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Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





I've been enjoying the other blind watch threads, so I thought it only fair I should do one as well. One caveat: I'm averse to effortposting and definitely won't be doing the full recaps/live reactions others have been doing. Also, not gonna lie, I'm coming at it a little skeptical.

I first saw S1E1 (do these even have episode names? I didn't pay attention) a long time ago, maybe a year or two? Long enough that I had virtually no memory of it when I tried again this time, anyway.

It was really confusing at first. The parts on Ceres especially tended to have a lot of future-slang in non-American accents, and I didn't really catch any names for any of the characters. This is normal for me anyway, give me about a half dozen episodes or possibly a character list and I'll be on track. So far I've got the Macguffin character the cop with a hat is looking for, who was on the ship that was damaged and abandoned and then apparently left as bait for the Canterbury crew (although maybe not specifically) to find. Then there's UN torture lady, and the five or so remaining crewmembers of the late Canterbury. I gather the formerly-acting-XO along with these other three (Macguffin, hat cop, UN lady) are our major characters.

It did do an effective job of introducing the setting and starting off with a mystery. I definitely recognize UN lady from somewhere, both visually and vocally, she has a unique voice. Hat cop is like a poor man's Michael Fassbender, not an insult. Both he and the Canterbury XO got slightly different facets of the rogue with a heart of gold treatment by displaying some conscience.

Well, what more can I say after one episode? I don't know how regularly I'll update this since we're also rewatching Babylon 5 currently, but by posting a thread I'm partly trying to keep myself motivated. Standard blind watch rules apply, please.

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Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

From the very first episode, I liked how they showed that asteroid colonies have birds on them, and they are lazy fuckers who barely bother flapping their wings in the low gravity.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





You wouldn't call a Belter lazy, they just grew up in a different environment.

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010




Grimey Drawer

I dig this. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between if I want to read the books or watch the show and a good blindwatch thread would definitely top the scales for me.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





7 minutes left in S1E2: The Big Empty, but the wife is exhausted (we have a newborn) so we'll have to finish it later. Just wanted to write everything out to help myself remember it: hat cop is Joe Miller - not sure what his partner's name is yet. Macguffin character is Julie A. Mao, and I remember the A because it stands for Andromeda, which is unironically one of the names I suggested for our youngest daughter (I did not convince my wife). UN torture lady is Chrisjen Avasarala. Current de facto captain of the Canterbury shuttle is Naomi Nagata (the name badges on their suit helmets helped a lot). Formerly acting XO is Jim Holden. The medic is Garvey, the pilot (navigator? both?) is Alex Kamal, and the, uh, other guy is Amos Burton.

Holden has what I can only describe as a punchable face. Naomi slightly reminds me of my granddaughter, although still not as much as Sgt. Greer from Stargate Universe did, lol.

Episode not finished as mentioned, so I'll continue with impressions after we get the last few minutes in at a later date.

Musluk
May 23, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Holden has what I can only describe as a punchable face.



Also, unless it's really annoying, I'd suggest turning on the subtitles for The Expanse. Some belter accents are real hard to understand even when they're speaking English.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





I try to avoid that at all times, but you may unfortunately be right. I didn't have this much trouble with Black Panther, but I get the impression this show is a little more uninterested in the ease of the viewer.

For example, on a completely different note, the damaged antenna array in this episode (S1E2). Very minor detail so not going to bother with spoiler tags. When they first went outside they were like "it could be worse," and then they looked at it and were like, "it's worse." It looked like maybe it sparked a bit so I thought, ah, it's still electrified and shorting out, but they get down to work on it without any further explanation. I get it, it's not strictly necessary to it up so I can follow along with a detail meaningless to the story, but it felt in practice more like a shortcut than what I'm sure it's intended to be, a realistic portrayal without holding my hand. If I missed something there feel free to correct me.

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017
Probation
Can't post for 36 hours!


This show starts out a little show then it absolutely whips into high gear and it is loving incredible. Strap in and enjoy the ride. Also watch those doors and corners, kid.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Funny you should say that, because my wife thinks it's really slow, lol. I think she is still traumatized by Interstellar which she couldn't even finish.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Alright, finished S1E2 and E3. You guys were right that it's picking up quickly. A lot to process here, but a question: I know what the OPA as an organization essentially stands for, but what does the actual acronym stand for? Outer Planets and Asteroids, as opposed to Earth and Mars? That's my best guess at the moment.

Other questions/comments through the end of S1E3: now I know why I didn't know Miller's partner's name and why he wasn't in the cast list for me to find it out. So long pal, I hardly knew ya.

I believe the bearded guy Avasarala screws over was the Earth ambassador to Mars? And in episode 2 she's said to be "two heartbeats" from becoming the head of the UN, meaning she's #3 currently?

