SyFy has been taking great pains to return to what originally made the channel great, and that is classic science fiction. To help facilitate this move the channel has been looking to science fiction books as source material and then adapting them for either mini-series or regular series, and they are focused on stories that deal with the “human condition.”
According to io9 the pilot for The Expanse is truly something to be reckoned with in terms of how great it is supposed to be. Early reports suggest that the pilot and series differ from the books, and that difference is what highlights the understanding of the heart of the story in a way best suited for both the TV medium as well as today’s viewing audience. However, what came out of the New York Comic Con panel managed to shed more light.
According to Executive Producer, Hawk Osby, the appeal of this universe, drawn from the books by S.A. Corey, is the setting of the stories, or more specifically, the area of space between the orbits of Earth and Mars, as well as dealing with a new class of people known as “Belters.” They represent the new working, or possibly even oppressed class who are “asked to build empires for other people but have no stake” in its success.
The second new show to premiere on SyFy is called Hunters and is based on the Alien Hunter series by Whitley Strieber. The story deals with the abduction of the wife of an FBI agent, and how that abduction leads him to a secret group known only as ETU, and they are tasked to track down a terrorist group made up of aliens called Hunters.
Nathalie Chaidez, Executive Producer for Hunters found the series appealing because it did what all classic science fiction stories have done, and that is give an allegory, all “in the great tradition of science fiction,” and using aliens as the metaphor for terrorists was “irresistible.” The series also asks questions about who we are and the role we play in the world the story takes place. Gale Anne Hurd, also serving as Executive Producer, put a focus on the central question that this show poses, and that is “Who do we become when we track [aliens] down?”
In both shows there’s a commitment to quality science fiction from Syfy that is refreshing. The Expanse premieres December 14 and Hunters April, 2016.