“The Expanse” S6 Plans ‘Intense’ Short Run

The Expanse S6 Plans Intense Short Run

One of the surprising reveals with the first trailer for the sixth and final season of “The Expanse” is that the new run will consist of only six episodes.

The first five seasons on Amazon clocked in at either ten or thirteen episodes each. The new run will adapt both the sixth novel “Babylon’s Ashes” and the novella “Strange Dogs”.

Doing so will require a certain amount of compression, even with a longer 65-minute finale, and showrunner Naren Shankar admits to Polygon it’s a real challenge:

“Six episodes to do this much material is difficult. What it does give you is intensity. Every episode feels as intense as it could possibly be. You never feel like you’re letting your foot off the gas pedal. By the time you get to the end, it feels cathartic.”

Ty Franck, who co-wrote the books with Daniel Abraham under the joint pen name James S.A. Corey, confirmed some material from the sixth book appeared in the fifth season and so the shorter run will still be able to do the sixth book justice:

“We had to write every script so there was no fat in it. There was no extra. We had to tell the story we were here to tell.”

The first book was adapted over 15 episodes, the second over 14, the third over just 7, while the fourth and fifth scored 10 each. This suggests the final season will involve pacing akin to the back half of season three which is considered arguably the best run of the series to date.

The seventh through ninth books are all set three decades later and involve a whole new arc (Laconia) which won’t be adapted, thus making the events of the sixth book something of a natural endpoint for the TV series.

Franck last year told Polygon they are optimistic and don’t see this as a finale but a ‘pause’ with production company Alcon Entertainment “very committed to the IP” and “have lots of plans” for the franchise.

The sixth season of “The Expanse” will premiere on December 10th with new episodes releasing weekly on Fridays through to January 14th.

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