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Is Extant the next big hit for Channel 10?

Halle Berry, Pierce Gagnon and Goran Visnjic in futuristic mystery series Extant. Photo Network Ten
Halle Berry, Pierce Gagnon and Goran Visnjic in futuristic mystery series Extant. Photo Network Ten Contributed

THE Woods aren't your ordinary family.

You can say that again.

For a start, their little boy Ethan is a humanic (robot) built by dad John and astronaut mum Molly has just returned from a year on a solo mission in outer space inexplicably pregnant.

An old boyfriend and astronaut colleague, long thought dead, have made regular appearances so far and conspiracies abound about what exactly those "solar flares" did to psyches out there in space.

Yep, futuristic thriller Extant (Ten, Sundays, 8.30pm) has turned the intrigue meter up to 11.

Gee, it's exciting to see movie actors - and Oscar winners at that - suddenly popping up on the small screen.

Just like Matthew McConaughey in the excellent True Detective, so too do we have Halle Berry correct(Oscar for Monster's Ball, 2002) leading this cast.

Smooth Slav Goran Visnjic plays dad and Pierce Gagnon does well at walking the fine line between creepy-cute robot and pseudo-human warmth.

Goran told The Guide recently that viewers will get "a lot of answers", not just the milking of a great premise.

This is key. Lost and Resurrection are two recent-ish examples of shows severely unbalanced in the split between questions and answers.

Most of us have enquiring minds, but we need regular, on-the-right-track rewards to keep us interested.

Extant has plenty of X-Files-like Big Brother scheming, but thankfully Molly has friend Sam (Camryn Manheim) to confide in, rather than simply shutting down with internal suspicion.

I like the look and feel of this show. Costuming, architecture and special effects are done very well. The interactive elephant and fish holograms at the museum last week were especially cool.

Extant is pulling spectacular ratings in the US, suggesting Ten may have a solid hit on its hands. As long as the answers are forthcoming.

Topics:  channel 10 opinion rebecca marshall television



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