SpaceChampion

The Expanse #2: Caliban's Thread - [spoilers for book only up to latest tv show episode]

505 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, karaddin said:

Phoebe was associated with prophecy so the selection of that moon for the protomolecule is a nod to being a herald of the future.

Interesting point.  I think the authors also picked Phoebe for scientific reasons.

Unlike most moons, Phoebe is retrograde.  It revolves around Saturn in the opposite direction of the planet's rotation and the revolution of Saturn's other major moons.  Its orbit is much further out than Saturn's other major moons and also very eccentric.  It even may be made of different material - it's albedo is far lower than most of Saturn's other moons.

If I understand correctly, this makes it much more likely that it is a "captured" object rather than one that, like the majority of moons, was formed when the planets were formed (the latter tend to revolve in the same direction as the planet's rotation and be a bit closer in with a less eccentric orbit).

Now there are other such moons in the solar system that are likely captured objects - e.g. Triton which is Neptune's largest moon.  But still, Phoebe's nature makes it a great candidate for a moderately hard science fiction book series like the Expanse to suggest that it came from outside the solar system and that there is something ... unusual ... about it!

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That was a pretty good season finale. I thought it was quite well paced, as it jumped from one area to another, each with its own great tension. Even Holden was much better this episode than in previous episodes. I liked the breaking of the Arboghast. And did anyone else recognize Adam from MythBusters in those scenes?

Too bad that

Spoiler

Miller didn't appear. Considering that he appears to Holden due to a left over protomolecule sample of the monster on the Roci, and how they paralleled the monster's final moments with what was happening on Venus, I was sure that the very last scene was going to be Miller "We need to talk"

 

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I thought it was a really strong finale, and yeah - I remarked during it how Holden being sad and hurt and beaten up is way better than angsty Holden. 

In particular, this ep had a lot more good, crisp character interactions in a single bit. Avasarala and Cotyar's awesomeness, Bobbie talking with the electrician and the Oops scene, everyone hitting Holden in the leg and pretty much every scene with Amos. The dialog and acting was really fluid and fun, and reminded me of some of my favorite Joss Whedon eps. 

Really pretty to look at, too. I could watch shots of Jupiter all day. The Arboghast's disassembly was perfect, too. And they even kept in the EM pulse when the Caliban died!

It ended pretty much where I thought it would as well, and we'll get the 2nd half of Caliban's War next season as well as hopefully some of Abbadon's gate.

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Posted (edited)

I am really impressed with this show. As I have said I have been reading the prose form is this kind of science fiction since the early 1950s and this seems the first time, as TV drama, I seen a close to full realization of the source material I am so familiar with.

I am not discounting Star Trek , which got there first, Roddenberry too was a knowable fan of the prose form.

But have never seen space-opera-SF-on-a-chipped-plate , just as it came off the page , and that page, or pages have been around since 1938. 

Been telling people for years that there is a body of science fiction stories that the TV visual media has never touched, glad someone finally did it.

 

Edited by boojam

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10 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I thought it was a really strong finale

Damn, I thought we had a few more.

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Overall, a very strong season. For a show, that has its own limitations with regard to money, network, marketing, it is doing really well. I liked the resolutions across the board, and I am really looking forward to seeing what comes next. That Venus shot was amazing and I have to say that Holden didn't suck as he used to. I would have preferred that Avasarala's storyline moved a bit faster or just further, but that's just about that. Now, we move to Season 3 :D 

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Anyone remember how far into Caliban's War this ended on?  I'd guess half-way?

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It wasn't the most exciting season finale and really dragged out the conflict on board the Rocinante and Mao's pleasure yacht imo, but left enough questions to be answered next season, mostly the Arboghast and Venus. I loved the shot of the "caliban" getting torched.

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3 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

Anyone remember how far into Caliban's War this ended on?  I'd guess half-way?

About 2/3rds though some of the three plots were a bit behind.

In particular:

Spoiler

The Avasarala/Bobbie story is pretty close to being done (they head to Io next), the Roci story is also almost done (again, Io), but the Venus storyline is far behind by comparison. We've also not gotten anything like the Earth civil war fight that might happen, though there's time. 

