Almost every year it seems like a fan-favorite genre show is canceled. Most don't get a second chance, but every once in a while, a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime will come along and give it another chance at life. One of the most recent examples is The Expanse, based on the (currently) 8 novel series of the same name by James S. A. Corey, that had been airing on Syfy. When they pulled the plug after Season 3, Amazon came to the rescue and picked the series up for a fourth season. Screen Rant had the chance to sit down with the cast of the show at San Diego Comic-Con and discuss what fans can expect from the fourth season in its new home.
Hey guys, I am here with Screen Rant and the cast of The Expanse season 4, now on Amazon Prime. I have to ask you guys: what is it like now that you’ve moved over to a streaming platform rather than being on cable?
Cas Anvar: It’s liberating.
Dominique Tipper: We’re alive!
Cas Anvar: I mean, the show belongs on a streaming platform. The commercial break format really would inhibit and kind of interrupt the flow of this epic space opera. It’s not a formulaic type of show; it’s one big, long ten-hour feature film. So, to have the ability to watch at your own pace and in your own way is really a luxury, and I think it’s kind of the way we’re watching TV now.
Steven Strait: It also allows us not to have to stick to a 45-minute 30-second format, so we can breathe a little bit if we need to. It can be a little shorter if we need to. But also, the show – the writing – is wildly intelligent, and it doesn’t lend itself to have commercial breaks.
Cas Anvar: It’s insanely smart!
Steven Strait: It is! Sometimes it’s like, if you have too much of a gap, if you have a week or a commercial in between things, you’ll lose stuff.
Dominique Tipper: You won’t get it, because you’re all stupid. No, I’m just kidding.
Steven Strait: So it lends itself to the storytelling in the much larger sense, as well.
That brings up another question. Since your first three seasons were on Syfy and they’re now streaming on Amazon Prime, everyone can catch up before the new season starts. Do you think there’s going to be a difference when people are watching when you shift from season 3 to season 4?
Frankie Adams: Yeah, people are going to stay up all night, because it’s going to be really tough to turn it off. Every episode is so awesome.
Dominique Tipper: For sure. But it’s a big tonal shift, as well. And I think when the writers are writing it without having to take into account the commercial break, that splits up the acts in a different way. So I feel like it will kind of watch a little differently than maybe the first three seasons. But only for the better.
Right. Now, speaking of the tonal shift: going into season 4, you're also starting on a new book from the actual series of novels. So season 4 is actually starting with book four. So can you guys kind of go down the line and tell me where your characters are at now going into this new season, after all these gateways have opened up and this new universe is kind of out there for you?
Cas Anvar: I think what I love about going into season four is that we have been through the ringer in seasons 1, 2 and 3. We have all been baptized in fire. And by the time we get to season 4, there’s a little bit of time that's passed. And we are now not just a family – In terms of the Roci crew, but this also applies to the other members of the cast – but we are now really comfortable in our skins and we really know who we are and how we fit into our team. Whereas in the first three seasons…
Dominique Tipper: Mmm, that doesn’t apply for everyone.
Cas Anvar: Not for everyone.
Dominique Tipper: But definitely for the Rocinante crew.
Cas Anvar: But for the Roci crew. We're figuring out who we are. And we really do know who we are, in terms of being this member of this team now. And that to me was really actually a fun way to start season 4, as this finely tuned, experienced team.
Frankie Adams: You guys are at the Superbowl now.
Cas Anvar: Exactly. Gonna get a ring.
Dominique Tipper: But specifically, character-wise? That in mind, we’re all a bit more comfortable, and then obviously we go to a planet so there’s quite a physical challenge for Naomi throughout season 4 that she’s never ever had to deal with in her life. Ever. And so, we're definitely seeing her adjust to her new surroundings. And then that’s without taking into account all the other stuff that happens, but that’s quite a big through arc for Naomi throughout season 4.
Wes Chatham: There's a reason that my character seeks out a life in space. There's a certain regimented schedule, confined spaces, not a lot of time to let your mind wander and to do other things. Once we get to this new planet, there’s not that. There's a certain tension in the air, there's a certain threat that's always there. It's open air, this primal kind of frontier type of thing that brings out a side of Amos that is really reminiscent of his childhood and really connects back to that. So a lot of the foreshadowing that we've planted in the first three seasons, you will actually be able to see a lot of that happen in this season. In this episode. In this season.
Frankie Adams: How’re you doing?
Wes Chatham: I’m good.
Frankie Adams: We get to finally see a glimpse of Mars with Bobby. She has quite a… Her journey is actually a little more emotional this season. I think she’s really discovering herself and her limits, and what she’s about, what her purpose is. Yeah, but it’s not like anything you’ve seen of her before. She’s still the badass we know and love, but you see her being badass in different ways this season.
Steven Strait: And I think we find Holden in the beginning of season 4 kind of settled into his prophet-like circumstance, where he’s the only one talking to this ancient civilization –
Dominique Tipper: Prophet?
Frankie Adams: Prophet? What are you talking about?
Steven Strait: Well, I mean, he is talking to a technology. So it is kind of prophet-like.
Dominique Tipper: We have a third wheel in our relationship, which is delightful.
Steven Strait: Right. Miller’s a very, very intimate partner in all of this.
Dominique Tipper: For Jim and Naomi.
Frankie Adams: “Who’s Miller? Who dat fool? Who you talking to?”
Steven Strait: But I think you do see him settled into his circumstance and his place within the Roci crew, and also within the kind of larger story as well.
Dominique Tipper: And us accepting it, as well. Which is bizarre.
Frankie Adams: Trust.
You were going to say something?
Wes Chatham: He said prophet, and I thought “Hoses.”
Wes Chatham: Moses! I tried to get out of it, but you –
I apologize for pulling you back in.
Wes Chatham: But when Hoses comes down with the commandments that Miller has bestowed upon him… Sorry.
Frankie Adams: Don’t be. That was genius.
On the production side of things, how has shifting to the new service changed the way the production has run on the backend for you guys vs. cable?
Steven Strait: It’s changed on the distribution side. Alcon Entertainment has been the studio for us through all the seasons, and we’ve kept continuity with the writers and the crew and obviously the cast working in the same place. But the distribution [and] the support, the understanding of what the show is and what it means to us and what it means to people out there, is a big difference. And the reach: 200 countries is a very global narrative.
Dominique Tipper: Which matches the story and the world.
Steven Strait: It’s a perfect fit for us, so it’s a wonderful thing.
That’s great. Before we completely wrap out: the season will be dropping on December 13 on Amazon Prime. All  episodes at the same time. So there you go! Watch season 4 of The Expanse on Amazon Prime. Check it out on December 13 so that we get a fifth season.
Dominique Tipper: Fingers crossed!
Cas Anvar: Make a big cup of cocoa, snuggle up by the fire, and watch the season.
Thank all of you guys for your time.