The Expanse (TV show on Syfy)


I watched this Yesterday. Looks pretty cool. The CGI and zero-g scenes were pretty well made too.

Those first scenes spoiled a little too much though. Maybe I’ll get surprised what that thing was that killed everyone on that ship … but that scene didn’t let a lot of possibilities open. If they reveal it in the first season it doesn’t matter anyway.
Also really cool they made Martians different. That scene really suprised me.


I have yet to finish the books, but so far the xenotech doesn’t seem too soft. They are mind-blowingly advanced, but they seem to use (if not always follow) the laws of physics as we know them. In fact, as far as aliens are displayed in SF, they are on the hardest scale IMHO

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The interest of real Gatling guns are for cooling purposes, to avoid overheating a single cannon. But those guns mostly cool down thanks to the ambient air, which is conspicuously absent in space.
In space, you have to use radiation to cool down, and this is dependent on the surface that can radiate away from the ship (hence why real spacecraft have big radiators, comparable in size with solar panels).
It would make more sense for the guns to have, for example, a few radiator fins running its length, or a cooling system plugged in the general ship cooling system - maybe more efficient, but also more complex and prone to failure (like when a piece of shrapnel is sticking out of your cooling pipe).

All in all, Gatling guns in space are inefficient and needlessly complex compared to other system (and the rotation means they are harder to aim around very fast due to gyroscopic inertia, but that’s probably a minor problem).
You could maybe justify them for with some engineering reason, but that’s probably not the kind of guns we will see in space - if we ever see real slug-throwing guns again in space at all.
Then again, ‘maybe justify them’ is good enough to me, because they look pretty badass.
And if we go that way, the lack of radiators and visible fuel tanks await…

It’s the exact same in the book, and while I had a similar reaction, it actually works quite well - would be a surprise if it doesn’t in the show.

Only minor problem I have with the show so far is that they still fall back to this tired old “torture is acceptable to gain information” trope, even through a public organization went to great lengths to test this myth in the name of Science, and prove that it is absolutely, utterly inefficient when used that way.
Come on, people, it is a tool for terror, not information gain! You have fancy futuristic truth serums and mind scanners for that (you do, don’t you?) At least use it properly, not hidden in counter-productively black sites…
On the other hand, that one scene was an effective way to show the difference in physiology between Earthers and Belters.


Sounds interesting, might put this on my watch list


I have all the current audio books cued up ready to go but I really do prefer the visual TV to watch.

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Surely you’ve seen what kind of scientifically backwards people have run for president of the U.S. before? It makes sense that Mars is more advanced than earth if they resort to torture on Earth. (Elon Musk probably took all the brightest minds with him to Mars)

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Just wanna point out that missiles are the primary weapons in the Expanse - the guns are just part of the point defence system against missiles.


Although I watched all the Killjoys episodes back to back its not that good. Dark Matter I preferred though, deep space…

So I’m holding out hope The Expanse will turn out good over its 10 or 13 episodes.

I really wish these shows would do more episodes though, 10-13 is just not enough. 13 first pilot season and then come back for 16 in season 2. Watching back to back its all over too soon and I do love deep space Sci-Fi.

We also have SyFy’s Childhood’s End starting soon as well. Looking forward to saving all those up as well.

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They do have railguns as well, though. Not as wildly used as missiles (by military, as pirates & cie do prefer them vs hard-to-get, very expensive nukes), but still a weapon to watch out for.

At first, I was “well, not bad but that ending is bleak”, when I read it as a youngster. Note that in the translation I had, the title was completely different. And when I did find out about the original title, which kind of changed how to actually read the ending…
Well, I am probably one of the very few to hate this fraking book. It’s one of the main reasons I lost half my respect for Clarke.

#31 :slight_smile:


We will all be long dead by the time the big corporations start fighting it out in space in our solar system. Which is why I hate living in this age, space is rubbish right now, slow dangerous and we’re struggling to get humans just back to the Moon never mind Mars… but 100-150 years from, well that age might be more interesting.


