The Expanse just dropped its fourth season on Amazon, and it was a real doozy. Although the Roci crew’s exploits on Ilus got off to a rather slow start, the back end of the season really cranks things up to 11 with loads of action, spectacle, and some storyline twists you won’t see coming. (Unless you’ve read the books, that is.)
If you’re wondering if the show will be back for Season 5, you’re in luck: the show was renewed by Amazon back in July, and the cast and crew have already started filming. It’s only a matter of time now, and thanks to the novels and the very online cast and crew behind the show, we have a pretty good idea of what’s to come for the Roci crew.
Here’s a complete rundown everything we know so far about The Expanse Season 5.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 4 of The Expanse. If you haven’t finished the latest 10 episodes that came to Amazon on December 13, come back later!
When will The Expanse Season 5 come to Amazon?
According to the show’s official Twitter account, Season 5 production officially began on October 22. The cast gathered about a week before to do a table read of the upcoming episodes.
When we spoke with the cast and showrunners at New York Comic Con this fall, Tipper noted that they filmed Season 4 “about a year ago now.” So that means we can likely expect Season 5 to drop around the same time next year: mid-December 2020.
That said, if Season 4 does well on the platform, it’s reasonable to think that window might be bumped up a bit. However, with the final novel in the series due to drop sometime in 2020, it’s likely we won’t see new episodes much earlier than December. It’s not uncommon for streaming services to sit on episodes for weeks, even a couple months, until their scheduled airdates. What’s more, a visual-effects heavy show like The Expanse needs quite a lot of time in post-production to make all those nifty visuals shine.
Is there a trailer for The Expanse Season 5?
Unfortunately, Amazon hasn’t made a Season 5 trailer available yet, probably because filming of the new batch of episodes hasn’t yet wrapped. We got our first look at footage from Season 4 at San Diego Comic Con in July, so it’s fair to assume Season 5 will hew to a similar timeframe. We’ll likely see a second trailer at New York Comic Con in early October.
What do we know about the plot of The Expanse Season 5?
In its previous life on Syfy and in the latest season for Amazon, the show has hewed quite closely to its source material, a nine-volume novel series by James S. A. Corey (a pseudonym adopted by the writing duo Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck).
The Roci crew’s adventures on Ilus were largely derived from the fourth novel, Cibola Burn, but the developments with Marco Inaros in the last couple episodes come from the fifth novel, Nemesis Games. At the end of Season 4, Naomi called in a favor from Fred Johnson of the OPA, asking him help track down her son, Filip Inaros. He makes his first appearance in Episode 10, pulling a gun on Ashford just when the salty old Belter thinks he’s finally got Marco cornered.
Marco and Filip will play a major role in Season 5 of The Expanse. The black market dealers on Mars (including Bobbie Draper) have been selling military equipment to Inaros’ rogue faction of the OPA. With the Martian economy falling apart and Avasarala suddenly out of office, there’s nothing to stop the gold rush to other worlds beyond the Ring Gate. While familiar Belter leaders like Drummer and Fred are working with Earth and Mars, Inaros has no such intentions. In his mind, this is a golden opportunity for the Belt to finally turn the tables on their oppressors, no matter how bloody the consequences.
Which members of the cast will return in The Expanse Season 5?
Based on the conclusion of Season 4, we know that the core members of the Rocinante crew — Holden, Naomi, Alex, and Amos — will return next season. We can also expect to see more of Drummer, Avasarala, and Bobbie.
It’s not clear if Joe Miller / The Investigator will return, after the protomolecule version of him seemed to “die” in the ruins of Ilus as he helped Holden and Okoye prevent a planet-wide cataclysm. However, actor Thomas Jane has made no secret of his ongoing involvement with the show. At the very least, he’ll be directing the third episode of Season 5.
While the season finale was deliberately vague as to whether Amos killed Murtry once they were both aboard the Roci, The Expanse wiki says Murtry is [indeed alive and kicking](https://expanse.fandom.com/wiki/Characters_(TV). It’s not totally clear if we’ll see him stand trial for his ghoulish behavior on Ilus, but he wasn’t in the table read video Tipper shared on her Instagram in October. If we see . more of this character, it’s likely to be a passing mention.
Seasons 1-4 of The Expanse are available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video.