Of course, the ‘plank’ people are forced to walk in the TV series, The Expanse, is really an open airlock into the hard vacuum of space without a spacesuit. Instead of sinking into the briny, the victims float away and succumb to lack of oxygen (interestingly, humans apparently won’t freeze to death very quickly in space because a complete vacuum retards loss of body heat).
There’s plenty of ejection without a spacesuit in The Expanse Streaming on Amazon; this Saturn award-winning show assumes that humans will remain as violent as ever except, thanks to nuclear propelled spacecraft, now humanity can spread its savagery across the entire solar system. Even the 24th century UN is simply an autocratic global hegemony contenting with the Martian Confederation and the asteroids and outer planets. And people aren’t the only dangerous sentient entities lurking among the planets. This makes for good drama and binge-worthy watching – though there are lapses that I’ll note in future posts.
The Expanse is straight-up space opera, but to its credit, the series uses the broad canvas of inter-solar system politics to explore themes including idealism vs expediency; friendship, camaraderie and family; and the ambiguity of evil. The best science fiction uses a big canvas to tackle big issues.
So far, there have been five seasons of this on-going TV adaptation of Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham’s science fiction book series. A sixth and supposedly final season is planned. In posts coming soon, I’ll review other aspects of this exciting show.