With The Expanse due to return to our screens in just a few months, we can’t help but begin to get excited about what’s in store. This ground breaking pseudo-realistic sci fi series first came to us in 2016, offering a refreshing approach to the near-future that eschewed the hyperdrives and plasma cannons of its contemporaries for the torpedoes and PDC’s of a recognisable kind of space war.
The windows on the bridge were gone, as were the transporters and energy shields. When these vessels are hit, you know it from the bullets and shrapnel that cut through the ship, and sometimes the crew. Even something as simple as sending messages is forced to obey the speed of light.
The show-runners took pains to ensure that things as fundamental as spaceship design followed our current understanding of what is possible, with stations utilising spin gravity and ships made to work within the laws of thrust, giving us the now iconic skyscraper-look of The Donnager and The Rocinante.
It wasn’t just the spaceships either, everything from the language to the political systems and governments are frightfully believable. This show is full of details that build its world up bit by bit, giving us a picture of the future that pulls us in heart and soul and makes us dread what might be coming for it.
10. The Government
Like everything else, The Expanse treats its politics with a fair degree of realism. The U.N's near complete control of Earth is based in a believable history of political change.
The U.N was the original administrator for the Mars colonisation program, 200 years before the events of the show. Owning the research in terraforming technology that was developed on Mars allowed them to help stem the tide of climate change on Earth, saving its ecosystems from widespread collapse.
Though Earth remained an overcrowded, over-polluted powder keg, the U.N's role in saving it gave it unparalleled influence over its member states.
When relations with Mars broke down in the mid 23rd century with the formation of the Martian Congressional Republic, the U.N negotiated peace and even access to the technology of the Epstein drive, allowing it to expand even further across the solar system than before.
These advantages, which haven't overridden the nuances of power blocs, divisions and conflicts that still exist within the U.N, are the things that make it a believable one-world government more readily understandable than those found in other franchises.