The Expanse is the perfect show for SyFy and one that wouldn’t find a home anywhere else because it makes some assumptions about its audience that are both refreshing and limiting at the same time. The show is pure science fiction, based on The Expanse series of novels by James S.A. Corey, that is true to the genre and makes an assumption that the one watching both gets it and will be able to keep up with a lot of moving parts. It also seeks to build a universe that is just as much a living and breathing character as the actual people living it. The appeal of reading science fiction is the big idea stuff — the politics, socioeconomics, and technology. How those things intertwine and impact each other is what ultimately makes the universe feel grand and real. The challenge for any television show or movie trying to tackle this genre is establish all of that in an interesting way without the benefit of written exposition. “Dulcinea” is a fine start to the show, spending much of its time simply setting the stage for both its universe and a complicated three-pronged narrative centered on three different locations. The show needed every bit of the 45 minutes to do so but ultimately does well to convey what it must. The backdrop of this universe is established with some simple exposition at the beginning: mankind has colonized the universe by the 23rd century and civilization is at a tipping point. There is a three-way conflict between Earth, Mars and the working class of space known as Belters. The Belters are responsible for mining water for both planets and there is growing unrest among them for doing such a thankless job. The show tells the story from each cross section of this society through a series of events that may ignite a large-scale war. With so many moving parts the danger is keeping everything straight, but they counter that with interesting characters and an intriguing mystery. The story starts on a colonized asteroid known as Ceres Station, which is essentially a mining facility that provides water to Mars and Earth. It’s a country in itself with a society with all the trappings and conflicts we are all familiar with. There are the working class belters, greedy government officials, and of course, the scumbags that take advantage of those less fortunate. The lens we see this world from is a hard-boiled detective named Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane). It’s a familiar character to anyone who is familiar with the Film Noir genre (or Blade Runner), and Joe is the perfect vehicle to show off this world. Joe is a rugged character who has seen the worst of Ceres Station. He’s eyed with suspicion by the activist demanding equal rights for Belters and shakes his head at the shady landlord that poisoned tenants by using cheap air filters in his housing units. The main mystery though is an off-the-books job to find a missing heiress named Julie Mao (Florence Faivre). The second location is the Ice Trawler Canterbury and her crew. They are out hauling a large chunk of ice back to Ceres station and feature a crew with a set of personalities that will be familiar to anyone that has seen an ensemble cast in space. There’s the easy-going first officer Jim Holden (Steven Strait) and the no-nonsense engineer Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper). There’s also her right-hand man and mechanic Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) among others. Holden is qualified to take command of a ship, but is reluctant to leave a rather comfortable life and a relationship with the navigator Ade Nyegaard (Kristen Hager). He’s forced to take command when the Captain succumbs to a bout of space madness. Of course his tenure starts with some immediate trouble as they pick up a distress signal from a ship and there is tension among the crew about whether to investigate or not. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is a bad idea, but it’s one of those bad ideas necessary to propel the rest of a television show. The last setting isn’t explored so much in the first episode, but is equally as intriguing as the others. It takes place on earth and involves The Deputy Undersecretary for the United Nations, Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo). She is a political power player on earth who consolidated all her power without ever being voted into her position. Chrisjen is a shadowy figure hiding behind a politician’s sheen, who is willing to use torture in order to uncover any threats to earth. “Dulcinea” is one large establishing shot, making a quick survey of all parts of this universe. It’s a lean piece of storytelling that does the work of establishing a fascinating world and a complicated story that is worthy of a very rich setting. It’s clear that the entire galactic civilization is sitting on a massive powder keg and it’s going to be interesting when it all blows up. See larger image The Expanse: Season 1 [Blu-ray] The Expanse is a thriller set two hundred years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective (Thomas Jane, Hung) and a rogue ship’s captain (Steven Strait, Magic City) come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. New From: $22.21 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.