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Syfy has renewed freshman space opera The Expanse for season 2, also increasing the season order from 10 to 13 episodes according to Deadline. The show is only 4 episodes into season 1 but due to the long preparation time required by heavy special effects Alcon, the production company, starting writing season 2 scripts last May.
Luckily The Expanse premiered to strong reviews, drawing 1.1 million people for the cable premiere. That first episode had been made available online nearly three weeks before the broadcast date and roughly 4.5 million people checked it out online.
Though viewership for follow-up episodes is down by nearly half comments remain positive and people seem hopeful.
Really don't feel like writing a long post, so can you guys just share this & tell everyone @ExpanseSyfy rocks & to watch on Tuesday?
— Geek Girl Diva (@geekgirldiva) January 1, 2016
This week’s ep of #TheExpanse was stupid-good. Not sure why Syfy released it in the TV tumbleweed that is Dec, but I hope it’s doing well.
— Matt Fowler (@TheMattFowler) December 31, 2015
The show is based on a novel series by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, writing under pen name James S.A. Corey. Their first book in the series, Leviathan Wakes, was nominated for a both Hugo and Locus awards in 2012.
The Expanse is set in a version of the future, 200 years forward, where man has colonized the solar system. Thomas Jane stars as a blue-collar police detective who stumbles into a planet-spanning conspiracy while investigating a missing person. Three storylines, also starring Steven Strait as a ship’s officer and Shohreh Aghdashloo as an off-world U.N. representative, weave together into a political-action-mystery-drama.
Though it’s one of Syfy’s most expensive shows to-date, Expanse boasts a strong team including Mark Fergus (Children of Men) as a writer. Viewers may have grown skeptical of new Syfy original series as some promising sci-fi shows like Helix, Continuum, and Defiance quickly turned disappointing. But lets remember, these were all better than cheap reality fare like The Wil Wheaton Project and WWE.
I think Rob Owen, critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette perhaps summed it up best: “It’s not Battlestar Galactica-quality – neither was BSG at its outset – but it is the best Syfy scripted series since BSG.”