CBS premiered its big-budget new science fiction series starring Halle Berry on Wednesday night. Extant is produced by Steven Spielberg and tells the story of a female astronaut who returns from a 13-month solo mission in space only to find herself mysteriously pregnant after years of infertility.
The show has been getting lots of attention, as Berry is a huge star for a network like CBS to land. Berry plays the astronaut Molly Woods, who is hired by private company to make a solo mission into space. The story hopes to mimic the success of last year’s female astronaut movie Gravity, with a twist of Spielberg’s A.I.
Extant takes place in the not-so-distant future, one with self-driving cars and bathroom mirrors that turn into screens and transparent tablets. The most impressive technology that’s been developed in the intervening years between our present and the show is artificial intelligence. Berry’s husband, John, is a science who works on the technology, and he created the robot that they raise as their son, named Ethan.
“It’s way too soon to say whether this jumble works, but it’s promising that Extant‘s premiere seems confident enough to play it cool and mysterious rather than hammer us with holy-crap moments. Surprisingly for a TV vehicle for an Oscar winner, the pilot doesn’t give Berry a string of showy, actorly moments. Her performance is reserved, bordering on seeming a little shell-shocked, as Molly works on getting her Earth-legs back under her; the show’s direction is quiet and composed,” said a review of the show’s first episode from Time.