By Michael Pea
Syfy Channel held a party for the season two premiere of The Expanse at Alamo Draft House theaters around the country on Monday, January 30. The evening started with a live Facebook Q&A at 7:30 EST which featured the cast of Dominique Tipper, Steven Strait, Frankie Adams, Cas Anvar, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Wes Chatham. The season two premiere event was capped off with second live Q&A at the Brooklyn Alamo Draft House where the cast was joined by Daniel Abraham and Mark Fergus.
In the first Q&A, the cast began the discussion with how they knew the show would be a hit. Cas talked about the brilliant marketing ploy to make four episodes of the show available after San Diego Comic Con. The critics loved it and the fans found it. Shoreh knew the developers, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, were brilliant. For her it was a no brainer to sign on as soon as she was asked. Wes gave an excellent analysis of Amos as a tribal person who has finally found his tribe. At one point there was a Facebook question about whether the Belt could beat Mars or Earth or their combined force in an all out war. The entire cast agreed the Belters could not possibly win. Having read the books, I suggest we take a wait and see attitude. One of the best moments was when the cast yelled “donkey balls” together.
The cast went on to discuss the advanced technology in the show and which technology they liked the most. Cas liked the “juice” given to the crew to survive “high G” maneuvers. They then discussed how the use of technology and the layout of the set affects their acting and character interpretation. The set is so elaborate and complex that it helps make the show real for them as well. It is easier for them as actors to believe they are there than if it were all green screen. Wes commented that the spacesuits were uncomfortable at times. The rest of the cast agreed. Also, the harnesses used to simulate weightlessness changed how they acted a particular scene. On the other end of the scale, the “high G” scenes call for much different acting skills.
The Facebook Live interview concluded with facts about the cast. The cast identified Wes as the prankster of the group. Dominique loves a special British chocolate called Hobnobs. Most of the actors have not read all of the books, but for different reasons. The main reason is that they want to make sure their characters are in the moment. Also, there are differences between the novels and the show.
During the final Q&A with the producers, Wes alluded to a recent presentation The Expanse team gave at Caltech. Caltech, one of the greatest science institutions in the world, gave The Expanse an A plus for accurate science! We know they deserve it.
Frankie Adams was introduced to the audience as Bobbie Draper. Frankie is absolutely amazing in the role. The show will only get better with her involved. The cast and producers discussed the growth and evolution of the crew as the solar system undergoes major changes due to the discovery and impact of the Protomolecule. New and exciting events will affect and mold the crew of the Rocinante as they face Mars, Earth, the Belt, and the Protomolecule. My bet is on the crew of the Rocinante.