Let me begin this article by saying: there has been no official statement suggesting that a Season 7 of The Expanse will happen. In fact, all official statements have stated that Season 6 will be the last, with no hint of a possible sequel series to finish adapting the book series either. However, this show has pulled off miracles before, and has proven to have a very loyal fanbase. While this situation feels different, given that the cast and crew knew going into Season 6 that it would be their last and set out to complete the story, the series finale—and the final season in general—left the door open narratively for more story to come, should it find funding at some point in the future.
The Possibility of an Expanse Season 7
Honestly, it’s hard to imagine The Expanse continuing on in its current format, given that it more or less proved itself unviable as a commercial property at both SyFy and Amazon Prime Video. Because of this, it’s unlikely that we would get any more TV seasons of this phenomenal show.
The only eventuality that could change this reality is if the show became much more popular on Amazon Prime Video for some reason, and the viewing analytics convince Amazon, or another media company, to greenlight another season. I doubt this will happen as it has not happened so far, even with the significant promotional push from Amazon and the fanbase yelling about this show to anyone who would listen for the last six seasons. But, hey, you never know.
The Possibility of an Expanse Movie
While The Expanse team went into Season 6 knowing it would almost certainly be the show’s last, they chose to tell the story that included a Laconia-set subplot adapted from Expanse novella Strange Dogs. Unlike basically every other the story in Season 6, the Laconia subplot about a girl named Cara and her efforts to save brother Xan with the help some alien creatures was very forward-focused. It also properly introduced Admiral Duarte, a character who becomes incredibly important in the remaining books in the series. The decision to give so much of Season 6’s precious narrative time could have been made as a way to expand the scope of this world, and to pay homage to these future book plots, and/or it could hint that the Expanse production team have not completely ruled out the possibility of a future for this adaptation.
If The Expanse adaptation does have a future, it’s probably going to be in a different format, like a “made for TV” movie (maybe someone could pack the sets, props, and costumes away in their attic? thanks) with a budget that makes sense for the projected financial reward. This would likely mean working with a budget that was even less than Season 6, which resulted in the decision to cut the final season to six rather than 8 or 10 episodes. As showrunner Naren Shankar told io9: “That was a decision between Amazon and Alcon Television. I mean, you always kind of agree on how much money you’re going to commit to the production of the show. And that was the decision. It came down to making six episodes of it. It’s always a negotiation to some extent. Could we have done 10? Absolutely. Could we have done eight? Certainly. Uh, I don’t think we would’ve been able to tell the season in any less than six.”
For The Expanse to come back, there would have to be a financial model that would support it (the industry is ever-changing), and the cast and creators would have to agree that they would be able to do justice with that budget. Unlike some popular TV shows, The Expanse team is filled with people who seem to genuinely enjoy making the show. As Shankar put it: “The door is open to other things. And if the stars align, I think you’d find a lot of people willing to participate in it.”
The Possibility of an Expanse Sequel Series
Many have speculated about the potential for a The Expanse sequel series sometime in the future, after a sustained hiatus. There is a lot of room for this in the source material, as there is a 30-year time jump between Babylon’s Ashes, the sixth book in the series, and Persepolis Rising, the seventh book in the series. It’s doubtful that the cast and crew would wait for 30 years to bring this show back, but if, five years from now, they were able to find funding to continue this story—and the fan interest remains—then it seems possible.
We are living in an age of peak media, which means there are more models than ever before for producing profitable screen stories. This has resulted in many long-dead series getting new life years or sometimes decades after they were thought ended. From my perspective, there will always be some hope for an Expanse return. As book series co-author and TV show EP Daniel Abraham told io9: “As we always say, there are three more books. There’s a lot more story to tell. Big world! Things could happen.”
But, for now, let’s rest here awhile, and feel grateful for the six seasons of incredible storytelling we got.