Interesting lie detector test with the sensory enhancement pills.

Kind of a Clue situation on the Mars ship so far, any of the prisoners (or none of them) could be responsible, except I suppose I'd be very surprised if Holden were involved beyond accidentally.

Kind of irritates me that they keep pronouncing the Scopuli as SCOPP-yu-lie when it seems like it should be an Italian name like Sco-PU-lee.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Outer Planets Alliance.

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010




Grimey Drawer

S1E1 does the thing where narration becomes diegetic audio right at the beginning with the belter guy talking about how water rationing is bullshit and it's my favorite thing. I'm such a sucker for it.


S1E2 Holden attempts percussive maintenance; it works

ShallNoiseUpon fucked around with this message at 13:55 on Aug 11, 2020

Awesome Animals
Nov 4, 2011

is shitposting praxis?




I'll join in on this. I watched the first half dozen episodes maybe 6-8 months ago, but fell off it. This is a good excuse to restart.

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010




Grimey Drawer

Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Alright, finished S1E2 and E3. You guys were right that it's picking up quickly. A lot to process here, but a question: I know what the OPA as an organization essentially stands for, but what does the actual acronym stand for? Outer Planets and Asteroids, as opposed to Earth and Mars? That's my best guess at the moment.

Other questions/comments through the end of S1E3: now I know why I didn't know Miller's partner's name and why he wasn't in the cast list for me to find it out. So long pal, I hardly knew ya.

I believe the bearded guy Avasarala screws over was the Earth ambassador to Mars? And in episode 2 she's said to be "two heartbeats" from becoming the head of the UN, meaning she's #3 currently?

Interesting lie detector test with the sensory enhancement pills.

Kind of a Clue situation on the Mars ship so far, any of the prisoners (or none of them) could be responsible, except I suppose I'd be very surprised if Holden were involved beyond accidentally.

Kind of irritates me that they keep pronouncing the Scopuli as SCOPP-yu-lie when it seems like it should be an Italian name like Sco-PU-lee.



S1E3 thoughts

Miller's partner's name was Havelock, which I only really noticed right before he got killed.

I enjoyed how everything the first two episodes spent setting up was kind of laid bare at the start of episode 3 and it starts making connections between the focus characters.

All of the tech stuff continues to be very cool, the sensory enhanced lie detection included. Amos and Garvey ribbing the Martian soldier's slick codpiece and then showing the cool-rear end communicator was another good tech thing.

I don't remember if this was e2 or e3 but the Belter they had on Earth that Avasarala was interrogating that died by breaking out of his harness, not getting the grav drugs and dying from the gravity of (I think?) leaving earth was pretty grim stuff. What a way to die

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





ShallNoiseUpon posted:

S1E3 thoughts

Miller's partner's name was Havelock, which I only really noticed right before he got killed.

I enjoyed how everything the first two episodes spent setting up was kind of laid bare at the start of episode 3 and it starts making connections between the focus characters.

All of the tech stuff continues to be very cool, the sensory enhanced lie detection included. Amos and Garvey ribbing the Martian soldier's slick codpiece and then showing the cool-rear end communicator was another good tech thing.

I don't remember if this was e2 or e3 but the Belter they had on Earth that Avasarala was interrogating that died by breaking out of his harness, not getting the grav drugs and dying from the gravity of (I think?) leaving earth was pretty grim stuff. What a way to die


Acceleration, not gravity per se, but yeah.

I realized I had one more question about the Canterbury. Since she was destroyed by a nuclear weapon, wouldn't that set off detectors all over the solar system? Maybe it wouldn't make a difference to the plot since it seems someone is angling to frame Mars and start a war, but are nukes not considered egregious weapons in the 23rd century? So far it's passed almost without comment except from Holden.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Acceleration, not gravity per se, but yeah.

I realized I had one more question about the Canterbury. Since she was destroyed by a nuclear weapon, wouldn't that set off detectors all over the solar system? Maybe it wouldn't make a difference to the plot since it seems someone is angling to frame Mars and start a war, but are nukes not considered egregious weapons in the 23rd century? So far it's passed almost without comment except from Holden.

I don't think they used nukes on the Canterbury, but I haven't read the book in years and the show isn't explicit on it. It has a fusion reactor that would have breached, so it's hard to tell the difference. I'm not sure you could detect it. Nuclear warheads are not that rare in the Expanse, either.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



Holden says “they nuked the Cant” but that could just be colloquial. I remember reading somewhere that fission nukes aren’t nearly as destructive in space, not sure if that's true or not.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




zoux posted:

Holden says “they nuked the Cant” but that could just be colloquial

Could be either way. Nukes are used for mining in the Expanse so they're not really hard to get your hands on. And in space they're just big explosives since it's not like you're going to make space more radioactive or anything.

