Premiering in 2015, The Expanse gained a devoted following after its first three seasons on Syfy.
So much so that fans started the #SaveTheExpanse campaign after its cancellation, getting it picked up for three more seasons on Amazon Prime.
As it nears the end of its penultimate season, The Expanse draws great reviews, but isn’t yet as popular as it deserves to be.
For those who aren’t on board yet, there are plenty of reasons to get caught up with The Expanse before the final season starts.
If you miss the complex political drama of epics like Game of Thrones, The Expanse has got you covered.
It starts with a looming conflict between a complacent Earth and the war-obsessed Mars, with the exploited inhabitants of space stations in the Belt caught between them.
As the show opens, a shocking attack in space brings the political powers closer than ever to war.
Each faction is so well developed, with so much history built in, that it can actually be a bit hard to follow at first.
Once you’re in, the complex political machinations become easy to parse without losing any of the intrigue.
The worldbuilding is so deep that within a few episodes, you’ll even start to pick up the Belter Creole language invented for the show so you can tell your Beltalowdas from your Pomangs.
That’s partially because The Expanse keeps the focus close to the ground (or whatever the equivalent is in space) by centering how politics affect ordinary people.
At times, it can even feel a little too close to home, with egotistic politicians putting their nations in danger while a deadly pandemic looms over everything.
It’s even more relatable because The Expanse keeps its sci-fi grounded for the most part, without lightspeed travel or a ray gun in sight.
That realism makes it all the more shocking when The Expanse takes some truly wild turns as an alien substance called the Protomolecule reshapes more than just the political landscape.
As much as The Expanse is about interplanetary politics, it’s also about the ragtag crew of the Rocinante.
Assembled from across inhabited space, the show’s main cast starts out mostly hating each other before becoming a close-knit found family.
The Expanse’s main characters and secondary players alike are as complex as the politics at the show’s core.
There are plenty of characters that are easy to love or hate (or sometimes both), but they’re rarely as simply as being good or evil.
Constantly shifting allegiances mean that unimportant or seemingly irredeemable characters can become major allies, and even friends can never be fully trusted.
The show’s cast is likewise great, with hardly a bad performance in the bunch (even if no one can quite match the perpetually maxed-out intensity of Cara Gee as Camina Drummer).
Ship interiors, space stations, and planet surfaces all have their own look that makes them feel real as well as being gorgeous to look at.
The same goes for the look of characters, right down to the Belters’ tattoos and Josephus Miller’s terrible choice of hats.
The Expanse also has some of the best action scenes on TV, with space battles and fistfights that are stunning to watch but never let spectacle make them hard to follow.
Now read: YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS EERIE SCI-FI THRILLER ON AMAZON PRIME ASAP