After months of tiny teasers hiding any real footage, CBS has finally unveiled their next trip into the realm of science fiction, the astronaut thriller Extant. And dammit, every last one 30 of this trailer’s seconds have piqued my curiosity in a planet-sized way. CBS is prone to fooling sci-fi fans into thinking they’re actually going to please us, as recently evidenced by the soapishly corny Under the Dome and the by-the-books drama Intelligence, but still, this looks really interesting.
Extant centers on astronaut Molly Woods, played by Oscar-winner Halle Berry, who spent the last year of her life on a solo mission high above the planet’s surface. One of my worries was that the show would avoid space photography altogether in lieu of Earthbound drama, but that’s immediately dispelled in the trailer, via EW. It opens on a shot of a spaceship, complete with the big, spinning artificial gravity-producing wheel things. (That comes from the Dictionary of Technical Terms.) She floats around in zero gravity, but frequent horrified looks make you think she isn’t having all that much fun. She saw something up there, and it came back with her.
Or maybe its offspring did, who knows? The point is, Molly is pregnant with some kind of a weird alien being and nobody is ready for that, especially not her husband John (Goran Visnjic) or her son Ethan (Pierce Gagnon). Of course, her son is actually an android that John created due to Molly’s inability to conceive, so I’m not sure where he gets off thinking other people have problems. This is not your average TV family, to say the least.
Of course, her problems don’t stop at the front door. Her government employers and colleagues want to know what she saw up there, and they’re positive she’s hiding something. Is it all a conspiracy? Is Molly a threat? Is the world ever safe? Only if you’re in the right location, according to Ethan in the trailer’s creepy final moments.
“I put the family in the spaceship so they’d be safe.”
“Safe from what?”
Get the hell out of here, kid, before I throw water on your circuits.
Extant is the first series created by writer Mickey Fisher, and was at the center of a network bidding war last year, with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment teaming with CBS to get it made. We’re trying to look past Amblin’s so-so TV success in hopes that Extant will tell one of the summer’s most memorable stories. If not, I’ve got a plan to simultaneously watch Gravity, 2010, and Rosemary’s Baby, each in full surround sound. There’s definitely something out there/in here.
Here’s another look at last month’s teaser and its haunting image of a baby crib. Be sure and watch Extant when it premieres on July 9 to keep network sci-fi from going extinct.