At Long Last, Our First Glimpse of The Expanse's 4th Season

By James Whitbrook on at

It’s been a long road, firehawks – one that’s literally taken us from one network to, well Jeff Bezos. But we’re a step closer to getting a look at the long-awaited fourth season of The Expanse, and these new pictures are here to whet our appetite.

Amazon, the new home for the show after Syfy dropped the adaptation of James S.A. Corey (the nom de plume of co-writers Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham) sci-fi smash hit novel series last year – has released a whole host of pictures giving us our first look at the fourth season, having teased us with concept art back at New York Comic Con last year. And Giz US also got to talk to showrunner Naren Shankar at San Diego Comic-Con yesterday.

Season four picks up in the wake of the shocking activation of the protomolecule, creating an interstellar gateway of huge ramifications for our heroes as well as the warring factions on Earth, Mars, and in the Belt. Now there’s a new land rush on the way, as everyone scrambles to claim rights to the dozens of habitable planets now accessible thanks to the Ring Gate’s opening.

But you know what they say about seemingly perfect habitable worlds falling into your cosmic lap? They’re never that seemingly perfect, and even the first world to be explored beyond the gate, Ilus, holds secrets that none of its early explorers are prepared for.

These new pictures don’t give us much of an indication of just what threat the crew of the Roci might face on Ilus, but they do at least give us an interesting glimpse of a tweak from the novels – Naomi and Holden together on Ilus. As a Belter, Naomi spent most of her time in the events of Cibola Burn – the fourth book in the series and the one that this season is mostly based on – aboard the Rocinante, to avoid having to deal with the different gravity on Ilus on the ground.

Naomi and Holden have a little hugout.

But speaking to IGN about the new images, Shankar revealed the change to give the Roci crew some more focus in the story of the season meant that Naomi’s arc will see her spend more time on the planet adjusting to the changes:

Certain storylines in that novel were focused on characters other than the Roci crew, but when we started working on the adaptation for Season 4, we realized we had an opportunity to tell a critical storyline about Belters’ ability to live in [what we would call] ‘normal’ gravity through Naomi and Alex – it’s deeply moving and connects them in a way we haven’t seen before. And who said we keep them planetside…?

Intriguing. We’re just glad to finally see a teensy glimmer of new Expanse, frankly, changes from the books or otherwise!

We’ll no doubt learn – and see – a lot more at the Expanse panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Saturday, July 20. Stay tuned to Gizmodo for more from there, and everything else at the con!