Extanct Episodes 1-5. First Five Episodes- some notes and dialogue with review PART ONE at the end. Minor spoilers. On in the UK on Syfy channel number 135 and 165 HD on Virgin Media TV

Extant


Series One

Syfy channel  135 Tuesday nights at 9pm

Description of Extant:

“Returning home from thirteen months alone in space, Molly attempts to resume her family life but discovers shocking news”

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Episode One-
“RE-ENTRY”

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Extant opens as we see a spaceship flying in what at first appears to be space.  But as the impressive craft (which even has twin blue flames of jet flames coming of the the back) comes closer: we see it is really a toy.  Being flown by a rather creepy kid.  In his house.

Cue to the well appointed bathroom with double sinks.  Halle Berry as Molly is there, looking like hell and vomiting into the sink.

He (the kid) has an amazing looking thin as a wafer remote control.

So I guess this is the future.

Later the creepy kid says to his eponymously square jawed and super nice Dad:
“Hey,I think I need a flip”..

So guess what happens then.  You will never guess.

Oh no.  So the photos move now.  So what happened to the lovely handsome man in the moving photo.

Driver-less car:
“”Approaching Yazumoto..”

Doctor to Molly:
“You were alone the whole time..
“the  thirteen months?”
“a solo mission..”
Molly: (chuckles)
“Yes, that’s why they call it a solo mission..”

So now we see a real spacecraft.  And its really cool.  Actually it s a docking station and/or space station.

Ben is the Hal-like voice of the computer that runs the space-station.

Ben:
“I’m detecting interference from a solar flare..”

Everything goes dark. Molly picks up some tools and floats up to the next story, through the hatch.

Then she sees someone through the porthole.  Who writes “help me” in the condensed water on the glass..

Meanwhile.
Moustachioed Space Exploration Agency Boss disappears to an evil baddie underground lair.

Back at the home of Molly and her husband (John)
Computer voice:
“John, you have an incoming call from Yazumoto Corp…”

Yazumoto’s spectacles have a golden trim on top and are slightly fifties in style in shape.

So Ethan  is a brat.  But is seriously creepy.
Ethan to Molly:
“it was like that when I got here…” (the bird)
“Your hair is really pretty…”

So the husband, John turns out to be a bit of a twat too.

Back to the space station flashback.  Its all very Solaris in nature.  Great stuff.  These parts are way more exciting than the earth bound action.

Plus Molly has an outfit that looks like a pale blue Spiderman spacesuit.

What.  The.  Fuck.  is going on.
This is all supremely daft.
voice:
“It’s OK, Its OK, Its OK…”
A little hole appears in the screen as the rest of the screen blacks out and then the hole shrinks, corkscrew style.

Great stuff.  That is so old school.

Space Agency Psychiatrist to Molly:
“I want this office to be a sanctuary for you…”
(yeah, right)

Kryger Harman & Molly.
Molly:
“Kryger? Kryger?  Kryger?”
Kryger:
“Don’t trust them,”..
Molly:
“Who?
Kryger:
Anybody…”
“Don’t trust anybody!...
He looks half behind him, over one shoulder before he slowly back steps into the darkness and the trees.  All the while looking at Molly.

***

Episode Two-
“EXTINCT”

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Wow.  In the future they have eggs that stand up on their own, from the base.

The kid Ethan is looking very Omen-like.

Molly’s friend the Doctor (Sam) has a chain of silver tiny balls looped around one ear.

So John’s business partner, Elise,  is in love with him and hates Molly.  It is clear.

So now we have the flashback for Kryger Harman, the other solo Astronaut.  Who was on the same space station and mission as Molly.

Oh yes.  And the business partner of John (Elise) is way too friendly and or close with creepy kid Ethan.

Molly to computer:
“Show me the footage..”
Computer voice:
“Access denied..”
then:
“I’m sorry Molly, I’ve been directed to terminate the session..”

Ahah, so that’s what a tether is!
Computer voice to Molly:
“Attention, your tether has been dislodged, you medical information will no longer be logged”

Kryger Harman to Molly:
“We thought we were doing experiments,”
We were the experiments!”

So Extanct has touches of the original series The Prisoner about it.

I am afraid that Molly’s dear Doctor friend Sam is not be trusted…

So even the barking dogs in the cages at the Vets are somehow sinister.

