I had read the first three books in The Expanse series in such a breathless rush it’s now hard for me to remember all the exact details. It was just flowed so well and was populated with great characters, pithy dialog, serious stakes, and plausible science. The kind of science fiction that should be commonplace but sadly is not. When it was announced that Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck had sold the rights to the first three books in the series to the SyFy network I was troubled.
SyFy had a bit of a troubled reputation with people like me. For years they had been quite light on actual science fiction and fantasy content, content to run wrestling matches and C-movies like Sharknado. Not exactly any genre fan’s ideal for a cable network. Then SyFy acquired The Magicians, another series of books I loved. It became apparent to me that someone at the network was rolling the dice and gambling on a different direction. I would look at the books in my shelf and mutter, “please don’t fuck this up, please don’t fuck this up.”
We just watched the last three hours of the show and well, they stuck the landing. Some things changed from the books and I’m OK with that. It’s not like the changes the Game of Thrones series made which managed to rob the series of some very important plot points and priceless dialog. The TV show brought forward a major character from the second book which was understandable. Other than noises in space, the science is dead on, right down to what happens to a giant glob of blood and tissue once gravity is restored. And ye gods, it was as gritty as the book (though the language was toned down for basic cable). Plus, not once did they have to rely on Tricia Helfer’s bare ass (though we had a couple other bared asses it wasn’t nearly as blatant). Despite quitting about two thirds of the way through the first book, they stuck the landing and made you want more.
Now we must face the fact that SyFy is delivering the goods. I have not seen 12 Monkeys but I hear good things. The Magicians does nothing but please me (I won’t review that until we reach the end of this season). Hunters looks compelling. The Magicians and The Expanse have both been renewed. It appears that we genre fans have gotten our network back. Things are looking pretty bright for science fiction and fantasy on the small screen and it’s about damn time.