The world got a good look at CBS’ fall schedule today, with some spinoffs and a remake coming later this year. But first, we’ll get to see an all-new mystery unfold when Extant debuts this summer. I’m wholeheartedly hoping against hope that this futuristic drama will be the cerebral science fiction that networks so rarely aim for, and this android-and-alien/ghost/thing-filled trailer seen above emboldens my expectations. Which means they have that much farther to fall if this plotline ends up as empty as outer space.
Extant centers on astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry), fresh off a year-long solo mission in space. And though she claims that she was alone up there – “Well, that’s why they call it a solo mission,” – we see she is definitely in contact with someone, or something. It’s a man (Marcus Dawkins) who appears to need her help, but how on Earth (or off of it) could he have possibly gotten in there with her? And how does he end up appearing back on Earth as we see near the end of the preview? I’m considering it a positive thing that I have so many questions, and none of them involve, “Why would I watch this?”
The thing is, Molly came back from that mission pregnant, and nobody understands how, least of all Molly herself. Though she's probably hiding something, or a lot of things.) Molly’s bosses, including Michael O’Neill’s Alan Sparks, want to know what she’s hiding, as she apparently erased mission surveillance footage, calling it accidental. Bad form, Molly.
But Molly’s real troubles are at home, where she has to reassert herself into the lives of husband John (Goran Visnjic) and son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon). She now must at least temporarily keep her pregnancy a secret from John, as it will cause major waves in their relationship. Molly was unable to conceive, so the inventive John created Ethan, who is actually an artificially intelligent droid, and not a human at all. To make matters even more complicated, Ethan’s existence weighs heavily on the minds of a bot-hating public, so the Woods family is facing public disapproval from nearly every angle. And I'm pretty sure Molly's yearning for organic motherhood is going to keep her attached to whatever it is growing inside her.
Oh, and did I mention the trailer kind of makes it look like Ethan is going to “grow up” to become a serial killer, as Molly catches him standing over a dead bird. He claims the bird was already dead when he found it, but I have my doubts.
What else could this show have up its spacesuit sleeves? Zombies? Vampires? Conspiracy theorists? Alien sushi? That’s what it looks like Hiroyuki Sanada’s character is messing with in the scene seen below.
Join me in avoiding extinction when Extant hits CBS starting July 9.