June 7, 2020
Falling Down the Gravity Well
I’d hoped to devote this web log post to an announcement. But circumstances under the control of third parties instead of mine must delay that announcement. Next week, knock on wood.
No use crying over spilled beer. No, not even spilled beer, though that is indeed tragic. So, instead, I’ll use this time to write about something else.
As have many of you, I’ve watched The Expanse. A good show, I think, though at times I can see the budgetary limitations. I’m finally getting around to reading the books. At least the first one, Leviathan Wakes. So far I am pleased.
Adaptation from one medium to another demands a number of decisions. The largest is whether to remain faithful to the source or rather to mine it for inspiration, getting the spirit of the thing rather than recreating as much of the original as possible in the new medium. The producers of The Expanse, as far as I can tell halfway through the first novel, opted for a faithful adaptation. I’ll see how long that holds.
Of course reading the descriptions of the characters does require a conscious decision: do I maintain the image of the characters from the show or attempt to create new mental pictures. I’m lazy, I’m sticking with the actors in my head. The casting team did a pretty good job, I think, though there are certain cosmetic differences. One limitation the show has is that we don’t have actors descended from people who’ve lived in low-gravity environments for generations. So the slender, long-limbed characters of the books will simply have to be played by tall, skinny actors. The differences between Earthers, Martians, and Belters simply doesn’t manifest in the show. Tattoos seem to be the shorthand the producers settled on to distinguish the Belters.
Anyways, so far so good. What did the rest of you think? No spoilers from the novels, please.