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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Expanse, The - Season Three (Blu-ray) (2018)

Expanse, The - Season Three (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 19-Sep-2018

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Series Trailer-Trailer, 3 Teaser Trailers, Preview
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-4 Sections (54:54)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 566:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jeff Woolnough
Breck Eisner
David Grossman
Kenneth Fink
ViaVision Starring Thomas Jane
Steven Strait
Dominique Tipper
Cas Anvar
Wes Chatham
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Jared Harris
Chad L Colemen
Frankie Adams
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Clinton Shorter

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     The Expanse is a Syfy channel original series based on the bestselling novels of James S A Corey (the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Two hundred years into the future humans have colonised our solar system, but although technology has advanced the adversarial aspect of human nature has not. Three factions are in opposition: Earth is controlled by the UN, Mars by an independent, and advanced, military power; the third faction is the “Belters”, humans who live and work on the Asteroid Belt from which Earth and Mars draw resources. Into the mix has come a mysterious alien protomolecule with massive destructive power that all sides want to control.

     The Expanse: Season Three is divided into two, very distinct, parts. The first part (episodes 1 to 6) picks up straight where Season Two left off. The crew of the Rocinante, James Holden (Steven Strait), Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) plus Botanist Dr. Meng (Terry Chen) are taking stock after just managing to destroy the hybrid humanoid / alien protomolecule that had invaded their ship and decide to set out for Jupiter’s moon Io where Dr. Meng’s daughter Mei and other gifted children may have been taken. UN Deputy Undersecretary Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), her wounded minder Cotyar (Nick E Tarabay) and Martian Marine Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), having survived an attempt to kill them by UN Deputy Secretary Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), are trying to escape to broadcast news of Errinwright’s betrayal. On Earth Errinwright, who is secretly in league with industrialist Jules-Pierre Mao (Francois Chau) whose companies have been involved in researching the protomolecule as a weapon, has manipulated UN Secretary General Gillis (Jonathan Whittaker) into declaring war on Mars despite the best efforts of the Reverend Dr. Anna Volovodov (Elizabeth Mitchell), a new character and a woman of faith and conscience who may just prove a thorn in Errinwright’s side. Meanwhile, The Belters on Tycho Station led by Frederick Johnson (Chad L Coleman) are determined to take the opportunity afforded by the war between Earth and Mars to assert their rights. As a first step Johnson sends his lieutenant Camina Drummer (Cara Gee) to salvage the giant Mormon ship the Nauvoo.

     By episode 6 many of these plot strands have been resolved, especially after Avasarala and Bobbie are rescued by the Rocinante and her crew, traitors exposed, war averted and Mei found. Then the season resets the series on a very different trajectory.

     The alien protomolecule inside Eros Station that had been crashed into Venus in Season Two re-emerges to form a huge Ring structure in space. There is intelligence and a plan, although what that plan might be is unknown. Naomi has left the Rocinante to return to her Belter roots and help Camina Drummer turn the Nauvoo, now called the Behemoth, into a fighting ship for the Belt, assisted by Belter ex-pirate Commander Klaes Ashford (David Strathairn). The UN, now headed by Avasarala, has sent a team of ships, scientists and open minds, including Anna Volovodov, to study the Ring. On the UN ship incognito is Julie Mao’s sister Clarissa (Nadine Nicole), intent on taking revenge on James Holden, the man who she believes brought down her father. The remaining crew of the Rocinante, trying to save their ship from being repossessed by Mars, are being accompanied by a film crew shooting a documentary. As the UN ships, the Behemoth and the Rocinante are drawn to the Ring, Holden begins to have visions of, and conversations with, Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), the gumshoe who found Julie Mao, and died, in Season Two. The ships enter the Ring and are trapped in a void, pulled slowly towards destruction. Holden, guided by Miller, journeys into the Core; what he finds may either save, or destroy, human civilization.