 

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I loved this finale - good tempo and just the right amount of resolution, but with some light cliffhangers. Even though I've read the books I was at the edge of my seat when they showed Proti in the cargo bay. If I'm going to nitpick I thought it was weird how slow the monster got through the hull with the shown apparent ease that he was breaking and bending metal, and I'd have liked a little bit more of Bobbie in the power armour.

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I don't like the pace of their learning curve but have decided to stay and enjoy whatever they offer up.   To me that vacuum soldier was a starting point that they then didn't do anything interesting with conceptually.  Shooting and healing is fun, of course, just a bit basic.  The crew banter is gooder than other sci fi.   Bobbie and electrician was the highlight.    Creepy twist from the guy running earth now.   

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9 hours ago, Kalbear said:

About 2/3rds though some of the three plots were a bit behind.

In particular:

  Hide contents

The Avasarala/Bobbie story is pretty close to being done (they head to Io next), the Roci story is also almost done (again, Io), but the Venus storyline is far behind by comparison. We've also not gotten anything like the Earth civil war fight that might happen, though there's time. 

 

Spoiler

With respect to "The Avasarala/Bobbie story is pretty close to being done (they head to Io next), the Roci story is also almost done (again, Io)," I don't quite agree.  There's a significant segment left before Io in the books.  Ava and Bobbie take Julie's old racing pinnace, the Razorback, from Mao's Yacht to the Roci.

There, all of these characters put out a press release Mao and the shadow government on Earth and find themselves chased by 6 Earth/UN destroyers from dispatched from the Jovian system (presumably by Admiral Nguyen).  The MCRN is suspicious and dispatches 6 ships of their own, 4 destroyers and 2 fast cruisers after the 6 Earth/UN ships.

The Roci crew and Ava/Bobbie discuss options, none of them good (including trying to send 2 people off on the Razorback).  Things look bleak.  Ava asks what the plans of the famous James Holden are and he counters by saying his plan is to die in an expanding cloud of super-heated plasma.  No way out.

Finally Bobbie realizes that their best option is to slow down just enough so the MCRN ships get within range of the Earth/UN ships just around the time the Earth/UN ships catch up with the Roci.  Ava sends a message the the MCRN ships that she is the legitimate government of earth and is being chased by a rogue faction of the Earth/UN military.  The words "fucking save me" are uttered, giving the gleeful MCRN fleet permission to attack Earth/UN ships without consequences.  the MCRN fleet, slightly more advanced and with the 2 cruisers to boot, along with backside help from the Roci (with Bobbie as gunner), are able to overcome the Earth/UN fleet.

It's only at that point that, after some repairs and re-arming, they all head to Io where the remainder of Nguyen's rogue Earth/UN fleet is guarding the base where they are creating the protomolecule hybrids.

 

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Afterbuzz TV finale review with guests Wes Chatham (Amos) and Cas Anvar (Alex).

 

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On 4/20/2017 at 11:11 PM, Triskan said:

Damn, I thought we had a few more.

I am amazed they have 13 episodes , GoT has always gotten only 10 and now less. There was a time on TV when there would a season in the fall and one in the spring! It could be 30 or 40 episodes! I wonder if they will keep doing 13?

Season 2 was better than season 1 which was good.

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1 hour ago, boojam said:

I am amazed they have 13 episodes , GoT has always gotten only 10 and now less. There was a time on TV when there would a season in the fall and one in the spring! It could be 30 or 40 episodes! I wonder if they will keep doing 13?

Season 2 was better than season 1 which was good.

I believe season 3 will be 13 episodes.

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Posted (edited)

Watching again I could not hear the first time:

"Till the rains fall hard on Olympus Mon's who are we?"

 

 

Edited by boojam

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Posted (edited)

On 4/1/2017 at 0:27 PM, boojam said:

I may be too optimistic but I foresee that in a hundred years all the nations of the Earth will have attained a high level of economic and technological existence. Right now every 'advanced' nation on the Earth has a declining birth rate , makes economic sense. I can see the population growing a little more , then it will decline.

