Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

A few closing thoughts on Season 1 of The Expanse

by Daniel Abraham

Well, the first season finale aired last night, and now we have that illusion of a lull while the output of our labor coasts for a while and we knock our brains out doing the next season and the next novel and the next novella.

But still, it seemed like a good time for a few closing thoughts.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to work on the show.  The team on this was astounding, and the education was intense.  Alcon’s support and confidence through all this was invaluable.  Visual media and the storytelling that goes on there is fascinating and complex.  The management of a human mechanism with this many moving parts and one single purpose was like watching a brain from the inside.  The actors who’ve brought our characters (and a few extra besides) onto the screen were amazing and wonderful.  Even if this were the end of the project, I’d have nothing to complain about.

But it’s not the end of the project.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the fans and viewers who came to play, watched the show and talked about it with their friends and on social media.  That conversation is part of our zeitgeist, and we wouldn’t have managed what we’ve done so far without you.

And in that spirit, the critics and reviewers, too.  Even the ones who didn’t like it.  Having The Expanse also be part of conversations about translations between media, diversity, futurism, basic science, shifting paradigms of television distribution, and the history of filmed SF may be the most gratifying thing about this.

In the gap between the first season and the second, I hope the show finds even more of its audience.  For one thing, I think it rewatches/binges really well. I know I’m watching the whole damned thing this weekend.

And still, that said…

In the rollout of the show, I’ve been very active on social media.  Now that we’ve put on our play and taken our bows, I’m going to have to step back from the world a little and focus on some stuff that needs focusing on.  Someone will still have eyes on the accounts, and if something’s critical it’ll filter back to me.  Any big news, I’ll hop on and let y’all in on it.

Play safe.


[ED: A previous version credited Alcon with putting the team together, but Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company rightly pointed out that the core team — Mark, Hawk, and the books themselves — were facilitated by others even before Alcon signed on to back us all.  So a special thanks and acknowledgment to Jason Brown, the incomparable Sean Daniel, and Ben Cook]

25 Responses »

  1. This is so much fun. Already being a huge fan of the books, and then seeing it brought to the screen so capably, and knowing the show will continue for at least another season, just makes me so happy. Now we just need to get the word out. I’m doing my part! Looking forward to the next novel, novella, and episode.

  2. Really enjoyed the first season! Great cameo by the way guys.

  3. Watching the cast, writers, and crew interact on social media (Twitter mostly) has been an added meta-entertainment gem to this whole experience. Thank you for building this exciting world and sharing it with all of us.

  4. The spirit of the book is alive! Love the small adaptational adds… good job team!

  5. I loved the show. it was amazing from the beginning to the end. a bit anticlimactic in the end. no big cliffhanger to bite my nails of. sure. what is going to happen next, but no big bang in the end.
    just felt like the end of an episode, not end of a season.

    The acting is superb! Naomi so to short to be a belter but i can deal with that and she is totally awesome. Amos looks like a baby when I pictured him as a huge guy, but he has grown on me and now i love him.

    The only bad thing about this show is Chrisjen Avasarala. To bad that you did not bring her in to the first season. I have no idea who that UN politician in this season is but it is NOT the M-F badass, take no shit, Chrisjen from the books. This i s a totally different character. Its like making Amos a pacifist. Totally conflicts with the books. Could you not have done a Battlestar Galactica and use “Frack” instead?
    Sorry, but they totally screwed over the best character in the books.

    But even that cant bring me down.


    Best sci-fi since Firefly.

  6. My thanks to all for bringing this story to the screen. I’m watching the season again too, and thinking again what a great job you’ve done. Casting is consistently excellent. (Thank you for Greg Bryk, always convincing whatever the role.)

  7. Cameo?? Where and when did Ty and Daniel appear in the show??

  8. Glad to hear you’re stepping away from the interwebz for a while, Daniel. It’s been a wild ride you you guys and the pressure to stay on top of things can burn you out if you try to stay too long. Writing fiction should be relaxing, but in Hollywood, it’s anything but that. Still, who would turn down such an opportunity?

    Anyway, I hope you find some time for relaxing writing in the months ahead and I think we all look forward to whatever you come up with next.

    Joseph Rhea

  9. I have to tell you that your novels are just great reads. The story telling is the best I have read in some time. Lets put it this way, I had toe go to Barnes and Noble and buy a space atlas. You’re making me think and that is never a bad thing 🙂 Peace

  10. Loved the Television adaptation of the books. I’m eagerly awaiting the blu-ray release of season 1 to add on the shelf next to the books.

