Tonight, Syfy will begin the third season of The Expanse his science fiction series based on the book series of James S.A. Corey. The novels premiered in 2011, and the television adaptation, which continued in 2015, has become one of the most timely and politically relevant stories on television. In the last two seasons, an impending war has been provoked among the various nations of the system, and how the crew of a stolen warship, The Rocinante plays its own role in navigating the problems .
The show returns Tonight at 9 PM ET / 8PM CT, and it's worth checking out. This is what you need to know to get caught.
Warning: Spoilers of previous seasons of The Expanse and some of the novels, ahead.
What the program is about  The Expanse is a science fiction story set within two centuries. Humanity has colonized the solar system, and as a result, three rival factions have emerged: citizens on Earth, settlers on Mars and a coalition of settlements in the asteroid belt and moons near Jupiter and Saturn called the "Alliance of Outer Planets" "
When a ship carrying ice is destroyed, a chain of events begins that brings factions to the brink of war. The crew of a ship called Rocinante investigates the burgeoning conflict, which they discover may be a carefully designed attempt to cover up the discovery of a mysterious alien substance called "protomolecule".
Why I should be watching
Science fiction often imagines what the future of humanity would look like. Star Trek imagined a utopian society that courageously enters the cosmos in the quest for understanding, while Battlestar Galactica took a realistic look at what people do to survive during a crisis . The Expanse has a nuanced and sometimes cynical vision of where we are headed: it is a show about the power and consequences of its misuse, and how divisions in society are harmful to everyone.
That may sound a lot like real-world problems, but The Expanse's amazing ability to allow viewers to re-examine our crises through a lens of fiction is what makes the series is so attractive. The show is richly resonant, touching on modern concerns such as xenophobia and racial resentment, while at the same time its multiracial cast offers a refreshing look at the kind of diverse future that inevitably is the future of humanity, even as many of the people in the fictional program the world is looking back.
It is science fiction with a purpose and a point of view, but also with impressive production values, especially around its spatial battles.
The characters you need to know  The program mainly follows the crew of Rocinante : Captain Jim Holden (Steven Strait), pilot Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar), the engineer Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) and the mechanic Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), who come from all parts of the system. They want to track down the people responsible for swallowing the system in a war. In the first two seasons, they have the help of Fred Johnson (Chad Coleman), a leader of the Alliance of Outer Planets that runs a space station called Tycho; a scientist named Prax (Terry Chen); and a detective named Miller (Thomas Jane).
There is also Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Executive Administration of the UN, a dirty-mouth bureaucrat who tries to protect the Earth and prevent it from entering a bloody conflict. She ends up in disagreement with her superior, Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle), who is working with the people responsible for the protomolecule.
Finally, there is a Martian navy called Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams), who defected to Earth after his soldiers were killed by a new class of protomolecular weapons.
Where season 3 begins
During season 1, the crew of Rocinante ended up in the middle of a giant conspiracy to start a war. In season 2, they persecuted their authors, an evil corporation called Protogen, while Bobbie ended up working with Avasarala to try to reduce the intensity of the conflict. The season ended with the team of Rocinante on the moon Ganymede of Jupiter, desperately trying to locate a Protogen researcher as a battle between Earth and the Martian forces erupted around them.
That's where season 3 will begin: with the threat of more protomolecular weapons and an impending conflict that spans the entire solar system.
What the books tell us about what follows
So far, the program has covered the first novel in the series, Leviathan Wakes and half of the second, The war of Caliban. While there have been some changes, the series has largely traced the most important moments of the books, so it is likely that producer Naren Shankar will resort to some of the remaining high points of Caliban & # 39 ; s War for the new season. That makes it likely that Avasalara, Bobbie and the crew of Rocinante will come together and join forces to try to stop the brewing war. But the most untold part of the story is what is happening with the extraterrestrial protomolecule.
Halfway through season 2, the substance sequestered an asteroid and crashed it into Venus, where the protomolecule began to build … something. The end of Caliban & # 39; s War reveals that he was creating a massive stargate, which then flew to the end of the solar system. The fight for control of the door is the focus of the third book, Abaddon & # 39; s Gate and the plot elements of that book, and the revelation of the Stargate, will probably appear in the next season of TV.
catch up with the series
If you have not seen the program yet, there are a couple of ways to catch up. The first two seasons of the show are now available for broadcast on Amazon Prime in the United States, while they are available internationally on Netflix.
Cable subscribers will be able to broadcast new episodes through the Syfy website, and will also be available for purchase on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.