"It’s easy to say something is 'the next Game of Thrones,'" says Alicia Lutes of the canceled Syfy series that premiered its fourth season Friday after it was rescued by Amazon's Jeff Bezos. "Throw a politically minded premise filled with deception and power grabs into a genre framework and someone somewhere is going to try to dub it the successor to the HBO epic’s throne. But few of these series actually have the combination of plotting, casting, production value, devious machinations, twists, and world-building necessary to deliver on such a high promise (regardless of your thoughts on that final season). But having devoted much of my professional life to covering Thrones, I can say with confidence there is one show among the many claiming this title that actually lives up to it: The Expanse. The former Syfy series, recently moved to Amazon Prime Video, is extremely well-positioned to be your next epic obsession; so much so that I feel comfortable dubbing it the next Game of Thrones … in Space!"
The Expanse is as stunning and complex on Amazon as it was on Syfy: "The Expanse is a fading breed of science fiction TV series, a sweeping operatic saga that takes its realism seriously while filtering universal themes about the human condition and mankind’s higher and baser traits into a fascinating speculative tale," says Melanie McFarland. "As a contemplative work of art, The Expanse has few peers in the medium in terms of its intricately crafted visuals and world-building, and is rightly hailed for its attentive devotion to correctly portraying basic principles of physics and science without overwhelming the viewer. This series is stunning in all the right ways. It’s also one that requires close viewing and commitment, whose comprehension is assuredly assisted by reading the eight novels upon which it is based — and each of the books from which the first three seasons draw their plots is dauntingly thick."
The Expanse is taking advantage of having more creative freedom on Amazon: "The closing of one door brought the opening of another courtesy of Jeff Bezos, who dramatically saved the show less than a month after it was initially shelved," says John Jacques. "While the show still largely operates within the same budget under independent owner Alcon Entertainment, existing under the Amazon umbrella breathes a lot of new creative freedoms into the series: gone are the 43-minute runtime requirements that come with a cable network, or the finite limits on language, gore, or nudity that can detract from what some cast members call an authentic approach to the source material of The Expanse. For many of the cast and crew, Amazon's acquisition of the show is a golden opportunity for The Expanse to tell a truer version of itself."