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Here’s what we know about ‘The Expanse’ season 4

The Expanse/Syfy

Release dates, casting news, Amazon updates, and more.

If you’re looking forward to The Expanse season 4, you should thank the show’s fans. After Syfy canceled The Expanse midway through season 3, its fanbase launched a noisy campaign for renewal elsewhere. Amazon answered the call, picking up the show for a fourth season on Amazon Prime.

The Expanse will keep its original creative team and is still being made by the same production company, so we don’t foresee any major creative upheaval between seasons. With the writers already hard at work on new scripts, we’ll keep you updated on all the important season 4 news. Spoiler-free, of course.

The Expanse season 4 release date

There’s no indication that season 4 will be delayed due to its move to Amazon. After all, the show itself is still being made by the same people – it’s just airing somewhere new. That means we can estimate a release date based on previous years when each season began one year after the last finale.

Season 4 could plausibly arrive in June 2019, although since Amazon doesn’t have to follow a TV schedule like Syfy, it could actually be earlier. Or later. Don’t worry, we’re keeping an eye out for Amazon to confirm the official airdate and put everyone out of their misery.

the expanse season 4 syfy/YouTube

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The Expanse season 4 casting updates

The main cast are obviously expected to return, but season 3 ended on a cliffhanger that could introduce a lot of new characters. Only fans who already read the books will know for sure.

It’s early days yet, so there haven’t been any announcements about new actors joining the cast. Fans will also be wondering which of the supporting characters will return. While the core cast remained relatively static for the first three seasons, The Expanse has an ever-increasing cast of recurring characters in secondary roles. Martian marine Bobbie Draper seems to be here to stay, along with Belter captain Carina Drummer, pastor Anna Volovodov, and possibly Clarissa Mao. But what about characters like botanist Praxideke Meng, who appeared for a major storyline but may not return? We’ll just have to wait and see.

expanse season 4 cast The Expanse/Syfy

The Expanse season 4 trailer

There won’t be a trailer for a while, because season 4 hasn’t started filming yet. Filming typically begins three months after the previous season finale, meaning season 4 will probably go into production this fall. In the meantime, The Expanse’s writing team are working on the scripts.

expanse season 4 writers TheExpanseWR/Twitter

The Expanse season 4 plot

Season 3 ended on a pretty mind-bending note. Beginning its life as a futuristic detective show, The Expanse gradually evolved into an epic space opera involving a three-way conflict between interplanetary human factions, interrupted by a mysterious alien incursion. Until recently, that alien civilization was virtually incomprehensible to our human characters. We mostly experienced it through the enigmatic (and very dangerous) substance known as the “protomolecule,” which manifested as a plague, a collective consciousness, and eventually, a giant space portal called the Ring.

After spending a few episodes trapped in a weird bubble dimension on the other side of the ring, the finale blew this story wide open. The season ends with the appearance of hundreds of other portals, each leading to a habitable solar system. Essentially, they’re Stargates. This gives The Expanse an ambitious new premise for season 4, as humanity ventures out into the unknown.

Along with some exclusive concept art, showrunner Naren Shankar gave Entertainment Weekly some insight into a new setting for season 4. If you want to avoid any spoilers whatsoever, stop reading now – but the plot does come directly from the fourth Expanse book, Cibola Burn.

According to Shankar, season 4 will have a space Western vibe, as humanity begins to explore and settle on new planets. One such planet is Ilus, which soon becomes a conflict zone between settlers, corporations, and the protomolecule entities.

“In the book, [Ilus] reads like southwestern desert,’ said Shankar. “It’s rugged, it’s a frontier, it’s a remote place. We keep talking about how the first European ships that came to Australia must have felt when they landed on that continent… Along with that, there’s not knowing how the biology and the flora and fauna are going to treat you. How is your body is going to react to these places where there are things that you never experienced before?”

the expanse season 4 CMDR Viriatus/YouTube

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.