Is it just me, or does it seems like all the best shows on television are based on books these days? SyFy’s latest critical darling, The Expanse, is certainly no exception. This season, the futuristic film noir-esque space opera has captured even more hearts and imaginations thanks to its stellar cast and gorgeously told story, and fans simply cannot get enough. The good news is, SyFy knows what we all want and isn’t afraid to deliver more. As reported back in March by Deadline,The Expanse will return for Season 3 for a another 13-episodes next year in 2018 — which, yes, means we have to wait yet another year to check back in with the Rocinante crew and the escalating conflicts between Earth and Mars.
At least The Expanse and the books they’re based on don’t differ all that much thematically, so you can always catch up on a little reading if you can’t bear not knowing what happens next, right? Speaking of stuff you might not know just yet, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn there’s a lot that goes into making story this good. Check out some of these fun facts we learned about the world of The Expanse this past season to tide you over while you wait for Season 3:
'The Expanse' & 'The Martian' Share A Universe (Kinda)
OK, I know what you’re thinking: The Expanse is a SyFy show based on a book by James S.A. Corey (actually a pseudonym for Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), and The Martian is a movie based on a book by Andy Weir. No overlap there, right?
Wrong. When The Martin was released as a movie in 2015, Corey half-jokingly admitted on Twitter that the authors had decided during a book signing that their work was all a part of the same continuity. “Movies and TV show too,” they tweeted. Flash forward to a year later when the sixth Expanse book Babylon’s Ashes was published, and fans noticed a reference to a Martian ship named after astronaut Mark Watney — aka, the very first Martian. Clever nod to a beloved fictional character, or clinching proof of a shared universe? You decide.
Casting Bobbie Draper Was A Tough But Necessary Process
TV and movie adaptations make changes to characters all the time, but the producers of The Expanse were committed to casting a Bobbie Draper who looked just like she does in the book — which is to say, like a six-foot-tall Polynesian wrestler. “We’ve been very conscious about maintaining the ethnic identity of the characters in the book as much as humanly possible,” executive producer Nareen Shankar told Entertainment Weekly. “And we were really intent on doing that with Bobbie.”
After a long search, they found who they were looking for in New Zealand-born actress Frankie Adams, who comes from a Samoan background and who was personally approved by book co-author Ty Franck, according to Indiewire. So the next time you hear a studio executive making excuses for why they didn’t choose to seek out an actor of a certain gender, ethnicity, body type for a role, feel free to side-eye them for not doing their job.
Belter Sounds Like Every Language At Once Because That's What It Is
You ever notice how sometimes the Belters sound South African and sometimes they sound Italian, or Jamaican, or even cockney? That’s all on purpose, According to Ars Technica, Linguist Nick Farmer pulled from dialects around the world, including Chinese, Japanese, German, Slavic, Persian, Hindi, various romance languages, and many others. The end result is something sort of like Haitian Creole, in that it’s meant to be a mix of different cultures and modes of speaking combined under one dominant language — French for Haiti, but English for Belters. Makes sense coming from a proletariat class that works in mines for wealthy space colonists, right?
Because Farmer is the only person who actually speaks this language he made up, he and accent coach Eric Armstrong often worked with cast members to help them learn it too — but of course, it’s OK if they put a little bit of their own spin on it. “The idea was that Belter would be consistently inconsistent,” Armstrong told Wired. “But there are some anchor sounds that we are aiming toward regardless of how strong or weak an accent is.” So that’s why all beltalowda sound a little different!
Miller’s Best Line Was Written At The Last Minute
“Home,” the fifth episode of season 2, changed everything when Miller died not just to save Earth from colliding with Eros, but to reunite with the protomolecule-infected Julie Mao. He tells her, “You made a guy like me believe in something,” which is a completely beautiful and poignant way to sum up Miller’s arc over the past season and a half — and was also made up at the last minute, according to series co-creator Mark Fergus. “Thomas [Jane] was doing the scene on the day, and we were looking for a moment to encapsulate his whole character, so we threw that in on the last take or two,” he told Inverse.
Even better: the kiss they eventually share together was also unscripted. “It wasn’t a planned moment, it just came out of the connection that Julie and Miller were feeling,” Fergus told Indiewire. “That was just one of those moments that evolved into more than it was written. It felt right, so we leaned it that way.”
Of course it felt right — all the best kisses in science fiction are unplanned. Just ask Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell from Battlestar Galactica, or Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in Edge Of Tomorrow. Here's to hoping Season 3 will be full of similarly awesome moments when it returns in 2018, whether they're in the script or not.