The Expanse

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Flyfalcons

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I'm something like six episodes in to the first season. At some point, this is supposed to become good?
 

Marc_G

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I'm something like six episodes in to the first season. At some point, this is supposed to become good?
It took me pretty much the whole season to lock in and decide I liked it. Through season 2 it became one of my favorite shows currently. I'm just a few episodes into season 5 and consider it among the best scifi shows ever.
 

Bill S

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I'm something like six episodes in to the first season. At some point, this is supposed to become good?
If you aren't getting interested by episode 4 (CQB), then maybe this isn't for you? It is a slow burn to get to the big action, so some people don't have the patience to stick with a show like that.
 

Wayco

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We just started season 3, and rationing ourselves to no more than two episodes a night. There are some scenes that you have to suspend logic, and occasionally an actor is less than convincing delivering their lines, but overall, we are enjoying this series.
 

Joshua Smith

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I'm something like six episodes in to the first season. At some point, this is supposed to become good?
I didn't like the first season that much. I actually stopped watching it sometime during the 1st season years ago. A coworker told me to go back to it a year or two later and I did, and I do like it very much now. I can't say exactly when I I started liking it however, maybe late S1 or early S2. I will say the tail end of S3 is really good, tho it made me fear that S4 was going to get whacky, but it didn't. You can really tell when Amazon takes over at S4. It gets grittier and they definitely take advantage of not being on cable anymore lol
 

Joshua Smith

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We just started season 3, and rationing ourselves to no more than two episodes a night. There are some scenes that you have to suspend logic, and occasionally an actor is less than convincing delivering their lines, but overall, we are enjoying this series.
Amos' character really grows a lot in the later seasons (and the early acting might be a little shaky), which I find very interesting, especially as they start to explore his back story. The character focus is spread out more in S5 so far, which is also nice, not entirely focused on Holden
 

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The show gets better after the first season with all that proteus crap.....it finally moves on to more relevant issues. So you could give up now, but there are some cool concepts ahead.
 

heada

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I haven't read the books but I plan to so I don't know if the books are like the show.

The issue with season 1 of the show is that it just dumps you into the middle of the story and you have no history or back story and so its confusing and seems really slow. By the end of season 1, you have enough of the story and some history for it to make sense and it has picked up speed. There is a lot of development and interaction that happens in later seasons so if you can make it through to the end of season 1, you should be good for the rest. That said, not every show is right for every person so no harm if it isn't your cup-o-tea.
 

kuririn

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Saw the latest episode.
Just when I thought the episodes couldn't get any better I'm happy to be proven wrong.
Some thought provoking issues here.
Like how millions of people can follow a leader who commits atrocities.
Or if a bad person who leads a good life is really bad.
Very deep.
Luv it.
 

Joshua Smith

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Saw the latest episode.
Just when I thought the episodes couldn't get any better I'm happy to be proven wrong.
Some thought provoking issues here.
Like how millions of people can follow a leader who commits atrocities.
Or if a bad person who leads a good life is really bad.
Very deep.
Luv it.
Same. And, it just so happens to involve more Amos back story which I like. I had to actually go back a season or two to remember who the woman he's helping actually was.
 

neil_w

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I am now fully caught up, which makes me sad because now I'll have to wait months for any new episodes. :(

And so, lacking any new episodes to watch, I'll take this opportunity to do some nit-picking:
  1. In general, it's very hard to tell what the gravity situation is. They walk on Mars and the Moon and Ganymede and in the spaceships as if it's always 1G. The only hint that Luna was low-G was when the bottle of booze fell in slow motion through the air. I realize this would be very hard to portray on a TV budget, but still, I notice it constantly.
  2. Relatedly, I can never tell when or why there is or isn't gravity on the ships. Oftentimes I'll assume they have gravity, then someone will will leave a coffee cup floating in mid-air. My assumption has been that artificial gravity is only available when the main reactor is running, but I'm not convinced they've always been consistent about it. Either way, the fact that they walk exactly the same (using the special boots) in 0G as with gravity means that the distinction only matters when they use it as a plot point (e.g. bleeding in 0G, or objects flying around that they need to duck from).
  3. It seems like (and this is common in Space Opera) that their model of space travel assumes drag, and that they need to be thrusting constantly to maintain speed. When they need to get somewhere fast they do high-G acceleration, but then it never seems to be balanced by a longer and or harsher deceleration at the end of the journey. I could be wrong about this but it sure seems that way when I watch.
  4. Early in the series, they showed a "skinny" being tortured on Earth. But after that all belters seem to have the same physical proportions as the inners. Again, I'm sure that is a simple matter of budget and the reality of producing TV vs. a movie, but whenever they use the term "skinny" I can't help wondering why that term would even exist if everyone looks the same.
None of these issues stop me from enjoying the show (far from it) but I consistently notice them, which is mildly annoying.
 

heada

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Keep in mind it switched from SyFy to Amazon mid-way and so production and direction was wholly changed. That could account for the disconnect between early seasons and the later seasons.
 

neil_w

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I don't see a real disconnect between seasons. The issues raised above are there in all seasons.
 

afadeev

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I am now fully caught up, which makes me sad because now I'll have to wait months for any new episodes. :(
Thanks to yo'all, I got hooked on this show as well.
And binged through all five seasons just in time to watch the final S5E10 episode live, which was enjoyable.
Now I'm listening to audiobooks 6-9 while walking dogs ....

