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The Expanse Enters Production And Adds These Familiar Faces

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jonathan banks, wes chathamNo one is more shocked than the Giant Freakin’ Robot staff how much the Giant Freakin’ Robot staff is anticipating Syfy’s upcoming slate of high-potential projects. One of the top shows on that list is The Expanse, an adaptation of the highly acclaimed novel series from the dual-author James S.A. Corey. The series has rounded out its stellar cast to go with its official production start in Toronto. Nothing says outer space like Canada!

The space opera thriller is being led by Thomas Jane and Steven Strait, with Shohreh Aghdashloo also previously cast. The newbies here include Wes Chatham (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Dominique Tipper (Vampire Academy), Cas Anvar (Source Code), and Florence Faivre (Alpha House), who will all star as regulars. Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad), Jay Hernandez (Gang Related), and Paulo Costanzo (Royal Pains) will enter the season as guest stars. Honestly, you put Jonathan Banks in anything, and I’m watching it.

Set 200 years in the future, The Expanse will bring grizzled Detective Miller (Jane) together with Jim Holden (Strait), an executive officer aboard the ice mining ship Canterbury. Both men are led on a growing trail of information that starts with a missing girl and ends with a conspiracy that could affect the entire universe as we know it. The story includes my favorite kind of sci-fi thriller plots, like high stakes secrets and an old spacecraft appearing out of nowhere.

Tipper will play Naomi Nagata, described as “a native of ‘The Belt’ and the brilliant Chief Engineer of the Canterbury who prefers dealing with machines rather than people.” (She’s not of this planet, as humanity has spread itself out to other planets and asteroids by this point.) Chatham will play Amos, an Earth-born Canterbury engineer with a checkered past. (A lot of checkered pasts on this ship.) Faivre will play the smart and wealthy Julie Mao, whose actions are sometimes politically motivated.

For his guest-starring role, Banks will play the Canterbury “veteran Executive Officer” who isn’t named, but it seems like he’d be playing Captain McDowell. Costanzo will play Shed Garvy, a medical tech. Finally, Hernandez will play an Earth cop named Havelock who becomes Miller’s new partner.

Assuming the show does as well as we’re hoping, or even that Syfy keeps it on the air in the face of no ratings, they’ll have a few years’ worth of stories to tell, as the fourth novel in the series, Cibola Burn, was released in June. The pseudonym’s authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck signed on for five more books in the series with Orbit Books, so this could easily be the Next Great Sci-Fi Show and could turn Thomas Jane into a genre champion.

An Adventure in Space and Time and Breaking Bad director Terry McDonough will be directing the first two episodes, which will air at some point in 2015. Tell your friends.

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