E: It is true nuclear weapons aren't the same in space. There's no air to create a pressure wave or firestorm so they won't destroy anything they don't hit directly, and the radiation doesn't matter beyond the initial pulse of gamma rays. That part is actually a bigger deal in space since air will filter out the gamma rays pretty quick, they don't generally make it out of the fireball for an atmospheric detonation.

Grand Fromage fucked around with this message at 18:34 on Aug 11, 2020

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010




Grimey Drawer

Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Acceleration, not gravity per se, but yeah.

lol thank you I knew I was wrong but for whatever reason couldn't find the words.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Grand Fromage posted:

I don't think they used nukes on the Canterbury, but I haven't read the book in years and the show isn't explicit on it. It has a fusion reactor that would have breached, so it's hard to tell the difference. I'm not sure you could detect it. Nuclear warheads are not that rare in the Expanse, either.

Still S1E3 for ongoing discussion context. Actually really E1. A fusion reactor can't go critical and explode like that when it's destroyed - it's so hard to keep fusion going that any disturbance will just stop the reaction, which is a really great benefit over fission for power generation because it's so much less dangerous. It could cause significant damage as the superhot plasma escaped, but a very far cry from a weapon detonation. The designs are just too different.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Still S1E3 for ongoing discussion context. Actually really E1. A fusion reactor can't go critical and explode like that when it's destroyed - it's so hard to keep fusion going that any disturbance will just stop the reaction, which is a really great benefit over fission for power generation because it's so much less dangerous. It could cause significant damage as the superhot plasma escaped, but a very far cry from a weapon detonation. The designs are just too different.

This is not how fusion reactors act in the show/books, however. Losing containment and having the now free reaction blow the ship up happens all the time.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Grand Fromage posted:

This is not how fusion reactors act in the show/books, however. Losing containment and having the now free reaction blow the ship up happens all the time.

Well I haven't read the books either, have I? Even for a series trying to be more realistic I suppose I'll forgive it since that's a pretty standard sci fi thing, much like sound in space, especially since both make it more engaging. Something I just thought to ask, though, it's not matter/antimatter fusion, is it? That would make a big difference.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Anyway I have no reason not to take Holden at his word, and also it doesn't appear to make the slightest difference to the story, so that's good enough for me.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Son of Sam-I-Am posted:

Well I haven't read the books either, have I? Even for a series trying to be more realistic I suppose I'll forgive it since that's a pretty standard sci fi thing, much like sound in space, especially since both make it more engaging. Something I just thought to ask, though, it's not matter/antimatter fusion, is it? That would make a big difference.

The official position of the authors on how the engine technology works is "very efficiently".

These are the clues we get through the series (no plot info here):

They refer to fuel pellets in the books. It's not specified what the pellets are. They're not antimatter engines. The reaction mass is water IIRC.

In the show we eventually see inside a reactor and it's inertial confinement fusion. But while the show is overall an excellent and pretty faithful adaptation, it does diverge in some ways. The authors work on the show so I presume they were okay with it being explicit like that.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





On another subject I noticed tonight (we made it partway through S1E4) that Naren Shankar is working on this show. I recognized the name from many episodes of Farscape, so bonus points for that.

Defiance Industries
Jul 22, 2010

A five-star manufacturer




Grand Fromage posted:

This is not how fusion reactors act in the show/books, however. Losing containment and having the now free reaction blow the ship up happens all the time.

I always thought of it as the sudden release of that much heat and energy in a split-second just loving everything up.

Also as we see later, the people building these navy ships much prefer them destroyed to disabled. Better that the ship is blown to bits and everyone on board dies than they're disabled and easily captured.

Defiance Industries fucked around with this message at 05:01 on Aug 12, 2020

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

L-l-look at you bar-bartender, a-a pa-pathetic creature of meat and bone, un-underestimating my l-l-liver's ability to metab-meTABolize t-toxins. How can you p-poison a perfect, immortal alcohOLIC?




Defiance Industries posted:

I always thought of it as the sudden release of that much heat and energy in a split-second just loving everything up.

Yep. They also reference "dumping core" to prevent the reactor destroying the ship, which implies a constant reaction going on in there since there's a mass of plasma at all times they can flush out the butt before it does bad things it isn't supposed to be doing. Ships that get their reactor holed by a railgun or whatever go boom but there's no more detail than that.

It could all be a lot worse, there's a series of books I read where the author clearly has no idea how nuclear weapons work. He at one point says that detonating fifteen one kiloton nuclear bombs on Mars renders the planet uninhabitably radioactive for a century. Got some bad news about how many megatons of nukes we've set off on Earth without making anything uninhabitable, author man.

