Extant : Season 1

  • Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 9, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jul 7, 2014
    100
    The opener is absolutely superlative--a thing of real beauty, even elegance.... Berry delivers a performance that's surprisingly layered and nuanced.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 3, 2014
    83
    It packs a lot of intriguing plot threads into its first hour while also brimming with money-on-the-screen production values.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Kenneally
    Jul 9, 2014
    80
    Despite the kitchen-sink feel to it all, Extant has much going for it. Berry impressively handles the task of playing a woman who's coming to grips with both a interstellar conception and a laboratory-built “son.” And so far the series has done a good job of balancing the gee-whiz gadget fetishism of science fiction with the need for characters that the viewer will care about.
  4. Reviewed by: Jason Lynch
    Jul 9, 2014
    80
    Extant is laying some intriguing groundwork and doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about humanity and artificial intelligence, particularly in John’s heated debate with a board that is considering financing his android work.
  5. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jul 9, 2014
    80
    Oscar winner Berry and the dependable Visnjic, as well as familiar supporting faces, all do a good enough job in the first episode with a tantalizing premise--and lot of grade A special effects--to make Extant worth checking out before it becomes extinct.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 8, 2014
    80
    Extant has a clever concept that would probably work better on a bigger screen (especially the orbital scenes). But it's thoroughly entertaining--even if you wind up watching it on your shrinky-dink cellphone.
  7. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Jul 7, 2014
    80
    If the rest of the 13-episode Extant remains as compelling as its first episode, this will be the standout show of the summer season.
  8. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jul 9, 2014
    75
    Extant plays with genres, mixing sci-fi, conspiracy thriller and scenes from a struggling marriage. It also asks some daring questions about the collision of machine and humanity.
  9. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 9, 2014
    75
    Berry provides (pardon the pun) enough gravity to make Extant feel like a genuine work of science fiction, rather than a soap opera dressed up in sci-fi drag, which happens too often on the broadcast networks.
  10. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jul 8, 2014
    75
    If parts of the tale are familiar, it's all well-told, with a bit of visual flair.... [Berry] brings a dignity and gravity to Molly, a projected intelligence that allows you to buy her as an astronaut and to see what has happened to her as frightening rather than ridiculous.
  11. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Jul 8, 2014
    75
    Capitalizing on the astronaut-in-peril popularity of last year’s “Gravity,” and buoyed by Spielberg’s influence, the 13-episode Extant looks to be an enjoyable if not mind-blowingly-original summer series.
  12. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Jul 7, 2014
    75
    Of course, the first episode will leave you with more questions--which will make the drama one of the most compelling (or maddening) of the summer. Berry’s character drives the story. The Oscar winner is a good choice for the role.
  13. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 3, 2014
    75
    There are more questions than answers in the pilot of Extant, which, in this case, is a good thing. The seeds of dramatic conflict have been planted, and we're going to come back the next week to see how all of this plays out.
  14. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jul 9, 2014
    70
    No one element of this show feels original, and yet I would totally watch more, even if just to peep at the sleek futuristic garbage cans again.
  15. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 9, 2014
    70
    While Wednesday's pilot episode of Extant (all that was available for review) lacks the sort of unforgettable "wow" moment provided by the severed cow in Dome's opener, the new series also seems less likely to lapse irrevocably into silly hysteria.
  16. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jul 9, 2014
    70
    I am not yet sold, but I will stick around a while to see what this future holds.
  17. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 9, 2014
    70
    It’s way too soon to say whether this jumble works, but it’s promising that Extant‘s premiere seems confident enough to play it cool and mysterious rather than hammer us with holy-crap moments.
  18. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Jul 9, 2014
    63
    The short, 41-minute opener (I'd DVR it and fast-forward through the commercials) is slickly filmed, generally well acted and ends with an intriguing revelation. But so little feels new and fresh.
  19. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jul 7, 2014
    63
    The mostly intriguing premiere raises many questions, not least of which is: Will the story be too out there for a mainstream audience?
  20. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jul 9, 2014
    60
    Though Extant is competently made, it shares a problem with another new TV show with a big name attached. Like "Extant," "The Strain," which arrives Sunday and boasts Guillermo Del Toro as one of its executive producers, feels kind of bland and bloodless.
  21. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jul 8, 2014
    60
    Extant is more deft and sophisticated [than season two of "Under the Dome"], and Halle Berry is a big star. But, as is the case with "Under the Dome," the new series dilutes its own mystique with too many plodding plot devices and stock characters.
  22. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Jul 8, 2014
    60
    You’re left to wonder about what she sees, or whether she believes what she sees, a set of questions that might be intriguing (watching her distraught face as she watches herself) or annoying (watching her vaguely worried face as she spots a stranger at the end of her driveway in the dead of night).
  23. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jul 8, 2014
    60
    One hour out of 13 isn't enough to tell if the many questions raised by Extant will be dealt with in any coherent way or whether, this time next summer, we'll still be wondering.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 7, 2014
    60
    Aside from the coup of landing Berry--a woman, apparently, irresistible to sentient life throughout the galaxy--the show’s strong cast hints at more promise than the premiere ultimately exhibits, racing as it does to establish a foundation for what’s to come.
  25. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 7, 2014
    60
    The show clearly plans to unveil the science fiction slowly, in some cases letting us come to certain realizations at the same time as the characters. This will rule out some casual viewers, because Extant is a show to which you must pay attention/--a task which, happily, the writing and acting make rather pleasant.
  26. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jul 3, 2014
    60
    It’s an entertaining pilot, full of surprises that should hook viewers and get them engaged for the subsequent 12 episodes. But there’s also the question of whether the show sets about spinning too many mysteries at once.
  27. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jul 3, 2014
    60
    The show gets off to a serviceable start--coolly conceived and professionally directed, at least in the one episode shared with critics. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess at this point, but Extant’s creator and cast seem to be taking things seriously enough as a work of sci-fi origami, folded and layered with a certain precision.
  28. 50
    The lead performances are a tad opaque, and the script feels as though it's telling two separate stories that don't immediately seem as though they'll connect in a graceful way.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Jul 9, 2014
    50
    To be blunt, there are better sci-fi shows. The biggest problem is a cold, icy aesthetic that Berry does her best to break through but that feels like the product of a writer’s room that lacks passion.
  30. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 8, 2014
    50
    Despite having Berry and a sci-fi idea that, while not super-original, is still intriguing, Extant lays flat for most of the hour, failing to set the hook.
  31. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Jul 3, 2014
    40
    Extant is a hodgepodge that serves up some creepy moments but gets bogged down by the inelegance of its copycat nature. It rumbles when it should roar. It stumbles when it should soar.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 50
  2. Negative: 19 out of 50
  1. Jul 9, 2014
    3
    Extant's pilot show feels tired and uneven, like the director couldn't quite figure out what tone the series should have. Rather than aExtant's pilot show feels tired and uneven, like the director couldn't quite figure out what tone the series should have. Rather than a narrowly focused, tight narrative, Halle Berry's mostly tolerable performance bounces around the loose confines of a show that doesn't seem to know what it's supposed to be.

