A long while ago, I posted that Syfy was doing a series based on one of my favorite Sci-Fi series, the Expanse. I was skeptical.
First, I wasn't sure if the book series was a good candidate for a TV show. The Expanse book series is full of some incredibly big (but slow) story arcs unfolding over multiple novels. The first novel is great, if a little grisly, but the series kind of steps back to do some plot development before really starting to cook again in book 4 or 5.
Second, while the book characters are interesting, I feared that the near future setting would come off a little stiff/cliche (like Defiance), they'd try to make it too comedic (i.e. a Firefly knockoff*), a little too campy and yet self important (like Stargate Universe), or perhaps a poor-man's Battlestar Galactica.**
The series pilot is free right now on Amazon Prime as well as on Syfy's web page. I've watched it twice. The attention to detail in the series is pretty good. Special FX are adequate but not overly flashy. It's faithful to the books (altho Naomi should be a lot taller). The writing is good, and the guys playing Detective Miller and James Holden are almost perfectly cast.
So, I'm impressed. It comes off as a really solid foundation on which they can build. I'm now excited to see how well the rest of Season 1 comes out (and SyFy has already ordered Season 2, a good sign).
I urge you to give it a try. The series premiers on Monday at 10 in the US, with Episode #2 airing the next night on Tuesday. But you shouldn't wait that long, go stream it now.
More info, courtesy of wikipedia.
*Note: I love Firefly, but the Expanse series isn't cast in the same mold, trying to make it be something it's not would be a disservice to the source material.
**Note 2: I also love the BSG remake, at least the first couple of seasons, but again, a poor feel/fit for the Expanse to emulate.