Grand Fromage fucked around with this message at 05:04 on Aug 12, 2020

Musluk
May 23, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

In the book Alex is the first one to say Canterbury was nuked, and Holden talks about a gas cloud the size of olympus mons, and radiation shielded equipment for working in Jupiter's radiation belt saving them from some of the worst gamma bursts..

Grand Fromage posted:

Got some bad news about how many megatons of nukes we've set off on Earth without making anything uninhabitable, author man.

Maybe he read too much of Edward Teller's theory of igniting the atmosphere with nukes.

Groke
Jul 27, 2007
New Adventures In Mom Strength

Yah, nukes in space is a bit like a fart in a hurricane. Sure you could detect them pretty easily, especially if you have the kind of sensor infrastructure you would need in a widely settled solar system with a lot of interplanetary traffic. But egregious WMDs? Only if you actually use them against a population center. (Killing a spaceship is killing a spaceship, whether you do it with a nuke or other weapons.)

Awesome Animals
Nov 4, 2011

is shitposting praxis?




I've watched through the first seven episodes, and my only commentary is that Thomas Jane is good.

Frankenstyle
Dec 3, 2005



I just caught up on the show a couple weeks ago. It's way better than the books, but it's still not very good. All the characters are super hateworthy in the show, but they're slightly less glaring dumbasses who are directly responsible for all they bad poo poo that happens like in the books. I kept hoping the show would add a come to Jesus moment where some random character points out that humanity would have been better off if they'd all died early, but just like the books they're supposed to be heroes because who knows why. Alex is the closest thing to a likeable character, and that's just hinged upon him being a sad ex-husband searching the solar system for a niced middle aged divorcee apartment complex to settle in.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





S1E4: CQB

Couple of surprises in this one. The very scene after my wife decides she doesn't like Garvey, his head is taken off by a railgun projectile. And Havelock is back - I wasn't expecting that.

Donnager captain but sorry about your last words: "I didn't think we would lose," real profound.

Self-sealing suit/armor on that attacker, or was it something more? The thought popped into my head that we might be dealing with cyborgs/transhumanists of some kind.

Defiance Industries
Jul 22, 2010

A five-star manufacturer




Fun fact about our boy Shed Garvey: The story is based on a role-playing game campaign that the writers were playing with people they knew (supposedly, George R. R. Martin played the character Miller's partner is based on). This is when the guy playing Shed moved away.

zoux
Apr 28, 2006



CQB is an all timer of an episode. The push-off thing Holden and Naomi do to secure a landing during the escape scene, and then trusting the audience to know about inertia and motion to get it without some tedious exposition is fantastic. Also I think it's the first time I've ever seen that style of space combat - unbelievably fast and brutal, fought mostly by computers, very little “defense pattern alpha and divert power to the deflectors” - ever portrayed in TV or movies. Usually it's just the Age of Sail in space with people reciting shield percentages.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Yeah, I did like that part, after my initial misgivings because I thought he was kicking her toward the ship so she'd then be pulling him as well. I was like, hey, he should be moving backwa- oh, he kicked her up so his mag boots could reach the floor.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Also I'm going to to ahead and chalk up the attackers' stormtrooper-esque aiming skills in the shuttle bay, to the fact the engines were offline and the ship was therefore tumbling in free fall with all the impacts.

Anonymous Zebra
Oct 21, 2005
Blending in like it ain't no thang

Yeah, the aiming in that scene is kind of funny considering there exists a Martian standard issue power armor whose aim-assist literally let's the soldiers perforate a moving golf ball a mile away.

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





S1E5: Back to the Butcher

Kind of a transition episode after the action in CQB. Finally figured out why Miller wears a hat, nice hiding place for the data card, if he hadn't gotten abducted that is.

Little bit of irony in the flashback, fighting to stop hypoxia and then getting blown into space, lol. They seem to be telegraphing something with the UN colonel who's now at Tycho Station (not recalling his name currently), I'm sure it's more complicated than that he's a straight up monster.

Is graphene really that reactive? I know I've seen some articles lately about potentially being able to use it for improved battery tech and superconductivity, but Naomi says if they get the transponder alteration wrong they'll be a "supernova" - just a future idiom that's been watered down through overuse like how we use "awesome" to mean more like "oh, neat, that's pretty good" instead of literally inspiring awe?

Son of Sam-I-Am
Feb 12, 2002





Also not really apropos to anything, but I noticed a couple of really blatant ADR dialogue changes when Miller was interrogating the guy in handcuffs.

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WilWheaton
Oct 11, 2006

Oh my god it's Hitler's dog!



Ah, definitely excited to follow this, the expanse is fantastic and its world is fleshed out , and things happen with nicely thought out repercussions while at the same time being a dungeons and dragons quest in space

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