After a year of speculation and excitement, The Expanse has returned for its fourth season, now on Amazon Prime. In a room filled with Screaming Firehawks, Prime screened the first episode of the upcoming season, dropped a few housekeeping announcements, and brought out the cast for a quick Q&A. For a show with such a dedicated fanbase and an equally dedicated cast, it was a tremendous morning reintroducing the beloved franchise.
Non-spoiler talk about the season premiere:
As a Screaming Firehawk myself, I am very familiar with the show. This episode feels like a new, revamped version of itself. The Ring is open, but travel inside and to the new worlds beyond is restricted by the MCRN and UN. Eight months after some refugee ships run the blockade and images of protomolecule structures are sent back, our boy Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are tasked by UN Secretary General Chrisjen Avasarala to go and figure out whether the new planet Ilus (or New Terra if you’re an Inner sympathizer) is a threat or an opportunity for human expansion into the greater cosmos.
Over the first hour of the season we are reintroduced to nearly every major character in quick succession, treated to some truly stunning visuals showing the sheer scale of The Ring, and everyone’s general attitude and political thoughts on colonizing new planets. Oh, and Miller’s back, pushing Holden to explore the worlds beyond and discover what happened to the species who created the ring in the first place.
A key difference to this season will be the on-location filming and the inventive filming used to create an alien landscape. While a majority of the first episode is spent on the Roci, we end the hour on Ilus/New Terra in the midst of a pressure-filled situation between the former Belter colonists and the Terran security chief sent with a research team. The crew of the Roci, as always, find themselves in the center of both human and proto-molecule trouble.
The Expanse Season 4 drops on Friday, December 13, 2019. Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on the service.