Browsing Tumblr the other day, I ran into what looked like stills from a scifi series. My immediate reaction was “What is this? Who’s she? I wanna see it!!”
Turns out they were indeed scifi show stills. The pictures come from an article by Dalton Ross on Entertainment Weekly. He talked with The Expanse showrunner Naren Shankar about a new character introduced in season 2, and shared these photos.
The commanding presence that drew my eye is marine Roberta “Bobbie” Draper from Mars, played by New Zealand actress, model, and boxer Frankie Adams.
Mr. Shankar talked about casting Ms. Adams for the role:
“When you ask a casting director to find a 6-foot half-Polynesian, the response is usually one of stunned silence, like, ‘Really?’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, really.’ We’ve been very conscious about maintaining the ethnic identity of the characters in the book as much as humanly possible. And we were really intent on doing that with Bobbie.
“We actually looked in the U.K., Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Hawaii, and New Zealand. And when [co-author] Ty Franck saw the first casting tape on her, he said, ‘That’s her, that’s her,’ right away. She’s a professional boxer, as well as being a model and so she had the physicality and a very interesting, unusual kind of face you rarely see on television. She’s awesome and we couldn’t be more delighted to have her on the show.”
I have to say that the third shot (above) reminds me a lot of the 2004 Galactica reboot. I’ve only seen the pilot for The Expanse, though, and that streamed over a very hiccupy connection. It looked interesting, but for some reason or another I never got back to it.
I seriously hope that Bobbie won’t just be another case of Strong Female Character syndrome. Kick-ass female characters can be awesome, and they are definitely an improvement over women as mothers or love interests. But I’m done with women written as one-dimensional beings, be it demure damsels in distress or forceful fighters.
I want the people in my entertainment to be complex and three-dimensional regardless of their gender. Whether The Expanse delivers or not will remain to be seen, though. (Haven’t read the books that it’s based on, so I’ve nothing to go on there.) Apparently I now must check out season 1 in order to see season 2 when it comes out. 🙂
Images Rafy / Syfy via Entertainment Weekly
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