The Best Streaming Series For Battlestar Galactica Fans Is A Modern Sci-Fi Classic

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

When Battlestar Galactica first hit the airwaves, it was a breath of fresh air for sci-fi fans; here, finally, was a dark series filled with well-written but flawed characters, high-stakes that were still mostly grounded, and it acted as a parable for modern society. So, after watching the entire series, Caprica, Blood and Chrome, and even Razor, where can a BSG fan find their next favorite series? Right on Amazon Prime, where The Expanse became the best sci-fi show of the last decade by doing everything that BSG did.

The Galaxy Is On The Brink Of War

An adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse novels, the series takes place in the far future, where humanity has colonized the solar system and divided itself into competing governments: The United Nations of Earth, The Martian Congressional Republic, and finally, The Outer Planets Alliance (OPA), a loose affiliation of those living in the asteroid belt and on the moons of the gas giant planets.

Resources in the world of The Expanse are scarce, with both Mars and Earth reliant on the work of “Belters,” those that live in the OPA region, mining, harvesting ice, and sending water back to the inner planets. Countless sci-fi shows have included class struggles, but in the gritty and ramshackle world of the Amazon Prime series, it’s up front, in your face, and never really goes away, even once the power balance starts to shift.

Joe Miller And His Detective Hat

The Expanse Season 1 is in the running for the best first season of a sci-fi series, and yet, it’s considered one of the weaker seasons compared to what comes later. The most recognizable star, Thomas Jane (The Punisher), plays Joe Miller, a detective on Ceres assigned to find an important company stockholder’s missing daughter. With a delightful noir detective feel to his performance, Jane does a great job, but he’s not the main focus of the series.

The Crew Of The Rocinante

The unlikely heroes of The Expanse that find themselves in the middle of a vast conspiracy are the away team of the ice harvester Canterbury, who, through a shocking twist at the end of the first episode, find themselves stranded and struggling to survive.

Captain James Holden (Steven Strait), pilot Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar), engineer Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), mechanic Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), and med tech Shed Garvey (Paulo Costanzo) get tossed from one end of the galaxy to another, evading different factions, fighting in a war, and finding themselves far above their pay grade.

Fantastic World-Building

While I developed my favorite characters over time, The Expanse is more about the world than it is about the small character moments, which it does have, but it’s simply a different type of focus than Battlestar Galactica. The advice I followed when first watching is to try the first three episodes, and if you’re not hooked by then, it’s probably not going to happen.

That said, the series takes a dramatic turn in the third season, which might be the single best season of sci-fi television I’ve seen since BSG went off the air, but what hooked me, was the way that the show handles actual science.

The Expanse Respects Physics

Most sci-fi ignore the physics of massive spaceships traveling in a vacuum, but The Expanse leans into the hard science of its setting, not only with technology that is held together by hopes and dreams but also physics. Massive ships are shown flipping end over end, with the characters inside having to grab hold and take medicine to handle the g-force, while smaller vessels can approach speeds that are so dangerous that it becomes a surprising plot point later on.

The gravity difference between living in the belt and living on Earth and the resulting change in bone density is an unexpected inclusion as a mark of class and status. After watching hundreds of hours of sci-fi like Farscape and Babylon 5, it’s refreshing to see The Expanse take a different approach to living among the stars.

Only On Amazon


If you’ve been craving a smart sci-fi series that takes science seriously and includes dense, multi-layered plots with constantly shifting allegiances, then The Expanse is your next favorite series. Best of all, and while I haven’t spoiled anything so far, given how sci-fi tends to go, I need to say that yes, there is an ending, and yes, it does leave some questions unanswered, but it is far more satisfying than most modern sci-fi has been.

You can catch all six seasons of The Expanse on Amazon Prime.