     In Season One The Expanse was essentially a sci-fi mystery, complete with action, missing persons and a dishevelled gumshoe; Season Two expanded the stakes and was more a political thriller with hidden agendas, betrayals and a crisis of human making. Season Three expands the universe of The Expanse and segues into something different again; an ambitious, philosophical, esoteric examination of faith, hope, life and the nature of existence itself, where the alien minds behind the protomolecule may not, in fact, be the greatest power in the universe.

     After its resolution of a number of plot strands in the middle of this season The Expanse: Season Three with a lot of new characters and new plot strands takes a while to get going again. But, being The Expanse, when it does there is tragedy, death, loyalty, love, betrayal and spectacular action. Season Three consists of 13 episodes which aired in the US between April and June 2018; all 13 episodes are here presented on three Blu-rays.

     This was an expensive (but fabulous looking) series and the Syfy channel passed on the series after The Expanse: Season Three; fortunately Amazon Prime picked it up. Season Four will start showing in the US before the end of 2019 and Season Five has been greenlit.

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Transfer Quality


     The Expanse is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG 4 AVC code.

     This series looks fabulous; sets, whether the UN building on Earth, the command areas, hangers, engineering spaces, etc., inside the different space craft, the hanger like structures on Io are beautifully detailed. The CGI is mostly seamless; the main exception is when Bobby fights the hybrid on Io. The colour palate is dark: grey, dark blue, steel and chrome dominate; space is a monochrome area. The protomolecule is a luminous blue. The black of space is inky and shadow detail excellent, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent except for occasional glare.

     I noticed no marks or artefacts.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio is English DTS HD-MA 5.1.

     This is a loud, enveloping audio track. The surrounds and rears are always in use; in the ships there is always the hum and rumble of machinery or engines, voices, alien sounds and the music. There are lots of directional effects including missiles and ships flying past, the thud of the footsteps of antigravity boots, debris and loose tools flying around the cabin of a spaceship, craft docking and undocking, impacts, explosions, doors closing and the rumble of engines. The action sequences are loud and enveloping, shots and explosions are all around the sound stage. The sub-woofer added rumble to the space craft engines, explosions and the thud of impacts.

     The original score by Clinton Shorter is excellent.

     I did not notice any lip synchronization issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



The Expanse, Season 3: Preview (2:21)

    A minor EPK with cast and crew soundbites, behind the scenes and film footage.

The Expanse, Season 3: Teasers (1:39)

    Three teasers:

The Expanse, Season 3: “United by War” Trailer (1:36)

     A trailer.


The Expanse, Season 3: Behind the Scenes (54:54)

     This consists of four segments - there is a “Play All” option.

     Running over 36 minutes the Twitter Segment is the most substantial. This is hosted by Dominique Tipper; she reads out fan requests and then the cast and crew respond with information, series footage, before and after SFX shot and behind the scenes footage. There is input at various times from most of the principal cast, numerous producers and executive producers, the cinematographer, SFX coordinator, stunt coordinator, construction coordinator, set decorator, production designer, prop masters and costume designers. There are sections on:

     Avasarala’s Closet is a look at The Expanse’s wardrobe department with particular emphasis on Shohreh Aghdashloo’s costumes.

     Flight of the Razorback is a look at the design, building and functioning of the spacecraft new to Season Three.

     Klaes Ashford: Building a Character is about developing the look and the character.


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US region free Blu-ray of The Expanse: Season Three is the same as our release.


     If you are in any way interested in quality sci-fi and have not caught up with The Expanse, do so. This is cracking television, blending genres with a thought provoking script, great characters and action and excellent production values. Of course, don’t start with Season Three as it follows on directly from Season Two. Although there is a reset part way through this season, the stakes for humanity and human civilization are raised even further, something I did not really think was possible! Fans of the series should not hesitate.

     The video and audio are excellent. The extras are decent although Season Three lacks the audio commentaries of Season Two. But we get what is available in the US so shouldn’t complain.

     The The Expanse: Season Three was supplied for review by ViaVision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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