The Expanse Season 5: How Amazon Prime Series Handled #MeToo'd Actor

Amazon Prime's The Expanse might just be the best Science Fiction show on TV right now. Each season has been a fairly faithful adaptation of a book in the series with tweaks and changes to make the story work better for the screen. Season 5 just aired its finale, and it reveals how a major character was written out because the actor who played him was #MeToo'd over numerous accusations that came to light. So needless to say, we're throwing on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign moving forward after the spoiler image buffer.

The Expanse: How Season 5 Wrote Out an Actor Who Was #MeToo'd
Still from "The Expanse", Amazon Prime Video

Kas Anvar played Alex Kamal, one of the main characters in the series and the pilot of the Rocinante, the ship captained by James Holden (Steven Strait). Season 5 of The Expanse had completed production in the middle of last year when Anvar was accused of abusive behavior and sexual assault by multiple women. It was announced that he would not be back for season 6 nor would the character be recast.

In the season finale that just premiered on Amazon Prime, the show revealed how Anvar was written out – by quietly killing off Alex. The writers gave him a heroic death. He pushed his ship to its limit to rescue his crewmate Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), risking physical injury and stroke from the G-force and speed he was flying at. He and Bobbie Draper (Frankie Adams) reached Naomi in time, but when they cut back to him in the pilot seat, Alex had died from a stroke. The rest of the episode had the rest of the characters talking about his passing and the funeral arrangements. The writing skillfully gave the season its death of a major character and seamlessly got rid of Anvar at the same time. The series has adapted the novels fairly faithfully, often streamlining or changing parts of the story to make it clearer for TV. Alex's death is another departure from the book and actually logical here. Character deaths are expected on The Expanse, and Alex's was seamless.

It looks like there was a minimal bit of rewriting and reshoot of the final scenes without Anvar in them. They used shots of Anvar sitting in the pilot seat to show he was dead. It was impressive that they made it look like his death had been planned all along. Alex actually survived in the book to appear in the next entries in the series, but it's actually easy enough to write around the loss of Alex Kamal in Season 6, which will be the show's final season anyway. Alex was the hotshot pilot of the Rocinante and his part in the storyline can easily be distributed between Amos (Wes Chatham), Naomi, and Clarissa Mao (Nadine Nicole) if they don't leave it out altogether.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist who just likes to writer. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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