We’re heading into The Expanse season 5 now, but when the show was canceled after its third season, the chances of it coming back were slim. Fans took to social media in attempts to get one of the big streaming services to save it. The extreme fans, the Expanse diehards, even hired an airplane to fly a banner reading “Save The Expanse” outside Amazon Studios headquarters in California. Not only were banners flying to save the show, but a petition received almost 140,000 signatures.
The crazy thing about all the effort to save the series is that it shouldn’t have been necessary. The first three seasons of The Expanse were so critically acclaimed that the third season received 100% positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. That never happens.
So why did Syfy cancel The Expanse to begin with? It all came down to a complicated rights deal that leaned more on live viewing instead of digital/streaming. The Expanse drew much of their audience from the digital/streaming viewer, making it difficult for Syfy to keep the series running.
The Expanse Season 5 In Doubt Due To Controversy
Cas Anvar stars in The Expanse as The Roci’s pilot Alex and he’s already filmed his scenes for The Expanse season 5. However he has recently become embroiled in #MeToo controversy with several women coming forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior. The allegations cross a range from pushy messages, to sexual assault, to inappropriate behavior with underage girls.
Here’s The Expanse season 5’s producer Daniel Abraham explains what the production is doing in response…
The initial allegation started with this tweet…
Following that tweet more allegations followed. These include what appears to be a text exchange (though it’s worth noting this is something that COULD be easily photoshopped, though that does not appear to be the case here) which looks like this…
There are other numerous allegations being thrown out after the first one. As of this moment none of them have been verified and almost all of them seem to come from pretty random Twitter accounts. That said, this is something that must be taken very seriously and apparently it is. Cas Anvar has yet to respond to any of the allegations himself.
Should the investigation find there’s any validity to these accusations The Expanse season 5 will either be dumped without airing at worst or they’ll air it and be forced to recast the character of Alex for any season 6. No telling which direction Amazon will choose to go, at this point.
The Expanse Gets At Least Two
None of that matters now because Amazon Studios came to the rescue. Jeff Bezos’ announcement at the International Space Development Conference was simple as he stood next to members of the cast. “The Expanse is saved.” Not only did Amazon renew the series for a recently completed fourth season, but it also announced the series will be back for a fifth.
THE CAST OF THE EXPANSE SEASON 5
As Season 4 came to an end, it was pretty obvious who from the Rocinante crew would be coming back for The Expanse Season 5.
Steven Strait will return as Holden, the captain of the Rocinante.
Dominique Tipper is back as the Rocinante engineer Naomi Nagata.
Cas Anvar is a lock as the Rocinante’s Martian pilot Alex.
Wes Chatham ius coming back as Amos, the Rocinante mechanic and borderline psychopath.
It is also pretty much a given that we will see Cara Gee back as Camina Drummer, Shohreh Aghdashloo returning as Chrisjen Avasarala and Frankie Adams as gunnery sergeant Bobbie Draper.
With the events of The Expanse season 4 and given what happens next in the books the show is based on, we can also guarantee two other returnees: Keon Alexander will return as Marco Inaros with Jasai Chase Owens as Filip Inaros, Marco and Naomi’s son.
One character we know won’t return is David Strathairn’s Ashford. Being flushed out of an airlock has that effect.
One character we simply don’t know about is Season 1 and Season 2 regular Joe Miller, played by Thomas Jane. While he was a regular the first two seasons, his character has made only special appearances in seasons 3 and 4. While Miller did seem to perish in the ruins of IIus, his story moving forward remains a mystery.
We do know Jane will continue to be involved in the show as he tweeted about directing episode 3 of the fifth season. However Miller’s character stops showing up in the books around the same time he stopped showing up on the show. It’s likely that Jane’s involvement in The Expanse will, going forward, be strictly behind the scenes.
THE STORY OF SEASON 5
The Expanse is based on a series of books by James S.A. Corey, which happens to be the pen name of authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham. The first four seasons have held close to the first four novels.
Season 4 took on Cibola Burn but also introduced freshness to bridge season 4 to The Expanse season 5. Bringing Keon Alexander (Eugenia and John) as Marco Inaros into season 4 shenanigans was a great move as he is the big bad in the fifth book, Nemesis Games but was able to make a strong introduction in season 4. Not only did Inaros come aboard during season 4 but because of a favor Naomi called in with Fred Johnson, another important character made his appearance. This would be Filip.
To get from season 4 to The Expanse season 5, showrunner Naren Shankar needed a bridge. Introducing both father and son and their work together to send Strathairn’s Ashford out an airlock was the bridge they found
One more way Marco helps bridge season 4 to season 5 is that season 4 ended with a big revelation. He is using Martian stealth tech to send asteroids to attack Earth. Father and son’s roles expand even more as The Expanse season 5 gets going. Marco’s rogue faction has been purchasing military equipment from the black market to help lead his attack on Earth.
One more question to answer, did Amos actually kill Murtry? The season finale left fans hanging, so it will be interesting to see where things pick up from when Season 5 premieres.
AND THAT’S A WRAP
Series director Breck Eisner (The Crazies, The Last Witch Hunter) recently posted pictures of the Season Five Wrap Party. Take a look…
The Expanse season 5 makeup department head Brian Hui also got in the act and posted a few of his own…
Now that we know season five is a wrap, expect it headed to Amazon soon.
SEASON FIVE RELEASE DATE
How soon, though, is anyone’s guess as Amazon has yet to set a premiere date for The Expanse season 5.
Stay tuned for updates as they come out.