TV Series Review

After years of trying, Molly Woods finally got pregnant. Cause for celebration, right?

Well, not so much. See, she'd been away from her husband, John, for 13 months.

On a solo mission.

In the vacuum of space.

If just one of those factors had been in play during Molly's conception, the whole situation would've been, at the very least, awkward. But all three? Houston, we have a problem.

Extant, a CBS summer sci-fi series from executive producer Steven Spielberg, is a surprisingly daring show for a network that has thrived for years on a regimen of crime procedurals and salacious comedies. Starring Oscar-winner Halle Berry, it has the flavor of Lost in space—a freaky, futuristic vision that contemplates nothing less than the meaning of life, both human and otherwise.

The Strong-Willed Child

Really, the fate of humankind all seems to be connected to Molly's progeny. Her space baby was born and grew incredibly fast. Now it appears to be wandering around the world getting other human women pregnant. And because the resulting babies grow so disturbingly fast even while still womb-bound, the mothers all die—turning the miracle of birth into a very disturbing alien invasion.

Meanwhile, Molly's other unnatural child—a boy-android named Ethan who "suffers" from a memory-wipe—has been transferred to the care of Julie Gelineau, head of a program that's designing ever better and more lethal human-robot hybrids.

Focus on the Alien Family

All this makes Molly and her kin some of the most interesting folks on the TV block. Nearly every new episode seems to tinker with another ethical conundrum, and Halle Berry's Molly gives the show quite a lot of emotional resonance.

But given Extant's love for dabbling in alien-human hookups, sex is a big and bad theme. The show has aired sexually charged scenes, and sometimes the pairings we see, given all the humans and aliens and androids running around, can be rather discomforting. Violence and peril are part of the mix, too.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Extant - July 15, 2015: "Empathy for the Devil"
Extant: 7-9-2014



Readability Age Range


Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy



Halle Berry as Molly Woods; Goran Visnjic as John Woods; Pierce Gagnon as Ethan Woods; Brad Beyer as Harmon Kryger; Camryn Manheim as Sam Barton; Tyler Hilton as Charlie Arthurs; Sergio Harford as Marcus Dawkins; Grace Gummer as Julie Gelineau; Michael O'Neill as Alan Sparks






Record Label





Year Published



Paul Asay

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!