9 Things You Need To Know About The Expanse

Premiering exclusively in Canada on Space.ca today (a whole three weeks ahead of it’s broadcast premiere!), The Expanse is a thrilling space opera that tells the story of three central characters tied together by a missing fourth: a young woman who may be the key to ending the interplanetary conflict brewing between human factions on Earth, Mars, and across the asteroid belt. Set 200 years in the future, this series strikes a perfect balance of futuristic technology and fascinating characters—played by heavy-hitters like Thomas Jane and Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo—resulting in one of the most impressive science fiction sagas in recent memory. With the first two episodes premiering in just three weeks, now’s the time to learn nine essential facts about The Expanse.

It’s a faithful adaptation of a bestselling book series


Almost everyone involved with The Expanse has made it clear that fans of the book have reason to be excited, as this series is a faithful adaptation of a bestselling collection of novels by James S.A. Corey, including Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, and Abaddon’s Gate. In one significant deviation, Chrisjen Avasarala (Aghdashloo) is introduced earlier in the series than she is in the books—but we don’t see anyone complaining.

Corey is actually two people


Before you start singing the praises of James S.A. Corey, it should be noted that this is a pseudonym for the writing team that’s really responsible for these books: Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

It’s the next Game of Thrones


Creative types don’t always like to be compared to their peers, but the cast and crew of The Expanse have welcomed comparisons to Game of Thrones. Like that popular show, The Expanse is derived from a series of dark, complex books full of shocking twists and political intrigue. Underlining the parallels, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has gone on record as a devoted fan, calling this a “kickass space opera.”

It’s smart and ambitious


If you’re a die-hard science fiction fan, you’re probably used to seeing TV shows that sacrifice brains for budget. By refusing to make this concession, The Expanse was able to attract a stellar cast, including Thomas Jane. “The fact that they were willing to spend the money to shoot a show like this in the right way appealed to me,” he told Outer Places, adding that they’re targeting “an audience that has a great appreciation for harder science fiction, or deeper sci-fi… smart science fiction.”

It brings diversity to space


The casting of TV and movies set in space tends to skew male, but The Expanse distinguishes itself with several strong female characters, and a refreshing abundance of racial diversity. The result is a complex space saga that mirrors the complexities of the real world.

A major discovery is coming


Want a better idea of what to expect in season one? We don’t want to spoil anything, but executive producer Naren Shankar says it involves “a new discovery that promises immense power that a lot of very influential and powerful parties want to control.”

If you love spaceships, you won’t be disappointed


As any fan of the books will tell you, this series is overflowing with unique spacecraft and futuristic breakthroughs in engineering. The detailed descriptions in the books are memorable, but the TV series makes an even greater impression by showing these vehicles in stunning detail.

It’s already renewed for season two


Getting into a new series can be painful, as the plug is often pulled right as things start to get interesting. Fortunately, there’s no risk of this happening with The Expanse, as the stellar first season has already resulted in a second season.

You can read the prequel now


If you’re caught up on the books and need something to tide you over until the premiere, you can dig a little deeper with Drive, the prequel story available online now.