The Expanse-Syfy

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Encuentro, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Begins 11/23 at 12:01 am ET for some reason. I think it's just the premiere episode, the entire season being released in December.
     
  2. Good cast. Wonder if Thomas Jane wears the hat in his space suit
     
  3. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Thanks for the heads up, been waiting for this one. This notion of floating a single pilot episode weeks (or months) ahead of the actual start of the series is getting annoying (High Castle did this too). What's the point? By the time the series proper rolls around, you've either forgotten what happened in the pilot or many of the details, so you basically have to watch it again to get caught up. I think I'll pass on the early pilot and wait for the actual beginning.
     
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  4. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Possibly to generate word of mouth buzz so there are strong numbers when the show starts airing later? Of course, if it sucks, you could kill the show.
     
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  5. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    Exactly right. There is a third possibility too, which tips the balance into the negative column. You might think it's not great but also that it doesn't totally suck, so you're sort of ambivalent towards it. Over an extended period of time you'd care less and less and may not bother picking it up again, whereas if the next episode was just a week away (or the whole season is available at once as per Netflix), then you probably would tune in again to see which way the wind is blowing.
     
  6. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    True. So maybe its a sign of faith in the pilot. I didn't care for it, but it seems like quite a few poeple liked the "Supergirl" pilot. Was that a real leak or a strategic leak? I know I saw the pilot for "Wayward Pines" long before the show started airing. I really liked it, and was excited to see the full show when it began airing. So it worked on me in that case.
     
  7. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    It's hard to say whether the SG pilot was a publicity stunt or not (I didn't care for it either, going by the trailers alone), but given the amount of pre-hype and advertising, it wouldn't surprise me. It worked in a sense, because the official opening ep had great ratings, but subsequently the figures have dropped quite a bit.

    Yeah, it can work either way.

    The other factor at play is that some networks produce a bunch of pilots with no real commitment to proceed to series, so they release them and see what gets buzz and then make the decision based on that feedback. I think that's what they did with The Man in the High Castle.
     
  8. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I found the pilot episode pretty good. There is a lot going on and it can seem confusing, but I think that is partly because they want it to seem like a fully formed universe with an established history that pre-dates what we see on screen. I found it helpful to watch with closed captioning on, as it made it easier to pick up some of the non-English slang words (like in Firefly) the characters regularly use. There hasn't been a good space drama since BSG. I briefly checked out Dark Matter and Killjoys, but didn't like either. Calling this "Game Of Thrones in space" is a bit much (some of the marketing for the show does this), as that's a pretty high bar, but the show is clearly ambitious. I'm looking forward to more.
     
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  9. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I haven't see the ep yet, but I did see some opening scenes. I'll reserve full judgment until I see all of it, but I must say the bits that I did see didn't fill me confidence. It had that Syfy 'surface' feel to it, indicative of a superficial, CW-esque treatment.

    In the setup it says "In the [asteroid] belt, air & water are more precious than gold". That's immediately a red flag because air and water are in abundant supply in the asteroid belt as most of the rocks are carbonaceous chondrites which contain as much as 24% water. This means you can extract oxygen for breathing...so given that asteroid mining is well advanced, air and water should not be a rare commodity. /geek_mode_off

    I hope these impressions are wrong, because I want to have a decent scifi series to watch before the next Trek series comes along.
     
  10. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I didn't get a CW feel from the episode at all. They show them mining ice for water, and there is a kinda grusome scene where a chunk breaks off and seriously hurts one of the miners. I don't know about the mining air thing. It may be that they mean people are inhabiting places (the moon, space stations in the asteroid belt, Mars) without native breathable atmospheres, not that air itself is a rare commodity. No matter how abundant or simple it is to create "air", you still have people living in places where if something goes wrong, everyone suffocates. I watched the 3-4 promo bits also available in SyFy On Demand and they didn't indicate this was supposed to be a "hard sci-fi" series. I got the impression they want to go for the feel of BSG, though I didn't get the impression there will be as much mysticism. I had never heard of the series of novels this world is based on. The tension between "belters" (their term for off world miners) and Earth humans reminded me of the setting in Heinlein's "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress".
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  11. Old Mac

    Old Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brady Montana USA
    I'm pretty sure this is based on the James S. A. Corey Expanse series of novels which are really quite good. The heart of the story is the four member crew of the Rocinante who develop sort of a Kirk-Spock-McCoy friendship/relationship. I won't say anything about the plot so as not to ruin it but, as for mysticism, there will be some strange stuff happening in the Belt. I really hope SyFy doesn't mess this up. Unfortunately, besides BSG, their original programming sorta sucks. The Expanse novels aren't hard SF as such, more of a modern Space Opera and a damn good one.

