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'The Expanse' creators tease the show's future after its final season

Naren Shankar, Daniel Abraham, and Ty Franck hope fans will be happy with the promises they have kept. 

By Brian Silliman
The Expanse 601 PRESS

Screaming Firehawks everywhere have cause for celebration; Season 6 of The Expanse has been released on Amazon Prime.

The final season of the landmark sci-fi series will be doling out episodes weekly for next five weeks, but the premiere episode alone gives fans plenty to be thankful for. The series is based on the expansive (sorry) series of novels written by James SA Corey, a name which encompasses two separate people — Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Both serve as writers/creators for the television series, alongside Executive Producer and showrunner Naren Shankar (Star Trek: The Next Generation). 

SYFY Wire caught up with all three of them at the junket to celebrate the final season's release, whey they revealed some of the process behind their creative choices that went into the premier episode and the future of the Expanse universe.

***WARNING: There are massive spoilers for Season 6, Episode 1 of The Expanse coming up. If you have not watched yet, go to full burn and fly out of here.***

Titled “Strange Dogs”, the S6 premiere begins on the planet Laconia. Season 5 left off with the protomolecule having some fun on this planet, and we pick right back up with some of the wildest visuals yet seen on the series. The opening sequence is taken directly from the novella of the same name, and not the book Babylon’s Ashes, which most of this season is based on. 

"It was a way to connect Season 6 to the events that closed out Season 5," explains Shankar. “We ended on that note of the protomolecule sample going through the rings, and what was happening with it. What was this rogue group of Martians doing with it? If we hadn't done the 'Strange Dogs' storyline, you wouldn't have actually been able to connect that narrative at all and it gave us an opportunity to do the novella, which I love, and also give us a little taste of Laconia and pay off some of the elements that were really important for the five seasons shown.” 

Laconia is an important location in the novels, but with only six episodes left, the series will not go on as long as the novels do. Does that mean that this is the last fans will see of Laconia on screen, or is there a chance for fans to spend more time with the Expanse universe?

“There’s always a chance,” Ty Franck said. “We’re not shooting anything right now is what I can say, but we’ll see what happens.” 

The Expanse 601 PRESS

The premiere also picks up with Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander), who continues his reign of terror in order to get freedom for Belters. In circumstances such as these, a figure like Inaros is always going to emerge, and according to Franck, that’s a central truth about history itself. 

“I think that's a central tenet of history, and we borrow a lot from history,” Franck said, “If you take away from people the idea that they are in the future, that there's some element of the future, that it belongs to them… you take away all their hope. Then, if they have nothing left to lose, then humans will do almost anything to try to assert that they matter.” 

Daniel Abraham was quick to point out another parallel, saying, "What was the John F. Kennedy quote? 'If you remove the possibility of peaceful change, you guarantee violent change.'” 

Because of this cycle of violence, things are bleak in the premiere, even though Franck joked, “I feel like Season 6 is our most uplifting and hopeful.” Despite the dark tone of the premiere episode, the show is full of characters who are constantly driven to do the right thing. Will things will stay this bleak, get worse, or bet better? Fans will have to keep watching. 

As the final season unfolds, however, Shankar, Abraham, and Franck seem to have one hope above all others for the fans. “I hope that their takeaway is that they get the sense that we kept our promises,” Abraham said. “I hope they can take away, if you go back and watch the show again from the beginning, that we did what we said we were going to do.” 

The Expanse streams new episodes on Amazon Prime every Friday.