Author Topic: The Expanse (Season 4)  (Read 727 times)

Puce Moment

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The Expanse (Season 4)
« on: November 06, 2019, 10:39:56 AM »
*Naturally, with seasons 1-3 Spoilers.

It took me SO many tries to get into this. I think I watched 3/4 of the first episode about a dozen times, and then it took me another 6-months to give episode 2 a try. I found Miller really cliched, and of course Naomi Nagata is played by someone uniquely unencumbered by the complexities of acting ability. This didn't surprise me, as I don't really watch SF shows, particularly of the Star Trek onboard ships type of show. However, I do love Iain M Banks and a lot of very space opera literature.

So, as I watching season 1 something just clicked. And then the episode with Miller finding and travelling with Julie Mao which was fantastic. Later on, all the stuff with Drummer I adore, and then when the ring forms, well it's just such a dramatic, beautiful SF moment. One of the things I love about this show is the accents and otherness of the characters, and how their loyalties shift.

I have to admit to being a little worried about season 4. So far the show has got along with this core, central mystery about the ancient civilisation that we assume engineered a way to access wormholes or access points to other universes. But now, much of the mystery has been peeled away.

So anyway, this is far from being a perfect show, but I find myself completely enthralled by it. As soon as the final episode of season 3 ended I immediately went back and watched it again from the beginning. I don't think I've done that with any TV drama.

So favourite characters? Episodes? Besties? Worsties?

Here is the comic-con long teaser for season 4:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCHCquhQFfY

It will be released fully on 13 December.

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 11:28:47 AM »
Looking forward to this but, as you say, the series reached a turning point at the end of season 3, so nothing we've seen so far has much bearing on what may be to come.

I became a big fan of Belter Yardie and Martian Aussie.

As you say, there's a couple of weak spots in the acting from some. Actually the woman who plays Naomi Nagata seemed to improve although it may have been they gave her less lines to screw up as they tweaked the series. Jared Harris was laughable in this and they seemed to have largely retired his character, thankfully. Really like Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala (she has the necessary gravity for the part) but I think the actor's command of English sometimes hampers the flow as Chrisjen is very much the Tyrion Lannister of the piece and she gets some meaty chunks of script at times and I sometimes wonder if she fully understands what she is saying at times. The script is good enough to power through the acting, though.

I think Drummer is my favourite character.

Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 01:29:39 PM »
Yeah, it feels like quite a different show now than when it started - a bit more of a standard space opera thing. Then again, I suppose the noir mystery aspect petered out a long time ago at this point and it's still got its hooks in me, so that's not a problem.

Puce Moment

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 03:00:34 PM »
Yes, I think the Naomi character improved when she took on the belter dialect more in seasons 2 and 3, and she started to say her lines with some variety. For me she is a very loose link in the chain, and often I have to zone her out, or pretend there is a reason for her stilted and samey delivery. I pretty much had to do the same with Chrisjen for reasons that you note - she really does have the oddest way of speaking, like she is reading the lines but with no strong idea where to put inference. Jared Harris I am far less bothered by - I really like him a lot as an actor, and although this isn't his finest moment I have enjoyed seeing him be a very different type of character than the usual buttoned up Englishman.

I'm happy for this to go fully weird Space Opera as I don't really care about the romances or petty rivalries or anything that isn't about big ideas or sound physics. And for me that is where The Expanse does really well - for instance noting that they cannot give people usual medical treatment in zero G. I also love the diversions and tangents - how yer man got his nickname The Butcher, or that kid trying to impress social media and his girlfriend, before being splattered against the ring (oooh matron).

But yeah, Drummer is the secret weapon of the show. Every scene is a blast.

Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 05:35:51 PM »
I couldn't help but giggle when Drummer was waddling around with her new robot legs though.

Puce Moment

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 08:30:41 AM »
I couldn't help but giggle when Drummer was waddling around with her new robot legs though.

True, but she did make up for it by scuppering the plans of that shithead Diogo with blood covering her face.

