Those who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy shows may be interested in the series Extant showing on the UK Syfy channel (although 6 months behind its US showing).
This series tells the story of astronaut Molly Woods who, as the series opens, has just returned from a 13-month mission alone in space and is adjusting to life back on earth with her husband and son. Whilst most of her time away seems to have been uneventful, a few missing hours reveal a mystery, the consequences of which are only just hinted at in the opening episode, Re-Entry.
This pilot episode shows a lot of promise: in just 45 minutes it successfully introduces a number of the central characters for the series, sets up the central mystery and presents a sinister sub-plot that raises some interesting and worrying ethical questions.
Flashbacks – something so many TV series use so badly – are employed extremely effectively in Re-Entry to reveal part of what happened during Molly’s time in space, and to hook the viewer in to the idea that all is not what it seems.
Whilst I did spot the first twist before it was revealed, there was a further twist at the end of the episode that took me completely by surprise and left me eagerly waiting for the next episode.
The only very minor issue for me was Goran Visnjic’s pronounced, and as yet unexplained, accent … although this did not detract from his excellent portrayal as Molly’s husband John. Perhaps a future episode will shed some light on the character’s foreign heritage…?
If you missed the first episode of Extant, you still have a chance to watch it on the Syfy channel’s on-demand service until February 19. New episodes air on Tuesdays at 9pm and I will certainly be tuning in.