The Expanse Is Back and SO AM I!

Beltalowdas the time has come, at long and agonising last. We are blessed. We are rewarded. The fruit of our labour is almost in our grasp. Amazon has released the first trailers and clips for The Expanse.

We all know the story of what brought us to this point. What is now over a year ago (no, really) shortly after the finale of the outstanding third season of the sci-fi smash hit, fans and critics alike were stunned by the news SyFy had cancelled the wildly popular show. While everyone, including the cast and crew, were shocked, it took only a matter of days to organise a campaign to save The Expanse. Appeals were made on all levels to prospective new networks, social media was weaponized to raise the series’ profile, planes were flown over media headquarters, and a mini Rocinante was floated into space. The call was heard, prayers were answered and, let’s be honest, people who like money just used their common sense. Before very long we were rewarded; Amazon Prime picked up the show, promised long term security and boosted the budget. Turns out, getting cancelled was the best thing that could have happened to The Expanse.

Of course, this whole … adventure has caused some delays in the return of the beloved sci-fi epic to our scenes, and I know I don’t need to tell you it’s been hard. I wouldn’t go so far as to say at times it was like being lost in a desert without water, but you know … it has. And the water is flawless science fiction excellence.

At last the time is here and it is with absolute and pure delight I present the long, long-awaited trailer for Season 4 of The Expanse.

Last season we were left on that spectacular revelation that the Protomolecule is not necessarily a weapon sent to harm us by some ancient alien race, but was the means to build a kind of gateway that gives humanity access to hundreds of new galaxies and the thousands of new planets that reside within them. Season 3 ended with our heroes and humanity on the verge of the greatest expansion of our entire history, as we prepare to, for the first time, leave our own solar system.

While the trailer for Season 4 doesn’t give too much away, it’s abundantly clear we will rejoin the story after the expansion has already begun, with the Roci crew landing themselves on a planet called Ilus — referred to as New Terra — and encountering the rough and ready settlers already occupying the land. The group is led by the mysterious Murtry (Burn Gorman of Torchwood fame), some sort of corporate ghoul who looks to be a possible villain for the season going forwards. The story seems like it will centre around some sort of strange discovery on the new planet and the fallout said discovery causes for different factions residing in the settlement. The action is not just planetside and it’s clear there’s no shortage of the space battles, zero-g action, nor the political intrigue that made the previous three seasons so adored.

Returning are Holden (Stephen Straight), Naomi (Dominique Tipper), Amos (Wes Chatham) and Alex (Cas Anvar) crewing the Roci, and Bobbi Draper (Frankie Adams) who is not in the book on which this season is based, is not amongst them. She does appear in the trailer but it’s not clear yet how her story will fit in with the others. Back on earth, Chrisjen (Shoreh Agadashloo) is World-Presidenting her heart out while looking KILLER and elsewhere, the beloved Belter, Drummer (Cara Gee), is back on her feet and at the helm of the Behemoth.

As I mentioned above, the trailer doesn’t give too much away about what might be happening, and even the five minute clip showing the crew walking onto an alien planet for the first time is literally … just that. It’s excellent and thrilling and beautiful (and it already looked so good before the budget boost), but other than some hints into the kind of challenges Naomi, a space-born Belter who has never been on a planet in her life, and a visual introduction to a beat-up looking Murtry, there’s very little to work with and pick apart.

I’m still so excited that I’m going to try. This just looks excellent, it looks so well-done even with the little glimpses we have. What are those huge, weird spine-looking things on the new planet? They reminded me of the ‘trees’ in the movie Pitch Black, which turn out to be the skeletons of great alien dinosaurs.

What does Holden touch and what does it seem to activate? Given what we know about the Protomolecule, there’s lots of room for the show to explore other ancient alien technology they may find on these planets (or maybe not so ancient, maybe new, and maybe they find the owners, too), so it’s really exciting to see that they seem to be sticking with that theme. Plus there’s the suggestion Holden specifically can activate things, perhaps because of his still-mysterious link to some sort of consciousness within the Protomolecule itself. Does Holden just have a cool new skill? Or given what we’ve seen the molecule do, could this neat trick be more sinister?

Seeing the gang on a planet is an absolute trip and I’m really curious to see where they take the difficulties this change causes for Naomi, in particular. She’s always been in her zone during previous seasons, the most comfortable and at ease in space because she was born and raised there, but for the first time, we’ll see Naomi deal with concepts that are entirely alien to her. Tipper is going to crush these scenes, I can already tell and seeing her play a Naomi who will be off her game for some of the season will be thrilling.

Murtry (Gorman) definitely appears to be our primary antagonist but what makes the trailer really interesting is that he doesn’t seem to be squaring-off with Captain and leader, Holden; rather … Amos. This is an interesting choice, especially when the actor who plays Amos — the adorable and wonderful Wes Chatham — has stated the new season will delve into Amos’ very dark past and more of his inner workings. I am delighted by this possibility, as I’m sure are many others. Amos is a fan favourite for a million different reasons, not least of that he’s far more complex, nuanced and layered than his character type would normally be. The idea we’ll get to dig into some of his stuff, with Burn Gorman opposite Chatham? I literally wished for something like this.

Until we get more footage there’s not much more to say but we are back. The Expanse returns on December 13th, Keep an eye on Oohlo for any new clips, pics, whatever we can bring you.

We’re back, Beltalowdas.

Nadine Morgan

Nadine Morgan is really terrible at the ‘About You’ part of life. Nadine developed her reviewer skills writing epic facebook rants about the details script supervisors forget and trying to explain why Carol on The Walking Dead broke Lizzie by accident. Nadine loves TV, film and books but she wishes someone would pay her to be the continuity editor. She can be found on Facebook and in her forest garden and if she’s not yelling at her TV she’s trying to convince a cat to be an Instagram model and refusing to let 90's fashion die.

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