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 07:47:02 PM »
Rewatching the series from the beginning. Just finished season 1 in a couple of nights; ace!

Found this today, which is a kind of explanation as to how the world-building in the series is so essential to its enjoyment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGIovBe7pL8

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2019, 04:14:18 PM »
I think Drummer is my favourite character.

Just finished my rewatch and I realised that Drummer doesn't really figure much until she salvages the Nauvoo. Whilst outstanding for that half season I think I'll change my mind and nominate the enigmatic Amos, whose "origin" we still haven't fully had explained. I suspect something like what happened to the scientists studying the protomolecule under Dresden has happened to Amos' brain, as he states that he stopped feeling fear specifically from the age of 5. And he displayed curiosity about the possibility that the surviving scientist's "treatment" could be reversed. Always interesting to see Amos navigating through life using others' more reliable moral compasses.

Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2019, 04:30:02 PM »
I've always assumed Amos was just emotionally stunted by a particularly tough childhood.

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2019, 04:42:47 PM »
Not from the clues they've dropped about him. He certainly survived a tough childhood because of how he is, or was made.

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2019, 08:20:49 PM »
There is a prequel novella, The Churn, centered on Amos' days in Baltimore and his involvement with gangs.
They already have eight or so short stories and novellas that they plan to collect into a separate volume when the main series is over. "Drive" was about the origins of the Epstein drive, and it was adapted during season 2, and we had a summary of "The Butcher of Anderson Station" at some point, but there's some other material still to be used.

Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2019, 10:30:18 PM »
I managed to watch season 1 of this while hungover. I really had to grit and bare my teeth to the frankly hollyoaks level acting from alot of the main cast. I've tried watching S2 maybe 3 times now and gave up half way through episode 1.

thing is, i really miss sci-fi on the telly - is it worth grinding my teeth to get to anything good?

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 07:23:16 AM »
I found the script good enough to power through the poor acting.

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2019, 08:35:00 AM »
There is a prequel novella, The Churn, centered on Amos' days in Baltimore and his involvement with gangs.

Amos talks about "the churn" in the series, when reminiscing about Baltimore. The term means being embroiled in bad shit.

Puce Moment

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2019, 11:39:02 AM »
Yeah, Amos has this background that explains his initial super-faithfulness to Naomi, but also his ability to kill with no remorse ("I am that guy").

This might be useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXxxLxCv2ec

NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2019, 12:02:07 PM »
That clip has some key Amos moments and the emphasis is definitely on "what happened to you?"

Missing is how he bonded with the botanist, Praxideke, and how Praxideke declared to his daughter that Amos was his best friend. Amos later echoed this, declaring that Praxideke was his best friend.

Also missing is how he gravitates towards Pastor Volovodov in the latter part of season 3.

He's acutely aware of there being something missing within himself, so he has to follow someone else's better moral judgement. It's quite touching at times watching how he balances almost childlike qualities against being an extremely efficient killing machine.

Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2019, 06:29:23 PM »
after struggling through 3 or 4 episodes of season 1 i suddenly found that i had gotten absolutely hooked. watched the lot in a fortnight, only to discover that the new season starts in a few weeks. great timing.

really loved the worldbuilding of the first few seasons. not sold on the whole Stargate deal, i think that that got well played out over almost 20 seasons of tv, but for the moment the mechanics seem substantially different enough to not overly bother me. the show's real strength is the human interactions. i actually kinda missed Shohreh Aghdashloo in the last half of season 3. they introduced Old Bastard Pirate Man and bumped up Lady Nurse Priest to bring some of the gravitas they lost but it didn't feel the same.

i think Amos is fast becoming one of my favourite "Bastard With A Heart Of Gold" characters. like Jane from Firefly except interesting.


NoSleep

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Re: The Expanse (Season 4)
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2019, 06:45:09 PM »
True, but she did make up for it by scuppering the plans of that shithead Diogo with blood covering her face.

She was going to, but a descending lift intervened.

Friday week!