This past weekend was the Gallifrey Convention in Los Angeles. Scaper and Whovian, Musicalgal attended and asked if I had any questions for Naren Shankar, one of my favorite Farscape writers. He is now the executive producer of The Expanse, Syfy Channel’s fabulous new series based on the books by James S.A. Corey (which I recommend). After the panel she got to ask him a few questions, including when was he going to cast Ben in a guest role? His reply, “I love Ben!” Questioned about the difference between working on Farscape and The Expanse , he replied that working on The Expanse felt a lot like working on Farscape, in the sense that cast and crew were close. Ben, Claude and others of the cast and crew seemed to enjoy each other’s company and the same holds true with the people who work on this show he stated.When asked about how he felt about returning to the scifi genre after a long hiatus, he explained that the project had been brought to him. He read the books and then met the authors and was excited about the story. Seeing that SyFy seemed to be committed to be doing serious scifi again, he was on board.
The panel consisted of Mr. Shankar, Ty Frank (co-writer) and Phil Plait who writes the blog “Bad Astronomy” for Slate magazine. Naren had brought some clips of the show to illustrate how the show strives to get the real-world physics of space travel as well as the impact of the vast distances of space during battles. There was some interesting discussion of the use and application of rail guns, plasma energy and firing such a weapon using a small fighter versus a large destroyer. And why using a weapon that throws projectiles is still the most effective weapon and why sealing small holes in space ships is relatively simple, but gravity and thrust presents its own unique challenges. Very cool stuff for the serious science buff.
Mr. Shankar conceded that they went with sound for the battle scenes, because though it may not be scientifically accurate, dramatically to lose the sound would lose half the impact of the stories they were telling. But by the excitement (yes there was a lot of squeezing) exhibited by Naren, Ty and Phil while viewing the clips, it looks like the show is achieving the goal of getting the science right.