    It's not all the bad direction. Extant's plot lumbers around knocking over the furniture rather than finessing anything. Extant obviously wants to build on shows like Under the Dome or Helix, but instead its pilot feels like it's trying to stuff all the plot points for the whole first season into an hour. Indeed, the most nuanced performance in the whole hour comes from Helix regular Hiroyuki Sanada, essentially recapping his better performance in Helix for the benefit of people who don't watch Syfy.

    I'm not going to give up on the show immediately, but Extant doesn't feel like it has a lot to offer that hasn't been done before, better.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2014
    3
    The premiere has a nice sheen of tech gloss on it, but I've got real plausibility problems with what they're doing. First, Molly Woods is aThe premiere has a nice sheen of tech gloss on it, but I've got real plausibility problems with what they're doing. First, Molly Woods is a highly regarded, trained astronaut and yet she lets an obvious alien form, stereotypically viewable as a former lover, approach and touch her. Second, everyone with any tech chops knows that either (a) she would not even have the option to delete camera footage, or (b) that such a deletion was logged as an intentional act; for heaven's sake, the delete command asked for confirmation! So this is just sloppy screenwriting and cannot be forgiven because it poisons anything that derives from it. Third, Harmon comes back from the dead(?!) and cryptically warns her not to trust anyone. Jeez, is this script straight from The X-Files or what?! I wanted to like this series, I really did, but these plot gaffes betray its former potential since they're not taking the critical element of plausibility seriously. Full Review »
  3. Jul 10, 2014
    9
    Excellent start. It is not much of a secret that there are reflections here of "2010", "AI - Artificial Intelligence" and "Solaris" but I canExcellent start. It is not much of a secret that there are reflections here of "2010", "AI - Artificial Intelligence" and "Solaris" but I can live with that. Considering the level of writing on many of the new network summer shows, "Extant" is a stand-out. Time will tell. I think Halle Berry will carry her part of the show. Let's hope the writers can do the same. Full Review »