‘THE EXPANSE’ SEASON 2 EXPLORES MARS CONFLICT THROUGH BOBBIE DRAPER’S EYES

Originally published on iDigitalTimes Nov. 17, 2016.

The Expanse Season 2 trailer has been unveiled and an official release date set for Feb. 8 on SyFy. From the looks of the footage, the second season will have even more punch than the first. At New York Comic-Con, the cast revealed the Roci crew will explore more places of the solar system involved in the big conspiracy that drives the show. And as you may have expected upon hearing of Bobbie Draper’s casting, The Expanse is taking fans to Mars. Draper will appear in the very first episode of Season 2.

“The Martian perspective was only touched on in Season 1,” Executive Producer Mark Fergus said at the The Expanse panel. “This year we are getting to get a huge glimpse of what Mars is all about, so it balances out with Earth and the Belt.”

READ: ‘The Expanse’ Season 2 Has An Even Bigger Scope

All we saw of Mars in Season 1 was their stuff getting blown up. This season Martian Marine and fan-favorite character from the books will show the audience around Mars. We’ll meet Draper’s team and see how they interpret the war brewing between Earth, Mars, and The Belt.

“You are going to see big issues through the eyes of a foot soldier, someone who really embodies the aspirations of her whole planet,” Fergus said. “You’re going to learn about what Mars has to do with this.”

This protomolecule or bio-weapon, or whatever killed Julia Mao and caused genocide on Eros, is a game changer. Right now it appears Julia Mao’s father and the U.N are at the head of it. At this point, it certainly doesn’t seem like the OPA considering what happened to Eros and the fact Fred Johnson said the stealth ships weren’t actually from Mars, but a Navy Yard on Earth. What we have yet to really know is the extent of Earth and Mars relations. Draper’s role will shed some light into the history of Earth-Mars politics.

“We’ve tried to really ground storyline within the politics and people,” series star Steven Strait explained to iDigitalTimes ahead of the panel discussion. The action and adventure of it happens subsequently because that’s what going on.”

Even though the show happens to be set a couple hundred years in the future, it’s a political thriller at heart, Strait said. “At the core of it, what’s driving this story forward are the philosophical discussion or battles of factionalism versus universalism — are you a Belter or a Martian or an Earther — or does it not matter at all?” Strait said.

One of the reasons The Expanse is so compelling is because there aren’t clear-cut heroes and villains, writer Ty Franck added at the panel. “Everyone is fighting for what they believe in, for peace rally.”

This not only plays out in the action, but within each character’s story arc. There will be some tension in Holden and Naomi’s personal relationship because of their different experiences as a Belter and Earther. It may even break them apart, Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi, teased at the panel. On the flip side, certain characters may end up getting closer because of the traumatic experience on Eros. Amos and Miller, for example, are going to be more on the same page than the first season where they were at each other’s throats, Strait revealed.

“We start to drift toward each other’s world view in a big way,” Strait said, referring to Amos. “If we stay divided there’s people left to pick a side.”

As the team leader, Strait believes Holden is the only person who doesn’t associate with a particular side.

“Holden really within the story itself is the only complete outlier. He thinks they are all full of shit and he doesn’t really trust anybody. I think he’s the one in the story constantly pushing the fact that people need to come together to deal with this thing.”

The Expanse returns to SyFy for 13 episodes on Feb. 8.

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