The Expanse is the new sci-fi show you're about to binge on

The Expanse imagines a future in which humans have colonised the solar system.
The Expanse imagines a future in which humans have colonised the solar system.

It opens with a tense stand-off between space agents tracking a ghost ship. Thomas Jane appears as a vigilante detective, wearing a ridiculous hat while hunting for a missing girl.

Then Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks shows up, barefoot and wild-haired, waving a gun around while talking to pot plants in his dorm room.

Add in a colony on Mars ready for war, exploding space ships, and a mysterious missing girl, and it appears we have a brand new version of Battlestar Galactica on our hands.

Initially, that's exactly what The Expanse seems to want to be. But the hyped new sci-fi show, based on the acclaimed book series by James S. A. Corey and beginning on Sky TV channel The Zone tonight, has earned comparisons to another ground-breaking epic: Game of Thrones.

c imagines a future in which humans have colonised the solar system.

But Mars has rebelled, breaking away to become a military power, and rising tensions - sparked by something major that happens in episode one - have put the two planets on the brink of war.

Yes, that particular plotline resembles the battle between humans and Cylons on Battlestar Galactica, and it's certainly an easy comparison to make.

There are some brilliant space chases in the first two episodes in scenes that remind of Battlestar's thrilling opening.

But this isn't a simple retread. Those Thrones comparisons come from from an expansive storyline that a Salon reviewer called an "information dump".

"I had to watch the first episode of The Expanse twice, pausing at times to rewind and replay, paying close attention to even interstitial establishing shots," wrote Sonia Saraiya.

"But where Battlestar Galactica's story engine ran almost entirely on mystery, The Expanse is a little more like Game of Thrones, with its intensely detailed and ever-broadening world inhabited by very recognisable characters...

"(It's a) gritty science fiction epic that combines the Earth-centric politics and space-travel details of Star Trek with the wonder and romance of Star Wars."

There's more good news: network SyFy has ordered a second series for 2017, indicating that this is a space war that has only just begun.

Tune in

When: Tonight, 8.30pm
Where: The Zone
What: The show sci-fi fans have been looking for?.

- TimeOut

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