HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Extant: Season 2
HTS Overall Score:83
Poor “Extant”. It stars Halle Berry, pulls in Jeffrey Dean Morgan and even David Morrissey of “The Walking Dead”, but for some reason the rather cerebral Sci-fi show just couldn’t gain traction among its viewer base to make it past two seasons. The show is a bit heady, and certainly borrows from more than one genre of science fiction, but it was definitely intriguing. Even if it did feel a bit rocky and awkward at times. The blending of man, alien and ethics was an interesting premise, one that was fleshed out a bit in this second season, but unfortunately won’t be fleshed out anymore as the second (and final) season’s ratings caused the studio heads to bring down the cancel hammer and leave us with a bit of a cliffhanger. The show is entertaining, the action quite good, and the cerebral questions brought up by the show quite invigorating, which leaves me still recommending the show despite the truncated nature of having only two seasons.
As always, some spoilers for season one are involved, although I will keep them to a minimum. Molly Woods (Halle Berry) has returned from space after supposedly destroying the alien spores that threaten earth from above. Coming back though is a bit of an experience as she is forced into giving a happy joy joy speech to the general public, assuring them everything is ok. As you could have guessed, things are not as good as the façade is made out to be. Her husband John (Goran Visnjic) dies under some VERY suspicious circumstances, and her artificially created child, Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) is reactivated and subsequently taken from here. Furious and nearly destroyed, Molly is taken to a psychiatric care facility, ironically called Crazy Acres, where she is put under round the clock surveillance, in an effort to take care of her, as well as to see what sort of side effects she might be experiencing from her alien encounter.
However, Molly is not exactly without her resources, and she escapes from Crazy Acres to team up with cop J.D. Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in an effort to stop an impending Alien invasion from happening. Not to mention that there is something waiting in the wings, something even more devastating and more sinister than just a simple alien invasion. Something more “human” in design. At the same time, Molly’s other “child” known as “The Offspring” (a human/alien hybrid child) has grown to adulthood and is now going under the name Ahdu (Henderson Wade) and her Son Ethan is taken in by an old acquaintance. An old acquaintance that very well may have a few secrets of her own.
“Extant” is a fun little show, and really deserved to have a few more seasons to flesh out the storyline. Season 2 tweaked the storytelling from the previous season, adding in some more villains, some twisted plotlines and even more ethics oriented questions from the creators. While it may seem a bit more action oriented from the first few episodes, “Extant” still thrives on the cerebral questions asked by the main characters and all of the surrounding interactions between an alien race. We’ve always wondered just HOW we would react to aliens in our lives that have ONLY known life on Earth, and the show delves into those little thoughts with great gusto. The end finale wraps up season 2 quite nicely, but sadly leaves us with a little bit of a cliffhanger unlike other cancelled shows recently (ala, “Continuum” and “Defiance”).
The show borrows quite a bit form other science fiction tropes, and that DOES give it a bit of well-trodden feel, but at the heart of the series is the excellent acting from Halle Berry. The veteran movie star lends a sort of empathetic and realistic feel to Molly, allowing her character to feel very organic and realistic despite all the standard sci-fi show clichés surrounding her. The questions asked and the answers gained don’t preach at the viewer but rather have them try and ask their own questions as a result of the human/alien interactions and the ethical dilemmas that pop up. Every once in a while I would wince at a poorly delivered line, or a badly written episode, but on the whole it was a fun little series that deserved a bit more time than it was given.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=61449[/img]If anything, “Extant” gives us a simply magnificent 1.78:1 framed Blu-ray transfer. The show is shot digitally and except for some very video noise in a couple of dimly lit scenes, the transfer is impeccable. Razor sharp and EXTREMELY clean and clear, the show maximizes its potential with simply superb outdoor shots and excellently balanced interiors. The colors are warm and inviting, with a very natural color palette that doesn’t look exceptionally graded in one way or the other. Fine detail is immaculate, from the sci-fi CGI of the alien powers to the little fibers and threads on people’s coats. Black levels are deep and inky, with no signs of crush, banding or any other digital issue that tends to crop up in darker scenes. The disc itself seems to be free of compression issues as it is spread across 4 discs for the 13 episodes and looks about as good as our modern digital photography can do (which is really something these days).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=61457[/img]TV Shows aren’t usually known for having reference quality sound tracks, but the 5.1 DTS-HD MA experience for “Extant” is a REALLY nice sounding TV experience. The show manages to not just be a dialog centric series, with all sorts of great surround usage and some walloping levels of LFE. Dialog is of course crisp and clear, without any problems that I could hear, and the rest of the track is balanced well with said vocals. The surrounds get a LOT of activity with the more action oriented moments, but also get some solid use with ambient sounds, like the crunching a footstep on pavement, or the crashing of wood as someone smashes through a bedroom door. LFE is tight and punchy, a few moments of extreme bass, but mostly just adding a nice heavy feeling to the atmosphere.
• Deleted Scenes
• "Extant": A Look at Season 2
• A Tour of the Sets
• A Carnival of the Mind
• Chemistry: Molly & JD
• Two Humanichs: Ethan & Lucy
• The Season Finale
• Gag Reel
Maybe I’m just getting older and seeing through rose tinted glasses, but too many shows are just cancelled after only a season or two these days. Using the clichéd phrase “back in my day!” I have to say that I remember shows like this being allowed several more seasons before getting the ax (well, except for Fox who has always loved to ax shows at the first sign of problems…grumble gumble whine…”Firefly”…grumble grumble moan). “Extant” has its share of flaws, but it is an entertaining sci-fi adventure that took a different approach to many of the same tired clichés we’ve been recycling in fantasy and science fiction for the last several decades. Audio and video are EXCELLENT, and the extras aren’t bad at all either. Definitely worth checking out if you have the chance.
Starring: Halle Berry, Pierce Gagnon, Grace Summer, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Created by: Mickey Fisher
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 540 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 15th 2015
Buy Extant: Season 2 On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Check it Out
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