The Expanse S4
IMDb rating: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
Described as the “best sci-fi show you’re not watching”, the fourth season of The Expanse is now on Amazon Prime. The series is based on the books by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (published under the pseudonym James SA Corey) and is one of the most beloved in the science fiction community, both for its characters and for its world-building.
When the TV series was cancelled after three seasons by Syfy, fans were elated when Amazon swooped to the rescue. The fourth season starts a bit slow, but as The Verge says: “It feels like the start of a grand second act”, even claiming that it feels a bit like Battlestar Galactica. No complaints there!
The Expanse takes place hundreds of years in the future, in a universe where humanity has colonised the solar system. Factions emerge: the Earthers versus the military power of Mars, and the “belters”, who mine the asteroid belt for minerals. Season 1 kicked off with a missing girl and a detective (played by Thomas Jane) who must find her. We’re also introduced to United Nations Security Council member Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), ship’s officer James Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew and more characters who are caught up in a conspiracy that eventually leads to the discovery of alien life.
Season 4 picks up straight where Season 3 left off, as humanity is grappling with the news that there are other worlds and civilisations. The first thing we do? Why, send a research team from a mining company to see what minerals there are on Ilus aka “New Terra”. The mission does not go well, and the United Nations must send a gunship to intervene. While the first three seasons flesh out the class systems and structures of society in the Expanse, this season looks beyond the front yard of our solar system to galaxies beyond and what the discovery of extraterrestrial life might reveal about humanity.
The Expanse has been renewed for a fifth season by Amazon (and there are nine books in the series).