Astronauts were hot commodities last year, at least they were if they looked like Sandra Bullock and they were in a movie that made $273 million. Well, I don’t know if CBS’s Extant will be able to match Alfonso Cuaron’s epic display of space carnage, but the Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi series does feature a female astronaut getting into peculiar trouble during a mission into space. But whereas Sandy was dodging debris, Extant’s Molly Watts comes back to Earth carrying more than she left with. In her womb, I mean.
After a year-long solo mission into space, Molly returns home and begins trying to reconnect with her husband John (Goran Visnjic) and son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon). They’re already an unusual family, as Ethan is, in fact, a highly advanced android prototype. (I’m sure somebody somewhere will scream about that being a threat to traditional family values.) But things are definitely going to get a bit more stressful, since the new teaser reveals that Molly — who is unable to conceive, hence the android kid — has a seemingly impossible a bun in the oven. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but…
So Molly and John are obviously going to have a lot to talk about, probably beginning with her insisting that she did not spend that year in space knocking boots with a post-Monolith Dave Bowman. (Maybe that’s the “something wonderful” he kept referring to in 2010.) I’m betting her family aren’t the only ones who are going to take an interest in Molly’s condition, as it will no doubt have enormous implications for…well, almost everything, really.
Created by first-time writer Mickey Fisher, Extant was at the center of a heated bidding war last summer, with broadcast networks and cable channels both basic and premium all vying for the prize. That speaks well of the strength of the script, but of course even a solid script doesn’t always guarantee a hit. CBS is also an odd home for it, given that the network’s bread and butter is police procedurals by the cartload. Still, we’re always rooting for any new science fiction series to succeed, so we’re hoping Extant proves to be as good as advertised, and brings a more cerebral, introspective brand of science fiction to the summer TV lineup. God knows it has to be smarter than Under the Dome (also produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Television).
Below is the first teaser for Extant, which was released back in January. While the new one only clocks in at 12 seconds, it still reveals more about the show’s actual premise than this evocative but info-light bit of promotion. Extant is set to premiere this summer, July 9, on CBS. And also like its network sibling Under the Dome, Extant will be available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video a few days after each episode premieres on CBS.