The Expanse Season 4 was a slow burn that built up to a massive payoff. The Roci crew ventured to Ilus, a colony planet just beyond the Ring Gate, to prevent the spread of the insidious Protomolecule. Holden caught up with his old pal Joe Miller, Naomi experienced planetary gravity for the first time, and Amos made a new ladyfriend. Back in the Sol system, we saw our first indications of a dramatic power shift away from Earth and Mars, in favor of the long-downtrodden Belters.
We know new episodes of The Expanse are coming to Amazon in the months ahead, and though there isn’t an official release date yet, we have a pretty solid idea of what to expect. Here’s everything we know about Season 5.
Amazon hasn’t yet revealed an official release date for new episodes of The Expanse, though we know enough to make some educated guesses about to expect Season 5.
All 10 episodes of the show’s fourth season came to Amazon Prime Video on December 13, 2019. Filming for the season wrapped quite a while before that, in early February 2019. Similarly, filming for Season 5 wrapped in February 2020. Shohreh Aghdashloo, who plays Chrisjen Avasarala, confirmed in late April that the cast had finished filming before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down film and television production worldwide.
The Expanse involves a lot of post-production visual effects work from multiple teams. Similar sci-fi shows — like Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 — have been delayed beyond their expected release windows due to the pandemic. We were hopeful in the spring that we might get new episodes of The Expanse before December, but that seems less likely now. We’d also expected to hear more about the upcoming run of episodes at July’s all-digital San Diego Comic-Con. However, that event came and went without a peep from the showrunners or cast.
There’s another complicating factor. The ninth book in the series, which doesn’t yet have a title or release date, is set to come out sometime in 2020. We’d expect new episodes and the final book to come out a couple months apart to maximize hype.
Amazon hasn’t released a trailer for The Expanse Season 5 yet. While you’re waiting, you can enjoy this behind-the-scenes table read video from Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi Nagata. She’s sitting next to Jasai Chase Owens, who played her son Filip Inaros in Season 4.
Most of your favorites will return for the next season, with the notable exception of David Strathairn, who played Klaes Ashford. The character met his untimely end in the Season 4 finale, but he had one hell of a good sendoff.
While Avasarala lost the Secretary-General race to Nancy Gao, we wouldn’t rule out seeing foul-mouthed fan-favorite Shohreh Aghdashloo in Season 5. Last we heard from her in the Season 4 finale, she’s headed to Luna with Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) to work on a secret project to help protect Earth from the impending threat from the belt.
Keon Alexander, Jasai Chase Owens and Nadine Nicole have been bumped up to series regulars for Season 5. They play Marco Inaros, Filip Inaros, and Claire Mao respectively. The Inaros men play major roles in the fifth novel from James S.A. Corey, so expect to see a lot more of both of them.
Back in late June, numerous women accused series star Cas Anvar, who plays Rocinante pilot Alex Kamal, of sexual misconduct. Alcon Entertainment, the studio which produces The Expanse, is conducting an independent investigation of the charges. As of late July, it is not clear whether this will affect Anvar’s role on the show going forward, or the release of Season 5.
The Expanse Season 4 finale already dipped a toe into Nemesis Games, ending with the cliffhanger of Marco Inaros’ stunning attack on Earth. Season 5 will pick up where that left off, tracing Naomi’s attempt to halt her former lover’s rise to power.
If you want spoilers about Nemesis Games, you can find them pretty easily online. We won’t ruin it for you here if you haven’t read them. Suffice to say, though, that book five is widely regarded as a bit of a game-changer for The Expanse. Back in 2015, io9 called it the “James S.A. Corey’s Empire Strikes Back.” So expect some big drama and stunning reveals.
Amazon has not yet renewed the show beyond Season 5, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. The show’s cast and writers certainly seem eager to make it happen. Wes Chatham, who plays Roci engineer Amos Burton, told Inverse they’ve already talked about completing the serious through a ninth season.
“We always thought, wouldn’t it be amazing, wouldn’t it be great if we can really stick the landing and deliver a story that we would love to see. That’s definitely something we sit around and talk about,” Chatham told Inverse in a May 2020 interview. “My hope is that before we get to 2030, we have completely told the whole Expanse story that includes all the novels through nine. I would love to be able to complete the full story and tell The Expanse at its highest expression.”
All four seasons of The Expanse are streaming on Amazon.