The world population rate has been slowing , and that means everybody, for the last 75 years. Projections at the current rate are no more than 10 billion in 100 years.

In any case , on the show, there was the implication that the underclasses , while not living in luxury , at all, would not die of sickness or starve to death! That seems out of whack.  That seemed the indication in an exchange in a recent episode.

If it is really as easy to colonize the Moon and Mars , as the show has it, in 200 years, I could see a few billion if not more going off-planet. I like the time scale here , 200 years is a good number, I would make it 300 to 400 to hedge bets about the viability of the set up.

That situation could easily reverse itself in the future if some conditions change, though. For example, presumably one of the big reasons for the low birth rates in the developed world right now is that child rearing takes up too time when both parents have to work. Hence why developed countries with more generous maternity/paternity leave policies and access to kindergartens and so on, have higher birth rates than those that don't. 

In a future where the majority of people don't even have any jobs to go to, that might not be much of an issue anymore. 

What I found more unrealistic in the show was rather the very primitive conditions that the Belters seemed to work in. A lot of the stuff they do looks like the kinds of 20th century industrial jobs that are already being replaced by robots in our societies, nevermind how things will look like 250 (?) years from now. If automation has eliminated most jobs on Earth, which seems to be the case, I wonder why the same thing hasn't happened to the Belt? 

Anyway, I really liked the show, and it does feel a lot more realistic overall than most Science Fiction series. Are the books worth reading as well? 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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2 hours ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

That situation could easily reverse itself in the future if some conditions change, though. For example, presumably one of the big reasons for the low birth rates in the developed world right now is that child rearing takes up too time when both parents have to work. Hence why developed countries with more generous maternity/paternity leave policies and access to kindergartens and so on, have higher birth rates than those that don't. 

In a future where the majority of people don't even have any jobs to go to, that might not be much of an issue anymore. 

What I found more unrealistic in the show was rather the very primitive conditions that the Belters seemed to work in. A lot of the stuff they do looks like the kinds of 20th century industrial jobs that are already being replaced by robots in our societies, nevermind how things will look like 250 (?) years from now. If automation has eliminated most jobs on Earth, which seems to be the case, I wonder why the same thing hasn't happened to the Belt? 

Anyway, I really liked the show, and it does feel a lot more realistic overall than most Science Fiction series. Are the books worth reading as well? 

Short answer, yes.

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8 hours ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

What I found more unrealistic in the show was rather the very primitive conditions that the Belters seemed to work in. A lot of the stuff they do looks like the kinds of 20th century industrial jobs that are already being replaced by robots in our societies, nevermind how things will look like 250 (?) years from now. If automation has eliminated most jobs on Earth, which seems to be the case, I wonder why the same thing hasn't happened to the Belt? 

I kind of felt the same way, but my suspicion is that simply there are too many complex things going on for any one robot to fix, and robots are expensive. So you see a ton of AI in ships, in natural language processing, in trajectory and combat, but you don't see a lot of robotics in things like fixing specific items because so much is jerry-rigged. It's easy to have a robot do something that it knows exactly how to do with the right supplies; it's hard for a robot to ascertain that this specific combination of duct tape, welding material and plant life will be exactly right to fix things for the next 2 hours.

My suspicion is that there should have been more robots to do more vacuum-related tasks, but otherwise it's not that bad.

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25 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I kind of felt the same way, but my suspicion is that simply there are too many complex things going on for any one robot to fix, and robots are expensive. So you see a ton of AI in ships, in natural language processing, in trajectory and combat, but you don't see a lot of robotics in things like fixing specific items because so much is jerry-rigged. It's easy to have a robot do something that it knows exactly how to do with the right supplies; it's hard for a robot to ascertain that this specific combination of duct tape, welding material and plant life will be exactly right to fix things for the next 2 hours.

My suspicion is that there should have been more robots to do more vacuum-related tasks, but otherwise it's not that bad.

On top of all that, you have a "Company Store" sort of economy going on with the Belters wherein I would have to guess that it is more economically lucrative for Earth Corps to just keep that model in place.

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