You may have heard a rumbling in the cosmos. You may have sensed, within the constant bass whine of our universe's cosmic background radiation, something shift, like the preordained ballooning of outer space juddered once on its otherwise smooth track. The Expanse is back.
For the uninitiated, The Expanse, whose fourth season just dropped on Amazon Prime this week (and whose first three seasons were broadcast on Syfy), is a futuristic space opera in which humanity has colonized our solar system over a couple of centuries and three major powers have arisen: the sedentary and oxygen-rich Earth, the militaristic Mars, and the constantly exploited Asteroid Belt. The show is based on the series of novels, novellas, and short stories written by James S. A. Corey, the joint pen name of writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, and each season corresponds to one individual book. Both the books and the show have won multiple awards, including the prestigious Hugo, and for those of us who desperately missed the likes of Battlestar Galactica and Stargate, this series was exactly what we were waiting for.
It was also cancelled suddenly in 2018 because Syfy's agreement to air the series relied on live viewership numbers, and, according to them, it just wasn't doing well enough. It makes some sense: weird genre stuff like sci-fi often does a lot better via streaming than it does on cable, which is what made Amazon Prime's quick rescue -- after a massive campaign by the show's very passionate, very loud fans -- so exciting. Jeff Bezos himself announced the decision in May 2018 at the International Space Development Conference, and we were off to the races.