Rocinante Forever! Expanse Guests at Dragon Con

Photo by Debbie Yutko

Fans of The Expanse enjoyed an hour with Wes Chatham, Chad Coleman, and Steven Strait on “The Expanse Guests: Uneasy Alliances,” moderated by Brian Richardson on Friday at 4PM, Centennial II-IV, Hyatt. Chatham, who played Amos Burton and is an Atlanta native, was happy to be here at Dragon Con. He only wished it had been around when he was growing up.

Chatham and Strait (Jim Holden), talked about how uncomfortable the space suits were. Made from three-ply neoprene, basically wet suits, they were extremely hot, especially when worn with the helmets. Strait had food poisoning while suited up in the first season and had to keep a trash can nearby. Coleman, who portrayed Fred Johnson in the series, never had to wear the helmet. Why? “You’re too handsome,” Chatham said. Coleman thinks he didn’t need it because he “just threw people out of the air lock.”

When asked if they had any G-force training or actual forces acting on them during scenes, Chatham and Strait displayed their G-force acting, leaning back then side to side in a synchronized replication of Rocinante maneuvers that delighted the audience.

The audience didn’t want The Expanse to end, but Chatham said, “What makes you so sure it’s the end?” He pointed out that there are still three books left. “This show’s got nine lives, man.” Coleman thinks it would be fantastic if they could be the first to shoot a space show on location—in space. Since Amazon Studios is one of their production companies, who knows? “It has to happen!” Coleman said.

Strait thinks the plot was constructed in a beautiful way, with nothing superfluous. “I love the story,” he said, calling it epic and human. They wrote “a masterpiece.”

When asked about Amos possibly dying, Chatham said he was told that even in a nuclear fallout, there would still be cockroaches and Amos. Each chose a talisman that reminded them of the characters. Strait’s was Holden’s XO badge, Chatham’s was Amos’s coveralls (as soon as he puts them on, he starts murdering people), and Coleman’s was some protomolecule supposedly hidden in his wallet.

The show taught them more about space and physics. Chatham said he was a Star Wars kid and hadn’t realized how wrong his ideas of space had been. He recalls messing up while shooting some Zero-G scenes, like leaving a pen somewhere and then getting dirty looks from the visual effects people because they’d have to go in and put it floating away. Coleman quipped that he’d had to wait until his character died to experience Zero-G.

They agreed that one of their secret weapons was gathering voluntarily to rehearse on weekends because they were so dedicated to making this show great. They praised all the talented actors on the show and were honored to have worked with them. They also praised their fans. “Our fans are the best!” Strait said, thanking them for the saving the show. “We got to finish the show because of you.” The fans were just as appreciative for getting to enjoy the show and the panel.

Author of the article

Debbie Yutko lives near Atlanta with her husband and two cats. When she isn’t gardening, rescuing homeless kittens, or cramming math formulas into teenagers’ brains, she can be found stringing words together at her computer and dreaming of adventures in far-off lands. She is a lifelong reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy and a veteran of Dragon Con, where she enjoys attending panels and working with the talented staff of the Daily Dragon.