The cast and crew behind the popular futuristic space saga "The Expanse" visit a Blue Origin (opens in new tab) facility in a recent video published by Amazon Prime, the new home for the series.
"The Expanse" premieres its fourth season (opens in new tab) this Friday (Dec. 13), promising a whole new chapter for the crew of the spaceship Rocinante as they uncover more mysteries about the alien protomolecule and deal with the Belter community's quest to create a home — New Terra — on an enigmatic planet.
Private aerospace company Blue Origin and Amazon were both founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos. An Amazon Prime video published Dec. 5 appears to blend both worlds as the actors and creators of the hit show, which previously aired on SyFy, meet with the head of communications at Blue Origin and a room of engineers and other company officials.
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The video was published less than a week before Blue Origin's launch of a New Shepard spacecraft from West Texas today (Dec. 11). This reusable rocket is manufactured for space tourism, designed to take passengers along for a suborbital space ride.
The video offers an effective market appeal as it strategically bolsters the appeal between both of Bezos's brands; the video touches on a symbiotic relationship that can exist between fantasy and reality. In this case, it's between Blue Origin's commercial spaceflight project and the populated solar system environment from "The Expanse."
The staff at Blue Origin regularly brought up science fiction's role in inspiring the next generation of spaceflight innovation, and show runners like Ty Franck, who co-created the book series the show is based on and who now works as a producer on the series, commented in the video that, as "a kid who read a lot, I quickly realized that the elves and that kind of stuff held less appeal for me than stuff that felt more real like rockets, trips to other planets."
Executive producer Naren Shankar spoke about the creative journey to making the show's scenes believable. "We tried to make space a character in the drama. So we try to respect the rules of the way things move."
"It's like all those things that a lot of science fiction shows tend to avoid, we absolutely embrace," he said in the video.
"Our scripts are coded scene by scene: "gravity," "zero gravity," "spin gravity." And every time we see a zero gravity scene we go, 'Uh! God, OK. Can't lean on this, put my hands in my pockets,'" actor Cas Anvar shared in the video.
The marketing appeal of both brands working with one another was not lost on the cast. "I do think it would be an excellent marketing opportunity to be the first show that shoots a scene in space," said actor Wes Chatham.
Daniel Abraham, the second half of the James S. A. Corey pen name behind "The Expanse," also spoke, adding that science fiction plays a social role in world building. "We talk about the virtuous circle being about technology specifically. But it's also about what kind of culture you can build in the future. What you can see as normal."
The entire fourth season of "The Expanse" will be available on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) this Friday, Dec. 13. You can watch it for free with an Amazon Prime subscription or sign up for a 30-day free trial (opens in new tab).
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