'The Expanse' Boss on What's Different for Season 4 on Prime Video

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Rafy Photography/Syfy

Good old-fashioned greed spurs the drama on Season 4 of The Expanse, the smart, timely sci-fi series set two centuries in the future.

In this world, where humanity has been forced to colonize the solar system because of climate change and overpopulation, a spaceship carrying refugees fleeing a warring region in an asteroid belt lands on the planet Ilus. There, the refugee Belters — who traveled through the Ring Gate, a structure that was built by an ancient extraterrestrial species — discover that the uninhabited place is replete with precious resources, including a metal used to make fuel for spaceships. Word then quickly spreads through the solar system.

That worries the Earth's powerful UN Secretary-General Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo, above).

"She knows that a gold rush of people wanting to seek their fortune on the other side of the Ring Gate can be a difficult thing to manage," exec producer Naren Shankar says. Especially if people flock to the planet, where she fears an alien-created "protomolecule," which has killed thousands of people in the past, may present another threat.

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Chatham also teases a romance for his character, and talks the parallels between Amos and new antagonist Murtry.

She sends the ethical Capt. James Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew on the Rocinante to investigate, and they walk into a heated standoff between the Belters, who believe they now have claim to Ilus, and Adolphus Murtry (Burn Gorman), whose Earth-based energy company has its own agenda.

"The situation threatens the tenuous peace that's been achieved among Earth, Mars, and the Belt," Shankar teases, "and the Rocinante will be stuck in the middle."

Fans of the series, canceled by Syfy in 2018 after three seasons and picked up by Prime Video, will notice a sharper picture: Season 4 is offered in high dynamic range. Says Shankar, "The effects jump off the screen in a way they didn't before."

The Expanse, Season 4 Premiere, Friday, December 13, Amazon Prime Video