The Syfy channel once was known as the home of second-rate science fiction films, with C-list or worse actors and terrible plot lines.
But now there might be a breath of fresh air coming from Syfy.
Whether it is due to better writing, better actors or more believable science in the science fiction, I’m not entirely sure.
The truth is, it seems to be all three.
A perfect example of this is a stellar show now entering its third season — “The Expanse.”
“The Expanse” is set a couple of hundred years into the future of Earth.
In the very first episode, we’re introduced to a myriad of characters and a brand-new world of social strife.
While humans still are living on Earth, there also are humans living on Mars — known as Martians — and on space outposts in the asteroid belt.
Most of the individuals from these outposts are known as belters. Of course, all three factions are on the brink of war.
In some ways, the overall plot is predictable, but there are complexities that keep viewers guessing during each episode.
The best parts of the show are the way it is filmed, and the amazing way that real science and psychology are tied into the fiction.
Putting science back in science fiction
The science in “The Expanse” ranges from how the human body adapts to a lifetime — or multiple generations — of living in space.
These individuals are belters — born in zero gravity, growing up in zero gravity and eventually dying in zero gravity.
The actors chosen to portray these characters are tall and skinny, and have long limbs.
Because zero gravity is a factor they have to overcome, they wear special boots that can be magnetized.
Spaceships are equipped with seats that administer medicine via injections to help with extreme gravity changes when the rate of travel changes drastically.
All of these examples and so many more portray a realistic view of what life could look like in 200 years.
The psychology of what can happen to a person trapped in space — where there is no way to step out into the sun or feel your feet in the dirt — also is seen on “The Expanse.”
Claustrophobia, cabin fever or whatever else it is called would be a reality for anyone stuck in space.
Martians exhibit extreme pride in their differences from the Earth-dwelling humans they left behind.
Belters aren’t physically able to handle Earth’s gravity — which perhaps creates a sense of disconnection from their heritage.
Now, I know “The Expanse” is based on a book series with many differences, but I have not read the books. My opinion is based solely on the television show.
I love this series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good science fiction. I also applaud Syfy for broadening its offerings.