Even though many of us are already pumped for CBS’ upcoming sci-fi thriller Extant, we don’t know all that much about what the show. Sure, Steven Spielberg is producing and Halle Berry is the star—those facts alone are enough to capture a wealth of attention—but beyond that we only have a vague, bare bones description of what the plot will look like when the series premieres July 2. There’s been another name added to the even expanding cast list, and a fact that’s been known for a while, but flown under the radar—that Halle Berry has a robot son—is getting more play.
Last week TV veterans Goran Visnjic and Michael O’Neil joined Extant, and now TV Line reports that Grace Gummer has signed on to join the party as well. Gummer may be known as Meryl Streep’s daughter, but is an accomplished actor in her own right, having appeared in the likes of last year’s indie hit Frances Ha, The Newsroom, and American Horror Story, among others.
The story of Extant follows Molly (Berry), an astronaut who returns to Earth after spending a year alone in space. Upon reentry, she has trouble readjusting to her old life and reconnecting with her family. Beyond that, we know that Molly’s jaunt beyond our atmosphere has far reaching repercussions that will ultimately shape the very future of the human race. We don’t know exactly what that means, but the teasers we’ve seen thus far have all emphasized the idea of life over death, of moving on in the face of extinction, and we bet that is the central mystery that the show will work to unravel.
Molly’s family is also not as simple as it seems on paper. See, she is barren and can’t have children of her own. But wait, you say, didn’t you mention a son? Why yes we did, here’s how that works. Visnjic plays Molly’s husband John, a brilliant scientist in his own right. He is responsible for creating their son, Ethan, who is an advanced android prototype. You may be getting flashes of Spielberg’s A.I., that’s completely natural. That’s where Gummer comes into the picture. She is John’s partner in crime, so to speak, and works with him on crafting his robots, including Ethan.
Things are gradually coming into focus as far as the story of Extant is concerned, and this is a classic case of the more we learn the bigger our questions get. Which we like, we don’t necessarily know what it will look like, but that’s part of the fun. Wouldn’t be much of a mystery if we had all the answers going up front, would it? As we find out more about Extant, we’ll pass that information along to you. The show will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime a few days after each episode airs.