It took a while for this series to get back on track…

Featuring

Halle Berry as Molly Woods
Goran Visnjic as Dr John Woods
Pierce Gagnon as Ethan Woods
Hiroyuki Sanada as Hideki Yasumoto
Michael O’Neill as Director Alan Sparks
with Grace Gummer as Julie Gelineau
and Camryn Manheim as Dr Sam Barton

Extant began as an intriguing science fiction mystery about humanity, its future and space exploration. In its first season, it deals with many issues, growing up, what it means to be human, and choices about how we want to live our lives. But this first season was not without its flaws, it staggered a little drunkenly in the middle, only to burst out of its hangover reverie brilliantly.

After some great early episodes, which established a near future world of androids, robotic artificial limbs, space exploration and lots of Teslas and BMW i3s, Extant stumbled in the middle of the season, with wierd alien baby growth and conspiracy to break Molly’s grip on reality through blackmail and intrigue.

Sadly, its main culprit is the behaviour of one of its central characters, Director Alan Sparks, whos motivations and machinations are so warped that they are unbelievable. Maybe the moustache caused it? I’m not exactly sure how he knew about the aliens’ abilities to project alternate reality people, especially since he’d never been in contact with it.

Let’s face it, it had to get wierd before it got better. Like any filling in a Subway sandwich which is made up of oft ill fitting ingredients, it had to climb out of the hole it dug for itself. The end of the season is nothing if not thrilling. It’s action packed, and lots of character plots are reasonably well concluded, apart from Yasumoto’s because it’s inferred that he’s finally carked it after a couple of hundred years on the planet.

Still, Extant is an entertaining sci-fi mystery series, with a suitably high production budget and wide reaching story. It’s been renewed for a second season, so I suppose we’ll see just what the consequences of the expanded powers of the two opposing forces of Super AI Ethan vs Alien/Halle Berry Hybrid. Should be very interesting!

Rating

A good science fiction television show that remains grounded, as much as it can, on characters and Earth.

Watch this if you…

Like more high-minded sci-fi stuff, but want a little bit of action.

Don’t watch this if you…

Need pew-pew to go with your science fiction. For that, you should try the most recent version of Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.

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