To address your observations:
1). Yeah, it's not ideal, but variable-gravity shooting has got to be both tricky and expensive. Budget wins.
2). Yes, see #1. Books are way more consistent about this.
3). Not drag. The assumption is you continue to accelerate throughout the trip as long as the ship is under thrust (at some convenient ~1G rate, unless higher acceleration rate is called by the storyline), then flip the ship 180-degress and decelerate at the destination at the same rate. Definitely the fastest way to travel, and also the most expensive in terms of reaction matter consumption. Again, this is much better covered in the books. TV series omits a lot of insightful details.
4). True, also likely due to budget constraints. Hard to simulate humanoid bodies with physical abnormalities, and still make them relatable to the audience.

There are a few large leaps of faith in the storyline.
Some of the following bug me more than others:
i). Magic "juice" to overcome physical effects of 10+G acceleration. With hardly any ill effects? Doing physiologically what?
ii). Energy required to redirect meteors towards any given target (e.g.: Earth) has to be absolutely astronomical, yet Inaros has "magical" power to wield it, and no-one else. He hasn't invented anything, just flies on bartered Martian ships, yet Martians themselves didn't have access to that energy for their own military pursuits?
iii). "Magic" stealth paint that hides enormous meteors from detection? In the book (not covered on TV), Inaros's troops steal it in the form of 4 drums from a Martian depot. Then use the contents of those infinite drums to paint and hide a nearly unlimited supply of asteroids? Never mind the challenge of painting anything without help of gravity and air pressure... ?
iv). If Inaros had unlimited supply of "magic stealth" paint, why not use it on his ships and make his fleet invisible? A lot of Inaros's troubles in book 6 come from being spotted and tracked from far far away. Would have been really handy to have been as invisible, as were his asteroids.
v). Bare-bones levels of automation and robotics in the far future. Our present-day Perseverance rover seams to be far more autonomous and capable then future ships, docks and stations. Future requires ridiculous amount of manual labor, and an entire sub-class of humanity of born to provide it.
vi). < space reserved for something else I forgot >

But all those points are minor.
The show is both filmed and written really well.

One cool video, though. Turns out the creators of Expanse took a lot of time and money to consult with JPL and CalTech on physics behind the show:
 

RobertH3

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So being an old SF reader I see the show in a different light.

- Newtonian physics instead of ww2 dogfighting that assumes drag and gravity...😊 YAY!

- if ya got it, use it. Given the premise of real deal fusion propulsion, a constant thrust course is fastest. Accelerate all the way to midpoint and then flip around and slow down. Hohmann transfer orbits between planets are very efficient but very slow. See rover mission travel time. 😊 YAY!
No beam weapons or "blasters" from 40's space opera. It's a fun thing but yay again!
Projectiles, missiles, and point defense are all easily transferred concepts that work now.
The soundtrack is not so yay, with voice disappearing into background sound. It requires mega midnight mode to pull.the voice out.

The condition of the earth is sadly realistic.

I agree that juice is a poor concept. Would have been better to limit acceleration to more reasonable values and keep your PSB (pseudo scientific BS) simpler.

Some of the story isn't up to Heinlein or Asimov "solar system" SF writingOk with that (Franck and Abraham are new)

Some of the characters are great and some are meh - Amos and the belter pirate Scotsman are real standouts 😊
but I like some characters more than others.

Any future with racing spaceships is worth living in. 🚀🚀🚀
 

neil_w

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It's only because the overall feel of the show is so much more satisfyingly realistic than most (all?) other TV sci-fi that I can nit-pick at stuff like this.

- Newtonian physics instead of ww2 dogfighting that assumes drag and gravity...😊 YAY!
Yes, 100%

- if ya got it, use it. Given the premise of real deal fusion propulsion, a constant thrust course is fastest. Accelerate all the way to midpoint and then flip around and slow down. Hohmann transfer orbits between planets are very efficient but very slow. See rover mission travel time. 😊 YAY!
They never ever show it this way, however. They always approach nose first, and turn around only at the very last moment for final deceleration before docking.

Also, I will note that they all need to strap in for high G maneuvers, but during low-G maneuvers or acceleration they all wander around in the ship unaffected completely unaffected. Does the artificial gravity compensate for *some* acceleration, but not all?
Projectiles, missiles, and point defense are all easily transferred concepts that work now.
I greatly enjoy the depictions of projectile-based battles. Of course, there would be an insane amount of debris all over the place by now. Occasionally they have to deal with debris fields, but not often.