  11. After watching the first four episodes of the show I now want to read the book before continuing the show. Have been trying to find a hardcover copy because I like to keep them, but there seems to be none anywhere. Do you know if there are any plans for republishing a hardcover version or know of a site which has some?

    I was looking up a term in Caliban’s War, when the search led to the above link. It is the entire book online, for free.
    I thought you may like to know that, so maybe you could get it taken down, cease and desist, threaten legal action etc..

  13. You guys have Neil Clarke to thank for adding another fan from the other side of the planet. I discovered your name from an article in his magazine (which I absolutely devour every issue in a matter of days) and here I am 3 weeks later about half-way through Cibola Burn. Sorryto say that I watched the first season by downloading it, but I didn’t have much choice living here in France. Anyway, I thought it was pretty good. I know that all the details of a book are impossible to translate to visual media, but I felt the important end results there. Can’t wait to see season 2!
    Also, I’m finally going to be state-side in June and I was wondering if there are any plans for book signings or other public event where I might personally thank you guys for this fantastic adventure?

  14. Season One was outstanding. It’s been quite some time since I made a point to stop and watch a series each week.

    Having said that, I can’t wait to watch it start to finish, uninterrupted on Blu-Ray come April.

    The series was outstanding. I offered a little look at The Expanse on my own site and I’m doing everything I can to shout it from the mountains.

    I’ll be looking at The Expanse episode by episode more closely later this year in the run up to Season Two.

    I will also be reading Leviathan Awakes parallel to the series re-watch.

    I wish you all the best with Season Two and the book series.

    I’d love to see a compilation of the Novellas in book form. I hope that can happen.

    And perhaps one day in 2017 you might do me the honor of a brief interview for my site. Thank you Daniel and Ty! Exceptional science fiction! Keep it coming!

  15. Loved the books. Loved the TV show. It’s a great adaptation, any minor changes from the book are fine – it seems like you had some creative input and control there.

    It feels VERY different from the standard Sci-fi TV offerings, like Galactica did. My wife and I both thought it was last year’s standout new show (of any genre) by a mile. Loved that it was a short season – better 10 great, tight episodes than the normal 22 episodes of filler.

    I had to reread all the books, now just waiting for the next season.

  16. Loved the show, so I started reading the books. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, going to start the second today. I have been looking for a great series like this for some time.They did a good job casting the show. Thomas Jane did a great job as Miller, and Dawes felt like a spot on fit. Steven Straits did a great job but his voice sounded like Josh Hartnett and then I started picturing him in the role.

  17. Thanks both for the great adaptation and for the wisdom of listening to the storytelling voice that suggests, “Ya know, we now have an opportunity to do it a bit differently this time.” It’s a great lesson in storytelling and like watching a a musician bring something new to their cover of an already great song.

  18. Hi Daniel, Ty,

    Just wanted to drop a quick message to tell you both how amazing your books are – currently going through the 4th volume of the Expanse in about 2 weeks, and it’s just a great, great, great trip through space and the universe.

    I also feel like i’ve learnt a lot thanks to the amazing storytelling, character and world building.

    Thank you very much for making me dream like that. Please don’t stop this series any time soon, as I am very much looking forward to its continuation!!



  19. Are there any plans to do a book containing the novellas that have been released? I would love to read them, but I do not like ebooks, so haven’t done so yet.

  20. As a fan of the series I loved the first season, but as I’m rereading LW now, it’s apparent how different the first season is from the book. I really have to consider it as seperate, an adaptation, lest my OCD starts kicking in.

    Physical descriptions of characters are sparse at first in LW (which is great, since finding that stuff out along the way is half the fun), so how I imagined the characters didn’t always line up with the TV series vision (which is also fine). I suspect a large part of that is casting and seeing what works on set. I really saw Miller as the 49 year-old old-man detective. Havelock, Amos, Muss, Naomi have all been altered plot-wise and personality-wise though. Miller’s investigation is setup completely different. The attack of the Donnager made more sense in the book. The feeling of not knowing what was going on the bridge etc. by narrating from Holden’s perspective was so much more logical than putting him on the bridge so we could have a front seat to the action. So some parts felt a bit weak, though as a fan it’s really hard to be overly critical.