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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Extant, with Halle Berry, on CBS

In case you have wondered what TV stations do for advertising revenue, now that the political primaries are over, wonder no more. They put up promos for upcoming shows. At least the Upstate South Carolina CBS station has done so, over and over.

One such program, promoted heavily, is Extant, starring Halle Berry. If you have watched CBS recently, you already know this much: Somehow, Berry's character, an astronaut who has been on a solo mission for over a year, discovers that she is pregnant, on her return. You probably also know that the astronaut and her husband, a robotics expert, are raising a robot as their elementary school-aged son. I will try not to give anything else away.

I have seen the pilot. Two important science fiction themes, namely, the moral status of robots, and their interaction with human society; and encountering aliens (if that's what happened to the astronaut) are considered. They are among the most important in science fiction, and have been used over and over. No doubt they will be, again. So far, they are considered without violence -- no ray guns or robot murderers.

One other important theme of science fiction, also explored, is "what will the future be like?" There are plenty of interesting, sometimes amusing, vignettes of a possible future in the first episode, including a self-driving auto, 3-D presentations, a bathroom mirror that also serves as an information appliance, and a really amazing garbage disposal system.

Berry is a fine actress, which is not surprising, considering that she is an Academy Award winner. In one part of the episode, she does not say a word, but expresses lots of emotion with her facial expressions and body language. (Berry remains fully, and tastefully, clothed throughout, except for a discretely foggy shower scene with her husband.)

An interesting start to this series, which may become one of the best ever in the science fiction genre. I hope so.

Thanks for reading.


Weekend Fisher said...

I'm more into Dr Who, really. But I'll be interested in your comments on this.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Weekend Fisher! I've only seen one episode so far.