The Expanse S05E01 is the first instalment in the ongoing science fiction space opera streaming TV drama series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on the series of novels of the same name by James S. A. Corey. James S.A. Corey the joint pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Thus far, there have been nine books in The Expanse novel series since 2011 and is due to be concluded with Leviathan Falls in 2021.
The Expanse is set in a future where humanity has colonized the Solar System, Earth is run by the United Nations, Mars is an independent planet and the asteroid belt has been similarly occupied by miners from Earth, colloquially known as “belters”.
The Expanse follows a disparate band of antiheroes – United Nations Security Council member Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), ship’s officer James Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew – as they unwittingly unravel and place themselves at the center of a conspiracy which threatens the system’s fragile state of cold war.
Thus far, the four seasons of the series have been well received critics and hardcore scifi fans, though without mainstream acceptance. Adapted faithfully from the novels, the plots and characterisations are very strong and while the political machinations may sometimes be clumsily translated on the small screen, it has been worth the effort watching and re-watching to fully understand the storylines.
This penultimate season chapter is mostly adapted from Nemesis Games, with some plot threads from the sixth book, Babylon’s Ashes, as well as the short story entitled The Churn.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, the first three episodes of Season 5 have been dropped and I will review them one by one in the days ahead. The Expanse S05E01 kicks off the new season providing a relative downtime for the crew of the Rocinante take centerstage more and more. The Expanse S05E01 sets up all the various plot lines that we can expect to be develop during the course of the season.
As The Expanse S05E01 begins, we witness the various crew members taking an extended furlough as the Rocinante undergoes repairs. Holden and Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) are on Tycho station, the Belt headquarters of the Outer Planets Alliance, Amos Burton (Wed Chatham) is travelling to Earth and Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) is returning to Mars.
By the end of The Expanse S05E01, Nagata has also left Tycho to be reunited with her estranged son. The common thread for the crew is ‘unfinished business’ and the character alone time is insightful indeed.
Not much happens but I love the way in which this episode was used effectively to build characters and to set up the plots to come. Can hardly wait.
… still there’s more …