Early last month, fans of Amazon Prime's The Expanse were on the receiving end of some good news when they learned that the sci-fi drama was returning for its fifth season on December 16 with three episodes (with remaining eps dropping weekly through February 3, 2021). On Tuesday, it appears the other shoe dropped with Deadline Hollywood reporting exclusively that the series has been renewed for a sixth and final season- a season that will be without original cast member Cas Anvar. Anvar faced numerous accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, leading to Alcon Television Group launching an independent investigation in June of this year.
"The dedication and artistry of everyone who helps bring 'The Expanse' to the screen is incredible, said returning showrunner Naren Shankar in a statement when the news was first reported. "Our fans are awesome, and we cannot wait to get rolling on Season Six!" Production on the final season is tentatively set to start on January 20 but is subject to change based on COVID conditions at that time.
Produced by Alcon Television Group, the ten-episode fifth season finds Keon Alexander (NCIS, Impulse), Nadine Nicole (Casual), and Jasai Chase Owens (The Deuce) promoted to series regulars. Alexander and Nicole recurred as Marco and Melba, respectively, and Owens guest-starred in one episode during the fourth season as Felip. Alexander appeared in four episodes in season four, while Nicole appeared in 8 episodes over the third and fourth seasons as Clarissa Mao/Melba Koh. Additionally, Lily Gao's Nancy will return to reprise her recurring role during the fifth season.
Season five of the series picks up as multitudes of humans leave the solar system in search of new homes and vast fortunes on the earth-like worlds beyond the alien Ring, and a heavy price for centuries of exploitation of the Belt finally comes due and a reckoning is at hand. For the crew of the Rocinante and the leaders of the Inner Planets and the Belt, the past and present converge, bringing forth personal challenges that have wide-reaching repercussions throughout the Solar System. Amos (Wes Chatham) returns to Earth to confront his past and the legacy of the life he fought to leave behind.
Naomi (Dominique Tipper) reaches out to her estranged son in a desperate bid to save him from his father's toxic influence. Bobbie (Frankie Adams) and Alex (Cas Anvar) confront the collapse of Mars as they chase a shadowy cabal with ties to terrorists and criminals. Holden (Steven Strait) wrestles with the consequences of his own past with the Protomolecule, the aliens who built it, and the mystery of what killed them. Drummer (Cara Gee), with a new crew, fights to escape who and what she used to be. And Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), refusing to be relegated to the sidelines, fights to prevent a terrorist attack unrivaled in history.