Syfy's ambitious space opera, The Expanse, blasts off with first trailer

Contributed by
Jan 15, 2015, 4:59 PM EST (Updated)

The first trailer for Syfy’s (Disclosure - Syfy is Blastr's corporate parent) upcoming space opera The Expanse has arrived. Could this be the Battlestar Galactica replacement we’ve all been waiting for?

The show is based on the sci-fi book series of the same name written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S.A. Corey). It’s set largely in space, in a time when humankind has populated the solar system, but in which interstellar travel is still not a reality, and it looks to be an ambitious drama hitting on everything from space war to seedy politics.

Thomas Jane (The Punisher) takes center stage as a detective who hails from the asteroid belt (a "Belter," in the parlance of the story), and he certainly looks the part of the grizzled Miller in what we can see here. Also on view are some good looks at Steven Strait as James Holden (the series' main protagonist in the books) and a nice hero shot of his crew, some talk of the Earth/Mars rift from Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala (whose part has seemingly been beefed up significantly), some zero-G sex, Belters getting upset at treatment from the inner planets and a lot of talk of a space-spanning conspiracy. It definitely looks like some compromises have been made for the medium -- for example, the Belters in the books are markedly tall, thin and willowy thanks to having adapted to life in a lower-gravity environment, which doesn't seem to be the case here -- but, overall, the tone feels pretty in line with what we've seen on the page.

The network has greenlit a 10-episode debut season, with a premiere set for later in 2015. Mark Fergus (Iron Man) and Hawk Ostby (Cowboys & Aliens) wrote the pilot, and the premiere was directed by veteran TV alum Terry McDonough (An Adventure in Space and Time). All three will serve as writers and producers along with Naren Shankar (Farscape, Grimm).

Check out the trailer below:

The network has also released a longer synopsis for the series, breaking down more of the cast and overall plot:

This hour-long, ten episode series is based on the popular New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). 

Thomas Jane (Hung, The Punisher) will play the lead character of Detective Miller, a native of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Detective Miller works for a corporate security force that operates as the law in the asteroid belt. Ragged and in search of something he can't identify, Miller finds a new sense of purpose when he's put in charge of the investigation of a missing heiress.

Shohreh Aghdashloo (The House of Sand and Fog, 24, House of Saddam) will portray Chrisjen Avasarala, a smart and passionate member of a political family legacy who has risen high in the ranks of Earth's governing body.

Steven Strait (Magic City, City Island, 10,000 B.C.) will play Holden, an officer on the ice-carrying freighter, the Canterbury. Holden is a natural leader who's not sure he wants responsibility, but will soon have no choice when he is drawn into a dangerous plot.

So, what do you think of the trailer? Do you plan on checking this one out later this year?

(Via Syfy)