SFF81: The Expanse Season 4 Interview

Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi Nagata on The Expanse, was the very first interviewee we ever had on the podcast back when we began in September of 2016, just when the Syfy show was getting started, and showrunner Naren Shankar visited with us in February of 2017 during season 2. Now, the two key players in the success of this space science fiction TV show join us once more from the set of season 5, which is currently filming in Toronto, to preview season 4. We asked them to tell us more about the storyline to come taking place on Ilus, the first planet encountered by humans beyond the Ring gates.

The first thing Tipper had to mention was the challenge for Naomi, with her brittle Belter bones, to be planetside for the first time. “We very much get to see this season what it takes for a Belter to change themselves and show what they need to do to their body to step foot on a planet or be in atmosphere,” she tells us. “And so I think there’s a lot of things riding on Naomi going to Ilus… She’s the only Belter perspective in the group, and also her own curiosity and for her and Holden as an option. So there’s a lot riding on it for her personally.”

Not that Ilus is all that hospitable! Tipper told us how cold it was on location on the Ilus set, while Shankar appreciated its sparse beauty. “When you see even the first episode of season 4, it’s a beautiful location,” he says. “We were looking for a desolate frontier, and we shot in an active quarry. We used a lot of drone photography to get the vistas, and it’s really quite striking. And what you’re seeing in there is actually — we did virtually nothing in terms of visual effects cleanup or changing it. That’s the way it looks; it looks alien as hell.”

For more insightful moments, fans will have to wait until The Expanse season 4 returns on Amazon Prime Video on December 13, 2019. In the meantime, enjoy the podcast, in which we announce the winners of our giveaway of The Art and Making of The Expanse from Titan Books.


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