Extant, the new CBS futuristic scifi thriller starring Halle Berry, opened with a sleek but rather head-scratching premiere Wednesday night. In the opener, an astronaut returns home after 13 months alone in space, to reunite with her husband and their android son, who is her husband’s R&D project.
Most women would not just be puzzled, but would be legitimately freaked out if they returned pregnant from a space mission in which she wasn’t in contact with any other human beings. Molly Woods (Halle Berry) is shaken, but not as disturbed as is warranted. Later, we discover that while on her mission, she experienced what she assumed to be a hallucination of a former lover/husband being on her spacecraft with her, and when she saw the security footing of herself making out with no one at all, she deleted that embarrassing site from the craft’s system. Obviously, something bizarre happened. Cue the suspenseful sound effects! Or not, because it just wasn’t all that riveting.
Along with the mystery of Halle Berry’s space-bound immaculate/creepy/science project impregnation, the story follows the emerging and creepy patterns of behavior exhibited the young AI son Molly and John are kind of raising as a real boy. If they’re going for a Damien from The Omen kind of vibe for the kid, nailed it! That aspect is admittedly chilling, though it still doesn’t inspire that edge of your seat sensation.
A more coherent tie between the two plot drivers of the AI child and mystery baby would help to bring the story together for a more satisfying block of entertainment.
If it gets some legs under itself and improves in pacing and storytelling cohesion, the potential is enormous. But unless that happens soon, the existence of this series and how it landed a huge talent such as Halle Berry, could remain a boggling mystery.
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