When The Expanse was cancelled by SYFY, a core group of fans, lovingly called the Screaming Firehawks, worked hard to find it a new home. In May 2018, Jeff Bezos responded to everyone’s efforts, which included flying a plane with a banner that said “Save The Expanse” over Amazon Studios’ main office, by announcing that Amazon Prime Video was picking up the show. Fans and cast and crew alike were ecstatic, and all have been waiting for the new season, which dropped on December 12th.
The fourth season is a great one (read /Film’s spoiler-free review is live), and while the core of the show remains the same in its new home, there are some noticeable differences that came with the move to Amazon. Read on to learn how the move to a new network has impacted the viewing experience of the show.
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Fans of the television series The Expanse likely know that the show is based on the books written by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of co-authors Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham. Each season roughly follows the story from one of the books, and Season 4 is no different; the main plot of the show taken from Cibola Burn, the fourth book in what’s expected to be a nine-volume book series (the eighth book, Tiamat’s Wrath, was published this year, and the final book is expected to come out in 2020).
Like most television adaptations, there are necessary differences between the source material and what we see on screen. The Expanse is no different in this regard, and there’s a lot pulled in and taken out from the books in season 4. “At the end of a season, [co-authors Ty Frank and Daniel Abraham] and I will start talking about the plan for the next year,” showrunner Naren Shankar told /Film. “I will often have my feelings about how we should adapt it, what changes we should make, but the three of us talk about those things.”
Read on to learn about some of the differences these three creative minds agreed upon for the show, including Shankar’s perspective on why some of them were made.
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The Expanse fans weren’t the only people who rejoiced when Amazon saved the much-loved series from SYFY’s cancellation; the cast and crew, who have a strong bond with their fans, were ecstatic as well, and eager to take the show to new places. “It’s exciting for us as actors and also for fans to get a new version of their favorite show,” Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi Nagata on the series, told /Film. “Obviously it still has all the things you know and love, and the characters you know and love. But there is a widening of perspective.”
Tipper’s description is an apt one—The Expanse is thriving in its new home. Not only has Amazon Prime Video given the show significant promotion in the lead-up to the drop of Season 4 on December 12th (a day earlier than advertised, no less), but also in terms of the quality of the actual show. If you haven’t watched the new season yet, check out /Film’s non-spoiler review from a couple weeks ago, which explores why this season is just as good as the ones before it, if not better.
If you watched all ten episodes, however, read on for a spoiler-full take on some of the major occurrences of the fourth season. This is your final warning: spoilers abound below, so read on at your own risk.
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Perhaps the most obvious change in the latest season of The Expanse is the show’s move from SYFY to Amazon. And yes, that move does come with a lot of changes: the show is now bingeable versus a weekly watch; episodes are streamed uninterrupted versus being broken up by commercials; and the characters throw out swears like they’re going out of style instead of the mere sprinkling of F-bombs when it was on SYFY.
These are all significant changes. A whole article could be written just about how the move from SYFY to Amazon impacted the show. But for this non-spoiler review of the fourth season’s first six episodes, the changes that are most important are the ones to the story, of how the activation of an ancient alien ring station opened portals to thousands of planets that could support human life.
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Next month brings the return of The Expanse, the show that SyFy axed last spring, but was saved by Amazon for a new season. In season 4, the crew of the Rocinante is being sent through the Ring Gate to explore a new world. A group of refugees has already claimed the planet as their own, and attempts to get the situation under control have failed. Now the crew must figure out how the mission went wrong, and what mysterious power makes the area dangerous for any new inhabitants.
Below, you can watch The Expanse season 4 trailer below, and if you like what you see but you’ve never seen a single episode, you can also check out a recap of the first three seasons from Kevin Smith to get you caught up before the show returns. Read More »
The Expanse is making a miraculous comeback this year after being put on the chopping block after the third season. SyFy canceled the series last spring, but Amazon swooped in to save the day with an order for a fourth season. Today, the show made a triumphant return with a new trailer that debuted at New York Comic-Con, revealing what new worlds the crew of the Rocinante will be exploring when they go beyond the Ring Gate. Watch The Expanse season 4 trailer below. Read More »
Amazon already saved The Expanse, and now they’ve decided to keep this train moving right along. The fourth season hasn’t even arrived yet – it won’t until December – but Amazon has gone ahead and ordered The Expanse season 5. The series originally ran on Syfy, where it amassed a passionate following. And it was strong enough for Amazon to swoop in and rescue the canceled series.
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Fans of the science fiction series The Expanse pulled out all the stops when the Syfy channel cancelled the show last year, and their passion paid off in a big way: after flying a #SaveTheExpanse banner over Amazon headquarters, Amazon Prime Video snatched the show from the jaws of oblivion and renewed it for a fourth season. The cast and creators weren’t able to make it to New York Comic-Con late last year because they were filming, but they all made the trek for a San Diego Comic-Con panel and brought the first season 4 trailer (and a new clip) with them. Watch them both below.
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Fans of The Expanse are thrilled that the sci-fi series has been saved by Amazon Prime, but perhaps none more so than the cast of The Expanse. After the show had a brief brush with death following its cancellation by Syfy earlier this year, The Expanse was rescued by Amazon, which renewed it for a fourth season. Production is currently underway on the new season of the beloved series, which you can take a look at in Amazon’s behind-the-scenes look at The Expanse season 4.
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The story of Amazon Prime Video picking up The Expanse for its fourth season is a true fairy tale about fandom, one about how thousands of people from different backgrounds connected across different parts of the internet to launch a campaign, that in a few short weeks, saved the series from cancelation (check out the “The Expanse Lives” fansite to get a detailed account of the fans’ efforts, which included flying a #SaveTheExpanse banner over Amazon Studios and launching a model of the Rocinante — the ship the crew lives on in the show — into actual space).
This story is also proof that hardcore fandom can be a force for good, how the hard work of dozens of dedicated volunteers and the passion of thousands of additional fans who supported them, kept the show alive. “It’s a very strong fanbase we’ve got for the show,” explained actor Cas Anvar at an Expanse Q&A panel at Atlanta’s Dragon Con this weekend. “Science fiction fans I think—and I’m a huge science fiction fan—we appreciate when we are given intelligent, layered and textured stories. And if you try to take that away from us, you’ve got to be prepared for a fight.”
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