“The Expanse”: Syfy’s futuristic drama returns and looks more probable than ever – Melanie McFarland TUESDAY, JAN 31, 2017 04:00 PM PST

Syfy’s gaze 200 years in the future looks like a natural evolution from where we are now

"The Expanse": Syfy's futuristic drama returns and looks more probable than ever

A decade ago, the world depicted in Syfy’s drama “The Expanse” may have seemed light-years away, if not the stuff of pure fiction. The first novel in the series the show is based on, “Leviathan Wakes,” was written in 2011, the same year that SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced his intent to send humans to Mars within the next 20 years.

Since then humans have come much closer to a future when James S.A. Corey’s novels seem eerily prescient, and more quickly than one might have predicted. Many of us are likely to witness humans reaching Mars at some point within our lifetimes. Colonizing that planet as well as settling larger orbiting bodies within space, will take time — but it can happen.

Maybe, say, in 200 years? That’s barely a blip on the universe’s clock but long enough to colonize our solar system — and yet not nearly enough time for humankind to move beyond the same social and political tensions that have the world on edge right now.

In “The Expanse,” Earth and Mars are locked in a cold war. Each planet’s governing forces keep their boots on the necks of the poor and disenfranchised Belters, the people working on stations within the Asteroid Belt between two powerful worlds.

Each government fears the growing reach of terrorist factions, punishing the impoverished and professing to do so in the name of keeping the peace. Facing conflict on multiple fronts has left the entire solar system vulnerable to the whims of yet-to-be revealed players bent on turning entire planets against each other.

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