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JohnC

The Expanse - officially saved by Amazon

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The weird thing is, when you rewatch the early episodes they seem way better. But the first time through, it's a bit of a slog. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I think it's partly due to it not stressing what's plotting versus worldbuilding, and it being easily mistaken it for a procedural in space. I think if they spent more time showing Miller's thought processes it would work better. A lot of his motivations are lost in the transition to screen. I've often thought that doing POV style chapters with Julie Mao to make her more of a character would be more affecting.

 

It takes a while to figure out which characters you're supposed to care about and what you're supposed to think of them. There's a core cast of characters with other characters rotating in and out, but it's not immediately obvious which are "your" characters. But wow does it get there when it gets there.

 

Finally, the first big arc really ends a third of the way into season two, making the ending of S1 seem less definitive and more mysterious. I understand why they paced and ended season one where they did, but it fools you into thinking the overall pace is going to be a lot more drawn out. Where Game of Thrones spent 7 series slowly bringing the key players together, The Expanse has all the right pieces on the board and interacting with each other by the start of series 3. It reinvents itself multiple times throughout the first 3 series and likely again for season 4. Stick with it, I promise.

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I think the problem early on is down to the poor acting. It's bad soap (Hollyoaks level) rubbish for the most part except for a few veteran character actors doing a lot of heavy lifting. 

 

In the absence of anyone to really latch onto, the story wins out in the end but it takes a while to get it's hooks into you. 

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1 minute ago, AK Bell said:

I think the problem early on is down to the poor acting. It's bad soap (Hollyoaks level) rubbish for the most part except for a few veteran character actors doing a lot of heavy lifting. 

 

In the absence of anyone to really latch onto, the story wins out in the end but it takes a while to get it's hooks into you. 

 

There's just too many characters thrown in, too fast, and there's not that much to distinguish "space person number one" from belter number two; or white earth politician one from white earth military person two. And, unlike in the first bit of Game of Thrones, you're also bouncing between three different locations for the first few episodes (Canterbury, Ceres, Earth) with a different cast of characters at each. It just about works in the book. It requires a hell of a lot more focus on TV.

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I bounced off it a bit on first watch, made it through the first series but it didn't leave that big an impression on me. I'm currently rewatching with my gf and really, really enjoying it. 

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Watching this show for the first time and just done with season 1.  I’ve been warned that season 1 was ‘slow’ but I didn’t feel that way at all.  I found it pretty easy to get hooked watching a couple of episodes a night.  

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6 hours ago, AK Bell said:

I think the problem early on is down to the poor acting. It's bad soap (Hollyoaks level) rubbish for the most part except for a few veteran character actors doing a lot of heavy lifting. 

 

In the absence of anyone to really latch onto, the story wins out in the end but it takes a while to get it's hooks into you. 

 

Yeah there are lots of people you totally forget about eventually, who have the same screentime as some of the eventually-regular characters. You can't always tell who the main characters are by the calibre of the actor. Jared Harris comes and goes frustratingly infrequently while the characters which orbit around Miller early on just aren't very interesting. A lot of people dislike Steven Strait but he's fine with me, he works because of the misfits around him giving him shit for being such a naive do-gooder. The show gains confidence in s2 and s3 and starts placing breakout characters into meatier roles rather than introducing more characters constantly. They're smart in the way they work with what they've got, though there are a couple of mediocre side-character subplots, perhaps due to timing constraints more than anything else. They're still alright though, and usually made up for by an excellent character actor doing the heavy lifting as you say.

 

Burn Gorman and Lyndie Greenwood are joining the cast in season 4. Burn Gorman typically rubs me 100% the wrong way but I think he's playing a villain at least. Lyndie Greenwood starred in Sleepy Hollow, which was actually really fun for a series before it dropped off a cliff, and she was good in it.

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23 minutes ago, Moz said:

A lot of people dislike Steven Strait but he's fine with me, he works because of the misfits around him giving him shit for being such a naive do-gooder.

 

Is Strait Holden? As written he's basically an impossible role.

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9 minutes ago, Moz said:

Yep. They're all a bit broken and annoying in one way or another. Holden's a paladin.

 

Anna's then a particularly godly cleric, Amos a barbarian, Naomi a wizard (though this doesn't come across in the TV series) and Alex a, um...

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10 hours ago, Moz said:

Jared Harris comes and goes frustratingly infrequently

They were setting him up for further down the line, I really hope they manage to hire him back as he's said he's not involved in the show any more.

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1 hour ago, Spacehost said:

They were setting him up for further down the line, I really hope they manage to hire him back as he's said he's not involved in the show any more.

 

A few people on Reddit suggested Dawes/Jared Harris was meant to take the role which went to David Strathairn in s3, pitting Drummer against him in a battle for the future of the OPA. That would have been a smart way to avoid adding too many new characters mid season. Personally I thought Strathairn killed it though, I love his performance.

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1 hour ago, Moz said:

 

A few people on Reddit suggested Dawes/Jared Harris was meant to take the role which went to David Strathairn in s3, pitting Drummer against him in a battle for the future of the OPA. That would have been a smart way to avoid adding too many new characters mid season. Personally I thought Strathairn killed it though, I love his performance.

 

Ashford absolutely HAD to be introduced as a new character and it was done so well. The casting of Strathairn, his chemistry with Drummer, the changes from the book. It was all perfect. 

 

The casting of Gorman seems to be another great decision and while he isn’t one I would have naturally thought of for the character, when I consider it now I’m like ‘Fuuuuck YES!’.

 

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On 15/02/2019 at 04:38, Moz said:

 

A few people on Reddit suggested Dawes/Jared Harris was meant to take the role which went to David Strathairn in s3, pitting Drummer against him in a battle for the future of the OPA. That would have been a smart way to avoid adding too many new characters mid season. Personally I thought Strathairn killed it though, I love his performance.

 

Really? I thought he was a shit Ashford, and they glossed over the

Spoiler

“kill ourselves to save everyone”

plotline to get the season finished. I’m also bummed that they got rid of Baca to give Drummer more screen time. Still love the show. 

 

Im up to speed with the books, can’t wait for the new one!

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11 hours ago, Jimmyzilla said:

Did they put the 4k version on amazon from the start? I've just noticed these versions on as well now 

 

No, they messed it up and only released it in 4k in the US to begin with. Then fixed it.

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Ah, man, I just recently spotted that the first few series had been released on Prime. I'm doomed to a marathon binge-watch, aren't I?

 

I loved the other version that definitely doesn't exist and is not being discussed in here, when I read it, so I'm in.

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Jared Harris is great and I too hope he comes back, but for Straitharn that seems a fair trade. He absolutely nailed it.

 

Also, I cant look at Harris without seeing Charlie Brooker, which doesnt necessarily help....

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