    If you're a SF fan, I'd definitely recommend these books. I think there are like 6 novels so far. Some of the best SF I've read in 20 years or so. You gotta read them in order though!
     
  12. jriems

    jriems Audio Ojiisan

    I watched about half of the pilot episode via Roku - just happened to see an "ad" for it in the menu, so I still don't know what the source of the streamed episode is via Roku. Does anyone?

    I'm going to have to go back and start all over again with subtitles on. The dialogue volume level was insanely low - I cranked the volume up an additional 15dB over the normal volume level at which I listen to Roku-sourced material. The audio quality was poor - lots of compression and artifacts like warbling "Esses" when people used them (shh-ooo-shhh-ooo-shhh). These are the reasons I gave up on it halfway through.

    Visually, it's pretty good. The SFX are decent, although there were some hinky moments like the girl's weightless hair in the beginning (concentrate on the ends of her hair).

    I also like the idea of the story and setting, so I'll give it another try in a few days.
     
  13. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    That is the series this is based on. The books are actually co-written by two men, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. "James S.A. Corey" is their joint nom de plume. Five books so far, and a sixth is to be published next year.
     
  14. Old Mac

    Old Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brady Montana USA
    Right, two guys wrote the novels together, one is basically a fantasy fiction writer.

    It sounds like you've read the books too. Just wondering if you liked them. I think this has the potential to be a knockout SF series, best done on TV as a BSG type continuing series. It's much too involved and maybe too obscure to be done as feature films but it's a great story line. As a longtime SF reader I'd love to see more quality SF on TV and these books, if done right, could be a great addition to SF cinema. If they screw it up, we've still got the books. The latest was published in hardcover instead of trade paperback so they must be selling well.
     
  15. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I haven't. Never heard of the series before this. I just watched the promo pieces on it available in the SyFy On Demand section, otherwise I wouldn't know "James S.A. Corey" was actually two guys. Speaking of SyFy doing sci-fi, I see they also have a series based on Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" starting in December. I've read Clarke's original short story, but not the later expanded full novel. I assume the sectret about the Overlord's is roughly the same, but I don't know. I'm a little less optimistic on that series based on the short bits I've seen, but I'll give it a chance.
     
  16. Scott222C

    Scott222C Loner, Rebel & Family Man

    Location:
    ÖSTERREICH

    I have read the first three books, but only the first one is really great - after book three I was a bit tired of that universe, I have already purchased the fourth installment "Cibola Burn" but somehow I don't really feel like reading it - now there is some kind of analogy to GOT because those last two books were not so great either.
     
  17. Scott222C

    Scott222C Loner, Rebel & Family Man

    Location:
    ÖSTERREICH
  18. Old Mac

    Old Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brady Montana USA
    I agree completely. His later works are a little overstuffed but still worth a read.

    Cibola Burn was a bit of a letdown but the next book (can't remember the name, my copy is currently on lend/lease) is better.
     
  19. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    I have read all of the books and novellas (fill-in information) but haven't seen the pilot. I enjoy the books which have become more complex as the series evolve and the authors embellish their "universe". I am very much looking forward to seeing the pilot and series. I hope they do the books justice.

    Concerning the "belt" many of the people are hard working and poor. The descriptions of the equipment they use amply illustrates that it is a very difficult life for many independent belters. This leads to a triangular power conflict between belters (and the new government), Mars and Earth which serves as a backdrop to many of the issues faced by the space ship Rocinante crew and their hero captain.
     
  20. Scott222C

    Scott222C Loner, Rebel & Family Man

    Location:
    ÖSTERREICH
    Did they succeed making the Belters look different ? Longer limbs etc
     
  21. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Yes, for some of them. I don't know if all "belters" are supposed to look distorted. That is something much easier to do in a book than on screen. They did show some with a stretched appearance and talked about how the hormones or medicine they got didn't correctly adjust for living in zero-G. And the detective/cop character played by Thomas Jane has a spinal defect they show, but they say he had surgery to make himself look like an Earth person. There is one belter who looks very stretched and thin that they show on Earth who has been captured and held under suspicion of transporting weapons for terrorists. The crew of the mining ship that answers the distress call looked completely normal to me.
     
  22. I was unimpressed. But. It was one episode. i have been wrong. From time to time.
     
  23. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I was unimpressed by the look and feel of first few scenes. I still haven't see the whole episode though - I'm holding off until the series starts.

    Ha, ha, same here. :)
     
  24. I hate to say it but it had the same generic feel of every syndicated science fiction series and SyFy original series I've seen (BSG and Farscape excepted).

    I also thought that the hat bit for Thomas Jane's character was a bit too much.
     
  25. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    To me it had the feel of Ascension to it, but I know what you mean.

    Were any of the characters charismatic/personable rather than generic cookie-cutter?
     

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