‘Extant’ is a science fiction drama that took flight with high expectations in 2014. However, following its release, the series went through a series of ups and downs. Let’s see the details about the show and decide whether it deserves a spot on your watchlist.
The Series’ Premise
‘Extant‘ is a show created by Mickey Fisher and Steven Spielberg, with a storyline centered around astronaut Molly Woods, portrayed by Halle Berry. Initially introduced in 2014, the series bypassed the traditional pilot stage with a straight-to-series order of 13 episodes. The first season explored Molly’s mysterious pregnancy following her year-long space mission.
Despite the lukewarm reception of Season 1, CBS greenlit a second season, showing interest in a continued investment in the project. Season 2, which aired in 2015, attempted a makeover while keeping some key elements from the original premise. However, it was canceled on October 9, 2015, by CBS after its conclusion on September 9, 2015.
Season 1 Overview
The first season introduces Berry in her first major TV series role, playing Molly Woods, an astronaut who returns from space pregnant.
The narrative unfolds with conspiracies, mysterious forces, and the birth of a fast-growing half-human, half-alien character known as ‘the offspring.’ The season concludes with Molly’s robot son, Ethan, sacrificing himself to bring her back from space.
Season 2 Overview
Despite the reception of the first season, CBS renewed ‘Extant’ for a second season but while introducing changes.
The focus shifts from Molly’s role as an astronaut mother to that of a volatile action heroine. The first episode of Season 2 shows Molly being medicated at a mental health facility, interspersed with flashbacks revealing details about her husband’s relationship. Jeffrey Dean Morgan joins the cast as J.D. Richter, a cop with a futuristic freelance approach.
The season explored Molly’s more proactive and angry facets. New characters, including David Morrissey as a General, brought fresh dynamics to the narrative. The storyline continued to involve threats to humankind, global conspiracies, and mysterious plot elements.
Is ‘Extant’ Worth Your Time?
The pilot episode of ‘Extant’ raised high expectations that the following episodes failed to meet, causing disappointment. Besides, there was predictability in the plot and a questionable character intelligence.
With new elements introduced, including Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, Season 2 couldn’t save ‘Extant.’ The show ended up feeling underwhelming, and production was more suited for background watching than a network series.
Despite the potential in the story’s premise, Halle Berry’s character in Season 2 sounds cringe-worthy and frustrating. The ending of the season, involving a conflict between artificial intelligence and alien intelligence, was neither good nor bad.
Although there are negative reviews about the show on various platforms, such as Reddit, both seasons have positive receptions on Rotten Tomatoes. So, it depends on your appetite for a blend of science fiction and drama.