In the not-so-distant future, an astronaut returns from space to shockingly discover that she's pregnant — which wouldn't seem so weird if she hadn't been gone for 13 months on a solo mission. The question of what's inside of her and how it got there is the mystery at the center of CBS' new drama Extant.
Hailing from newcomer Mickey Fisher and Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV, the drama finds infertile astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) beyond surprised and rightfully frightened upon the discovery that she's an incubator for something humanity has never seen before. The possible baby daddy? An alien who's a dead ringer for Molly's late ex-boyfriend, Marcus (Sergio Harford).
"It's a huge secret that she has, so it's about trying to figure it out for herself before she tells anybody else," Berry tells TVGuide.com "She's trying to understand what happened to her, but she doesn't really remember. She's got to answer some questions before she can start talking about it."
What's scarier? Though she's keeping it a secret, Molly's bosses at the International Space Exploration Agency aren't surprised when they learn that camera footage after the strange solar flare that proceeded the alien's arrival was accidentally deleted — something that has happened once before with a former astronaut.
In the midst of the alien conspiracy, Extant also explores the far-reaching power of technological advances, from the Siri-like systems used in every home to the use of robots, including a model Molly's scientist husband John Woods (ER's Goran Visnjic) built after they had trouble conceiving. As expected, one can never be sure whether their strange and hard-to-read robotic child Ethan (Looper's Pierce Gagnon) is a scientific marvel or two steps away from realizing his potential and turning into a vicious and unstoppable killer.
As John finds funding from the Yasumoto Corporation's leader Hideki Yasumoto (Revenge's Hiroyuki Sanada), who has a connection to the ISEA, that very question will plague him — especially from an adversary on the Yasumoto board, Femi Dodd (24's Annie Wersching), who asks the questions that most rational humans might want answers to. "I challenge John Woods on all of those issues," Wersching says. "If your robot son goes crazy, what are you going to do about it?"
Rightfully so, even Molly is wary of their child, which causes strife between her and John. That said, keeping her alien baby a secret from her husband is really the least of her worries, especially since Ethan has been all but raised by John's young co-worker Julie (The Newsroom's Grace Gummer). "You imagine leaving your husband and child for a year and you can imagine that you come back home and everything would be a little bit different," Berry says. "They have their routines and you feel a little bit out of sorts."
This, of course, adds another layer to the story, mixing sci-fi with family drama and keeping a story brimming with robots and aliens somewhat grounded. "It's truly a family drama before anything else," Wersching adds.
Will you watch Extant? The drama premieres Wednesday at 9/8c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
Additional reporting by Kate Stanhope
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