I agree that juice is a poor concept. Would have been better to limit acceleration to more reasonable values and keep your PSB (pseudo scientific BS) simpler.
I'll be contrarian here and give a big hearty thumbs up for the juice. I especially like the way it apparently is incredibly unpleasant even to those who are accustomed to it.
 

Antares JS

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Also, I will note that they all need to strap in for high G maneuvers, but during low-G maneuvers or acceleration they all wander around in the ship unaffected completely unaffected. Does the artificial gravity compensate for *some* acceleration, but not all?
There is no artificial gravity. The decks of the ships are perpendicular to the axis of acceleration. The thrusters are underneath your feet while the front of the ship is "above" you during acceleration.
 

kuririn

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One cool video, though. Turns out the creators of Expanse took a lot of time and money to consult with JPL and CalTech on physics behind the show:
That is a great video, and it explains how the producers incorporated real physics and science into the show.
To paraphrase the show runner, "A lot of the science is shown but not explained. Because the characters would not be talking about it, they know that's just how it is. When you get into a car you don't say 'Now I'm going to be operating an 8 cylinder 400 horsepower vehicle that can accelerate from 0 - 60 in 6 seconds. You just drive it'."
The panel discussion was quite long though. But good to see the real life actors behind the characters.

According to the author the milky juice was a pharmacological solution to the problem of sustained high G acceleration's effects on the human body, like burst capillaries and blood vessels. Hey, it's the future. A hundred years ago who would have seen that we would have pills that could thin the blood and prevent clots and strokes?

Bottom line, it's entertainment. Just suspend your reality and sit back and enjoy!
Cheers.
 

neil_w

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There is no artificial gravity. The decks of the ships are perpendicular to the axis of acceleration. The thrusters are underneath your feet while the front of the ship is "above" you during acceleration.
Really, is that confirmed? That almost makes me want to go back and rewatch some to see that's consistent with how it is shown on-screen.
 

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A lot of the science is shown but not explained.
This is one of the reasons I love the show so much. I hate movies and tv shows that have lengthy dialogue to help the viewer understand. Conversations that would never take place in the world of the show. It’s obvious they’re for the viewer. It takes me right out of it. It happens more in sci-fi then other genres.

Show, don’t tell. If you can’t figure out a way to get the viewer to understand without a full on explanation, then maybe you should write books.
 

SecondRow

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Really, is that confirmed? That almost makes me want to go back and rewatch some to see that's consistent with how it is shown on-screen.
Yes. The gravity is from the thrust of the ship, or in the case of the space stations, their spin.
 

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Really, is that confirmed? That almost makes me want to go back and rewatch some to see that's consistent with how it is shown on-screen.
There is no artificial gravity in The Expanse universe. In the books and (spottily) in the series they mention magnetic boots - you can hear the sound effect sometimes - and the use of closed containers for liquids. The idea is that the constant thrust provides sufficient pseudo gravity that stuff looks reasonably terrestrial. The show does take liberties with what could be reality in order to tell the stories more effectively but regardless of how “realistic” you like your SF do you really want to watch entire hour long episodes where they sit at their ship consoles while it takes weeks to get from place to place? I think one of the things that makes The Expanse appealing to “hard” SF fans is that the technology appears to be reasonable projections of today’s tech. Of course it isn’t actually but it looks close enough that the advanced technology not only doesn’t get in the way of the story (by becoming a “wonder travelogue”) but enhances the impact of the plot lines. The books provide much more explication of the tech of course but there’s still a fair amount of “hand-wavium” being thrown around. As already stated - the series shows things without telling things - only resorting to exposition when it effects the story. There are some awkward elements in the series that I think primarily came from having to compress story elements and combine/create characters to make things work as a TV show. Still easily one of, if not the, best SF space-faring series in TV history. I can’t think of anything comparable.
 

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I loved the comment above about painting a rock without benefit of air.

Beeing a rocketeer anytime painting is involved I perk up. I would have thought stealth cloth covering the rocks would be more realistic, but that wouldn't allow the scene where they estimate original rock size based on shards partially covered in stealth paint.

One of my favorite scenes in the whole show is when they are out on the Rocci's hull changing the livery with some tool that causes color changing or erasure on the ship's skin in a programmed way. I will give up my flying cars and jet packs to have that capability.
 

heada

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One of my favorite scenes in the whole show is when they are out on the Rocci's hull changing the livery with some tool that causes color changing or erasure on the ship's skin in a programmed way. I will give up my flying cars and jet packs to have that capability.
There is laser based rust removal now. Since rust is just iron oxide, it should be theoretically possible to have a system that does other oxide removal and thus your pre-programmed color change based on selective oxide layer removal.
 

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Tobor

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Actually, there is "artificial gravity" in the "Expanse Universe". The standout for this is in season 3, when the protomolecule station within the "Ring Gateway" suddenly reduces the max transit speed rule which fubars all the ships moving at that moment. The Belter's Behemoth sends out the call to aid all ships that have lost gravity as the Behemoth has "Spin Gravity" and therefore can tend to all the wounded.
 

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