is based on what type of gravity well you grew in, or in the case of a Belter, the lack of one. That immediately gives a feeling of us vs. them, and you just can’t help but root for the Belters.

The Expanse cast
The Expanse cast

Furthermore, this is the type of show that is inspiring a lot of space exploration fans. There hasn’t been a show this good that has gotten people more excited about shooting for the nearby planets than The Expanse in the last 5 years. My main goal behind starting this blog was that I wanted to do the same thing in the hopes of inspiring more people to want to think about the possibilities of Mars. The Expanse takes this vision on an Epstein drive much deeper in space and shows us what a space faring species looks like while still remaining so familiarly human.

Most The Expanse viewers also follow up on what NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are up to. Others are just curious enough to want to explore more. The fact of the matter is, you will not find a bigger advocacy for reaching the cosmos than this show and the world it brings us.

And yet, Syfy decided it won’t continue to fund the development of the show, citing dwindling viewership on TV, which is the only way it can make money (the arrangement is with other studios making money on the online content sales and streaming). All the loyal fans don’t watch the show on cable. They actively buy it on Amazon or watch it on Netflix. They support the authors by buying both the books from Audible or the novels and novellas for their Kindles. For a network called Syfy to rely on the outdated model of making money purely through live viewership and advertisements is pretty ironic. They don’t deserve the name and they don’t deserve The Expanse. I’ve tweeted at Jeff Bezos to try to point this out and why Amazon would benefit immensely from a show of such high quality as The Expanse. We can only reach out, reach out, right now.