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What to Watch: The Expanse

The Expanse is a phenomenal Sci-Fi show that's commonly been called "Game of Thrones in space."
The Expanse Amazon Prime

Photo: Amazon Prime

Sci-Fi geeks can get completely lost in the universe created in "The Expanse". It's an absolutely incredible show set far into the future when water has become scarce on Earth. Ingenuity prevailed and we feeble humans figured out distant interstellar travel to mine asteroids for ice. When things don't go as planned and corporate greed and conspiracy rock the universe, things begin to collapse into civil war.

There are five seasons of The Expanse currently streaming on Amazon Prime and it's one of my favorite shows ever. There is some hardcore science fiction involved with this show that makes it not only compelling but accurate. For example, gravity and propulsion.


The Expanse began as a SyFy show. It aired the first three seasons before the network canceled it. SyFy does this a lot with their shows and the good ones often slip through the cracks. That's exactly what happened and Amazon picked up the show for the remaining three seasons. This move was extremely beneficial for "The Expanse". Amazon Prime is able to take certain liberties that just couldn't be done on the SyFy channel.

The Expanse SyFy Amazon Prime

Photo: SyFy

Scientific Praise and Realism

There is a group of people known as Belters. They strictly work and live in the asteroid belt. Their purpose is simple: collect asteroids, mine them for ice, and ship the ice off to the wealthy establishments on Earth and beyond. They spend their entire lives in the zero-gravity of space so when they're on a planet like Earth, the gravity actually hurts them. It's common for Earthlings to use this to their advantage and torture Belters with gravity when they need information.

Propulsion is also a very fascinating and realistic component of this series. It's quite unlike the Sci-Fi that we know like Star Wars' light speed. The ships in this series actually have to make realistic and mathematically calculated movements to direct the ship correctly. It's fascinating and has a huge role to play in the narrative quite often. It also creates very unique space combat that is really quite smart and fun to watch.

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Plot - Spoiler Free

Humans colonized parts of the galaxy. Mars is a military beacon with a heavy arsenal at its disposal. Earth is pretty much in ruins except for the wealthy politicians who run everything. There are bases spread throughout the galaxy where Belters work and within all of this is conspiracy. Who is really calling the shots and pulling the strings? In the beginning, the viewer doesn't know but it gets fleshed out throughout the entire series.

James Holden The Expanse season 6

Captain James Holden played by Steven Strait | Photo: Amazon Prime

A group of Belters, more or less led by James Holden, discover something truly horrifying among the Belt. They find something they believe is Alien technology, the first known contact, and it threatens the entire universe. Political corruption causes tension between the planets and a series of events unfolds that makes everyone question their loyalty.

No one knows what this new technology is nor why it's been kept so secretive. The masses are led to believe the Belters are just rebellious marauders while others fight to expose the truth.

The Expanse

Detective Joe Miller played by Thomas Jane in The Expanse | Photo: Amazon Prime

Meanwhile, detective Joe Miller is hired to track down the daughter of a wealthy businessman. He departs on his mission with the goal of finding Julie Mao and discovers something much more troubling. Finding her leads him to parts of the galaxy that he didn't intend to travel to and he comes in contact with some people who lead him astray. His path inevitably leads him to cross James Holden's and their potential partnership begins a new phase of troubling discovery.

The Final Season

There is some debate as to whether or not the sixth season will in fact be the final season. The show is based on the novels by James S. A. Corey and the hardcore fans insist there is more story to tell. There are suggestions that the show could end in a spot where the last bit of the story can still be told. However, the likelihood of that is unknown so the showrunners will end the sixth season in a way that gives the feeling of finality.

The sixth season of The Expanse airs on Friday, December 10, only on Amazon Prime. Check back with On Tap Sports Net's pop culture section for more theories, news, and of course reviews!