Friday, December 8, 2017

The Rocinante

The Rocinante.
 
One of the rare ships to undergo a name change in a series. The Rocinante is a commandeered Martian (MCRN) vessel, a single fast-attack corvette, by a crew helmed by Captain James Holden, formerly the XO or executive officer of The Canterbury, during an escape from an unknown enemy combatant in the series The Expanse (2015-present).
 
The lethal craft's first appearance came in The Expanse, Season One, Episode 4, CQB or Close Quarter Battle.
 
The Rocinante, named after Don Quixote's horse, was originally called the Tachi until it underwent its official name change in The Expanse, Season One, Episode 6, Rock Bottom here.
 
The Rocinante would serve as the home of James Holden, Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton and Alex Kamal for the run of The Expanse. And what a machine it is. It is fixed with a PDC (point defense cannon) array. It is one mean, lean, slick, state-of-the-art, bad ass, Martian-designed, piece of machinery.
 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

James S.A. Corey: On Character In Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse)

"Holden and Miller have got two different views on the ethical use of information. That's very much a current argument.
Holden's my holy fool.
He's an idealist, a man who faces things with this very optimistic view of humanity.
He believes that if you give people all of the information, they'll do the right thing with it, because people are naturally good.
Miller is a cynic and a nihilist.
He looks at dissemination of information as a game you play.
He doesn't have faith in anyone else's moral judgment.
Control of information is how you get people to do what you want, and he doesn't trust anyone else to make that call.
I picked those two characters because they're both right, and they're both wrong."
-James S.A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes, p.570-



That little quote is telling and a lot can be gleaned from it regarding the back and forth chapter and verse throughout the book with each respective chapter labeled Miller or Holden. These character creations have been adapted faithfully and are properly reflected throughout this first season of The Expanse.



As an individual I can't help but find Holden positively infuriating at times, but also admirable. Miller, on the other hand, speaks for me on so many levels and I found personally Miller to be the most relatable character. To each their own as they read this story. The dynamic will be relative depending on the reader.



And still, despite there stark differences there's a little bit of each of them that influences the other. Holden undergoes his own changes throughout Season Two.

There is indeed a character arc for them both in the book and in The Expanse TV series.



For me, Miller is appreciated most. His change and where he arrives at by the end of the book and ultimately in Season 2, Episode 5, Home is a fascinating and sweet journey. To see Miller's concern grow and ultimately see some of his faith restored is nothing short of an odyssey worth discovering for readers and viewers of the series.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Expanse S1 E6: Rock Bottom

"You're in love with Julie Mao."

The Expanse, Season One, Episode 6, Rock Bottom, is heavy on character interactions and introducing a variety of players in the series to one another.





It's not a particularly memorable affair in the overall scheme or expanse of things from the series but does propel the Leviathan Wakes story forward.

This entry draws heavily from Chapters 18 through 21 in the novel proper.

It does a considerably effective job of further defining the lines and the hierarchy between Belters attempting to eek out a living in space mining precious asteroids to feed their Belter families, the privileged Martians (Earthers who emigrated to Mars), the Earthers and the body politic that is the UN (still going).



The sixth installment alternates between Holden and his crew in their negotiations with Fred Johnson and his request of Holden to pick up a sole survivor of the Scopuli and Miller's investigation into the disappearance of Julie Mao.

The story here truly highlights the dynamic of James Holden, Naomi, Amos and Alex in their infancy as the crew of the Rocinante. Bonds are forming but so still is trust in one another.



It's interesting to see how far this wayward band of heroes would come after seeing the second season and that season's sterling interpretation of the second half of Leviathan Wakes as well as the first portion of that aforementioned book's sequel Caliban's War.

Highlights in the otherwise quiet episode of this series first season include Amos painting Rocinante on the hull of the MCRN vessel. Also, Holden's crew holds strong and after regrouping are tasked with a mission in the retrofitted Rocinante. Fred Johnson commissions them with finding Lionel Polanski.



Meanwhile, Miller moves closer to finding Julie Mao, but also stumbles upon something big. Phoebe Station and a bio weapon revealed upon a data chip recovered by Miller are revealed. The discovery leads to Miller's unexpected firing from Star Helix Security. This thing is big and its tentacles long in a major conspiracy yet to be revealed. Miller has uncovered a leviathan waking indeed.



Rock Bottom, like much of The Expanse series so far, is far less about subtext and much more firmly rooted in its narrative strength and foundation in literature to weave and deliver a compelling, epic story in the making. Humanity is at the root of it all and ultimately as it steps into space the largest potential victim of its own creation. Ultimately humanity and our humanity is at the root of the tale.

Cylons were created by man according to Ronald D. Moore and so too is the protomolecule. Cylons had a plan and so too does this thing called a protomolecule. This can't end well.

Writer: Jason Ning.

Director Rob Lieberman (Fire In The Sky, The X-Files).