2:47pm PT by Liz Shannon Miller
'The Expanse' Celebrates Amazon Revival, Previews Season 4
After being canceled at Syfy and then revived for Amazon's Prime Video streaming platform, The Expanse's cast and producers celebrated the show's return Saturday at Comic-Con, including sharing a clip and a teaser trailer for the new season.
The Expanse made a mark for itself during its three seasons on Syfy due to its mature take on planetary exploration, including the political ramifications for those on Earth, Mars and beyond. After the show's cancellation, Amazon was an obvious candidate to revive it (as it already had the exclusive streaming rights to the series), and it was picked up by the platform 10 days after Syfy dropped it.
In fact, sources said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, a big fan of novels on which the series is based, was livid the show went to NBCUniversal-owned Syfy in the first place. The move is said to have ignited Bezos' demand that Amazon Studios brass find the company's version of Game of Thrones.
In the clip shared with fans, some of the show's central characters take one giant leap for mankind. Following the events of the season three finale, in which a new form of transportation opened up a whole new array of galaxies to explore, the Rocinante lands on an alien planet, and the crew sets foot for the first time on this new world. Author Ty Franck explained to the crowd that the ship had to be redesigned for the sequence, and that in both the writing and the performances, they had to accommodate for the fact that characters who had been born in space would have physical limitations when they first set foot on the planet.
Series star Steven Strait confirmed that Thomas Jane would continue appearing in season four, albeit as an alien presence that only Holden can see. "He's a wonderful scene partner," he added.
The teaser trailer, meanwhile, hinted at plenty more space exploration and guaranteed that politician Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) still loves to swear. There will also, thanks to Amazon's less restrictive policies, be more explicit content — or, as the cast joked, "more ass."
Aghdashloo said of the show's prominent female characters, "I'm a storyteller and I love to tell the stories that are meaningful and challenging," and that having those characters front and center was a way of encouraging "young woman all over the world to think of a bigger role in their societies. This show is amazing in this way."
Additionally, Cas Anvar (Alex Kamal) told the crowd that when it came to the show's minority representation, "you gotta let people know how important it is to see [diversity]. I grew up never seeing anyone like me onscreen until Naveen Andrews on Lost and then Heroes."
The panel also included a video of the "exact moment" when The Expanse was saved: footage from a science event at which Bezos announced the deal to pick up the show had come through. The cast, who was present, was more than giddy, though as Wes Chatham revealed, not everyone at the event was equally thrilled. "There was a guy in front of me who was annoyed by us," he said, realizing later that it was Buzz Aldrin.
The Expanse is set to premiere Dec. 13 on Amazon. Watch the season four trailer and Comic-Con clip below.