Hence the “again” :wink:

Space may be a bit rubbish right now, but I wouldn’t call this age uninteresting. We are assisting to what may be the most interesting, most event-packed time in known History, a moment as important as the fall of the Roman empire but at a global, Mankind-wide scale.
And don’t sell future too fast. Depending on how things turn in our time, the next few centuries may or may not be a time you want to live in. We may have escaped 1984, but that was only one of the risks…
So sit back and enjoy our days, friend. We have the rare privilege of seeing History happening right in front of us. What do I fear in our chaotic, fast-moving world? Missing the arc’s ending, of course!


If I could go to sleep today and wake up in 150 or so years time, I would. Sign onto some deep space research/mining ship going out the Kuiper belt or beyond. I’m guessing 150 years you’d still sort of relate to the humans you met in that time. And at some point in the future humans will lick the problem of gravity and interstellar drives. Many centuries or more from now.

To go to those times, I would, in a heart beat. If we don’t destroy ourselves before hand that is. So the story of the expanse is one that really intrigues me. Many generations of Martians, and other small planets and Moons. Human once, but not so any more.

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So, i watched the first episode of this. Was pretty disappointed with the number of cliches and the portrayal of the politics in the show, then the sex scene apparently mandatory to the first episode of every scifi show or movie thesedays. The characters felt like shitty stereotypes.

I disliked it enough that i feel like criticizing it further isnt even worth it. So, there.

Oh, i should mention that the premise of stealing water from ceres struck me as one of the most idiotic motivations for slave-like colonization i’ve ever heard of. Meanwhile, the sea level is about 20 meters above new york judging by that scene with the statue of liberty. I wonder if they dammed up staten island too, or just let that flood.


Earth water is deep inside a gravity well, making it pretty economically useless. Ceres is actually trying to throw water away (as they spun it up to get the mother of all rotating colonies). And water is actually the most important resource in that kind of close/mid future industrialized space - this might be the first show ever to get that right.
Between that and vertical spaceships, there is already a lot to forgive there.

The funny thing is, those clichés totally are there, but they feel splattered on the actual story in the book. And the story in the book is pretty good, so if they continue, they will have a pretty good story with those superficial clichés splattered on, making it a net win in total.

Didn’t catch the 20 m higher sea level, though. That one was really dumb, actually.


So the show hasn’t really followed the books then. I have heard others mention this. I guess we’ll have to give it all the season one episodes to see if it redeems itself. I’ll still watch them all back to back after he last one airs.

I really want some clever complicated space scifi back on TV. There is still a chance we will be seeing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation/Galactic Empire made into a TV mini series. I read back last year that its being developed. Now that could of benefited from a HBO 10x60 minute episodes for a few seasons to tall that massive story. Deep, dark and complicated.

But I guess its too deep, dark and complicated for today’s TV audiences. I would like to see it though.

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Possibly, however it’s important to remember that on a ship many things including water act as a closed system. you get an amount of water on your ship then it’s recycled indefinitely, there is no need for ever increasing supplies. Unless there’s some other use im missing.

edit: hydrogen fuel, maybe. But it didnt look like they were using engines that low tech judging by that silly “stop in space” maneuver. I cant imagine the wasted fuel, forget their schedule nonsense.


What maneuver was silly? Did you mean they said “we need to stop to intercept the ship”?

Also, why shouldn’t they use huge amounts of hydrogen/oxygen in their engines? Maybe the whole “water is the most precious element and we are wasting it for fuel” did go full circle and went from “using water to get fossil fuel” to just outright using water as fuel and maybe that’s why water is so precious.

That’s a detail that is dropped (as in outright told to the reader) pretty casually by SciFi authors, is “The Expanse” an exception and was it never mentioned?


Couldn’t you break down heavy water to get deuterium for fusion reactors? If they’re using some sort of plasma engine then a fusion reactor to power it would make sense.

And isn’t water everywhere in the solar system? Especially in icy asteroids?


Yes but you can get extreme amounts of energy from just small amounts of that. Although, their fusion reactors could be extremely low efficiently, that would create the problem that the unusable/wasted energy would probably manifest itself as heat energy, getting rid of all that heat would be another problem.

The Expanse Thread