The basic conceit of Agent X was interesting enough: it followed the story of a secret agent at the vice-president’s disposal who quietly dealt with matters of great importance, crises both foreign and domestic. This rich premise provided ample room for exploring a myriad of settings and storylines, as well as for defeating an unlimited number of adversaries. The American version of James Bond, Agent X could have worked well as a slick TV adaptation of cinema’s iconic 007. But alas, it turned out that James Bond’s American cousin was predictable to the point of boredom and was quickly and unceremoniously cancelled.
Every year there are two or three promising new sci-fi series that sputter out before finishing their first season. Thanks to some notable failures such as Almost Human, Caprica and even longer lasting shows like Defiance which didn’t maintain the necessary viewership to be successful, television currently lacks a new large-scale science fiction drama that delivers. SyFy’s new show The Expanse, based on the acclaimed novels by James A. Corey, hopes to become the experience we have all been waiting for. Epic worlds, the vastness of space, a compelling story of humanity: The Expanse may succeed in creating and exploring all of these things. Yet although this new show offers an intriguing variety of characters in uniquely detailed worlds, it’s difficult to tell from an uneven and at times confusing pilot if they will combine effectively to create an epic saga.