‘Extant’ — A Surprise Mystery Man

If The Honorable Woman was the bravest Freshman Drama of Summer 2014, Extant was the Most Surprising.

Academy Award winner Halle Berry fully commits every time she takes on a new role. With her new mystery thriller she raised the bar on herself. Luminous as ever, the show rested square on her shoulders and she hit every emotional turn with a controlled verve and nuanced vulnerability. She was well-matched by a supporting team, each with their own respectful pedigrees, which made for a complement of players well worth watching. Meanwhile, the producing team have turned out their share of quality projects winning enough awards to fill the spacecraft Nostromo.

While ratings were respectably solid, the show never seemed to catch fire; zeroing in on a core audience to create a rabid fanbase. Which leads to the question: why the hesitation? Extant didn’t exactly flounder, but for all of the pilot buzz it seemed to languish in a sort of limbo.

A possible theory …? We’ve seen it before… alien being implanted—unknowingly—in a human host. From there anything could happen, but a favorite track seems to be … the mother figure bonds with the being and well… plots differ, but it’s been there, seen that, right? “That’s what she said,” or something like that, to coin a phrase.

But then… Extant’s first episode was a reeler-in: intelligent, heart-thumping and even better, surprising. About fifteen minutes in, whatever preconceptions were in place had to be laid aside.

More than once, a surprise turn of events had me wondering, just where was this headed and was pleased when NBC announced a pickup for a second season. They’re giving it another 13-week go. The creative team would work overtime to infuse some transformative energy into it.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Extant - CBS

Photo by Mitch Jenkins – Courtesy of CBS

They’ve already gifted it with some cool juice, in the form of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Coming off of Magic City, he’s sure to lift this psych-mystery drama with his gravitas and oomph… not to mention a rather hefty watchability quotient.

Morgan will play a mercenary type bounty hunter with a futuristic bent. An arrant womanizing, knave of a man who is “free-wheeling, hard drinking and fearless, bordering on reckless….” Astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) will be the pause in his wild living trajectory as he will have to reevaluate everything he knows as real when their paths cross.

If the series lives up to its recent past, there are bound to be even more surprises to tease the grey matter… again.

If nothing else, it should prove to be more than exciting and fun to watch Morgan go toe-to-toe with Berry. Looking forward to round two of Extant this coming summer.

A clip from Season One:


The cast also includes: Goran Visnjic as John Woods, Pierce Gagnon as Ethan Woods, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hideki Yasumoto, Michael O’Neill as Alan Sparks, Camryn Manheim as Sam Barton, Grace Gummer as Julie Gelineau.

Extant airs Wednesdays at 10pm on CBS.

Written by

TVolution Founder and Managing Editor DARWYN CARSON completed a six-year stint as Managing Editor of Leonard Maltin’s Annual Movie Guide in 2015. She has been covering film since her early association with entertainment journalist Michael Symanski at Zap2It.com. She also covered film and restaurant news in her column Carson’s Corner for a variety of social publications. Her articles have appeared on Zap2It, Indiewire, leonardmaltin.com and, of course, The TVolution. Follow Darwyn @bnoirlikeme. Follow The TVolution @thetvolution. Please Like The TVolution on Facebook.

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