With only two seasons of The Expanse remaining, there's a fair amount to wrap up. First thing on the agenda: those cloaked asteroids heading straight for Earth, sent shooting through space by the show’s latest antagonist, Marco Inaros, played by Keon Alexander.
“It takes rocks a while to cover that distance,” showrunner Naren Shankar tells SFX magazine in the latest issue. “The events early on in season five occur under a shadow of mounting dread. The dread is really from the audience’s perspective, because they know what’s coming. At the end of season four, nobody knows that those rocks are out there. Nobody knows what Marco is doing. Nobody knows what has happened. Take that idea and run with it. Now, how that comes to fruition, or not – the consequences of it – is all the material of season five.”
Shankar calls this year the series’ most “personal and epic season”. Based on the fifth instalment in the Expanse books series, Nemesis Games, the show picks up with the calm before the storm. When the show returns, humans are journeying through the Ring gates in search of a new place to settle. In the meantime, the core four characters – Holden, Amos (Wes Chatham), Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Alex (Cas Anvar) – have split up to confront some of their own private baggage.
“It’s something the show has done consistently over the years,” Shankar says. “It has this unique balance of the high-epic, grand geopolitical storyline. But it’s always refracted through very personal, boots-on-the-ground individual characters. This season, that balance just seemed to hit a beautiful, sweet spot.”
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Shankar and the cast of The Expanse season 5 go into much further detail in the new issue of SFX – available now. The first three episodes of The Expanse season 5 are on Amazon Prime Video on 16 December, with new episodes each Wednesday.