Ex­tant Sea­son One

Not Berry good

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - DVD & Blu-Ray -

Re­lease Date: 2 Fe­bru­ary

2014 | TBC | Blu- ray/ DVD Cre­ator: Mickey Fisher Cast: Halle Berry, Go­ran Višn­jić, Pierce Gagnon, Michael O’Neill, Hiroyuki Sanada

The lat­est

Spiel­berg- pro­duced tele­fan­tasy se­ries feels like the re­sult of some BOGOF of­fer on SF plots that have passed their ex­pi­ra­tion date.

Though lav­ishly pro­duced, Ex­tant is lit­tle more than AI meets Life­force with some winc­ingly- ob­vi­ous parental metaphors grafted on in an at­tempt to give it a ve­neer of depth. John Woods ( Go­ran Višn­jic) is the sci­en­tist “dad” to pro­to­type an­droid Ethan. His wife Molly ( Halle Berry) is an as­tro­naut who re­turns from space im­preg­nated with a per­cep­tion- al­ter­ing alien baby.

Over the course of ten episodes there are, per­haps, a cou­ple of mo­ments when the se­ries might have some­thing in­ter­est­ing to say, but th­ese are buried un­der some of the clunki­est con­spir­acy- based ac­tion- adventure plot­ting ever com­mit­ted to screen. The two plots never com­ple­ment each other on a themic level. In­stead, ul­ti­mately they seem to be noth­ing more than a happy co­in­ci­dence, so that one can pro­vide the res­o­lu­tion to the other.

Berry, with the most ir­ri­tat­ing fringe and im­prac­ti­cal heels ever, is ut­terly un­con­vinc­ing as a wife, as­tro­naut, ac­tion hero and, in­deed, actress, play­ing cru­cial mo­ments like Jen­nifer Anis­ton in a light com­edy. The lad pay­ing Ethan is won­der­fully odd, the ef­fects are top- notch and there’s some im­pres­sive pro­duc­tion de­sign ( a lot of the near- fu­ture tech looks like left­overs from a Mi­nor­ity Re­port brain­storm), but over­all, Ex­tant is spirit- sap­pingly de­riv­a­tive.

A gag reel, trail­ers and seven fea­turettes on all the usual be­hindthe- scenes gub­bins ( to­talling 89 min­utes), but thank­fully no gallery of Go­ran Višn­jic’s hor­ri­ble cardi­gans. Dave Golder

Al­ways take the time to co­or­di­nate your space­suit with the sta­tion decor.

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