Molly and Space Agency Director Sparks.
Molly:
“We’re really good friends, right?”
“you’re supposed to protect us..”

Director Sparks and Mr. Yuzumoto.
Sparks:
“Do you think we found them?”
Yazumoto:
“I think they’re already here…”

Oh dear.  Things are getting even more gloriously daft.

***

Episode Three
“WISH YOU WERE HERE”

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

There are a lot of flashbacks.
(Signified sometimes by a kind of silent swooshing white light)

John’s business partner, Elise to Ethan:
“The Velveteen Rabbit..
“There was once a velveteen rabbit and the beginning, he was was splendid..”

Well I am really not sure about Molly’s husband, John.  it could be that he is just so robotic looking.  I began to wonder if both the husband and all of molly’s friends are in on this weirdness.  Because of course we know that Molly is not seeing Hallucinations at all.

Run, Molly, run!”…

***

Episode Four
“SHELTER”

Some notes and dialogue on first watching.

Hilarious opening scene with two gowned and gloved Russian Scientists chatting to each other in Russian.
(waiting for Yazumoto)

Russian Scientists.
One is saying to the other:
“You know he’d kill us off like rats, vermin and send us back to Volograd!”
But then.
Oh dear.
Its’ classic Sci-fi horror.


Molly to Ethan:
“”The story of the Seven Sisters of Orion..So one day,  Zeus..”

Oh well.  I was wondering how long Extanct would keep being fun and fresh.  Until it started playing meaningful piano moments.

Director of the Space Agency , Spark, to Molly’s friend Doctor Sam:
“Pitfalls…pitfalls seen and unseen..”

So I really reckon that Molly’s husband John is in on the conspiracy.  This would explain this general wooden demeanour.  (signs of brainwashing see)  Plus that is the way every person who is there when the so-called hallucinations appear: can deny they saw anything.    Make Molly think she really is hallucinating.

Ethan to Grand Dad:
“Nobody’s perfect..”

So Ethan’s Grand Dad is even suspicious.

One keeps waiting for Ethan to wreak some true havoc-Damien in Omen style.

But wait,  something is telling me that Grand Dad (irascible Grand Dad when he’s had a drink) may not be long for this world anyway.

Extanct is like a poor man’s Intruders.

So dopey husband John seems the very last person you would expect to punch the local Sheriff.

Things are getting seriously sinister Sci-fi horror.

Oh no..there must be a word for Sci-fi horror that includes medical experiments, mad scientists, operations and possible concentric circular alien life forms?

***

Episode Five.
“WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG?”
some snippets
Molly.
Uh oh.  flashback/ dream-time.

Ethan:
Mom?”
“Are you OK?”
“I kept your secret..”

Oh dear.
 John to Elise:
“You work for me-we’re not partners…”

So we are getting near to Molly actually carrying out or being in: her dream.

***

Review
So I am really enjoying Extant so far.  Yes it’s all a bit daft and really Molly as a performance so far is like she is phoning it in.  As they say in the acting world I believe.  Molly mostly emotes from her eyes.  Shame really because Extanct would be even better if the inner life or world of Molly was more believable.  Perhaps this credibility will come over time.  For now, Molly mostly looks several shades of shock just by her eyes.  Eyes which sometimes sprout sprinkly unbidden tears and cry.

Conversely and perhaps unfairly in terms of comparison: Molly’s husband John,  Ethan and various Space Agency employers and employees look exceedingly blank of face.  However in their case this robotic stare and countenance accentuates their menace.

Because Extanct so far is like some veteran series full of psychological torture and manipulation.
Of innocent unwilling subjects. Brain-washing, hypnotising incantations from inscrutable evil experimenters.  Who issued code words down clanking telephones as messages to be heard by the brainwashed ones.  Who often didn’t even know.  That they had been subject to experimentation. down in the basement full of mysterious flashing lights and impressive dials and read-outs.
Oh dear.

Eventually in these series the hero would finally enter the secret lair and bust up all the equipment. Bash!  The impressive monolithic computer stations would fuzz and explode and often times fall over.  Since they were only made of cardboard.
Still, I digress.

Factor into Extanct its flavour of old 1950’s B movie alien films plus a dollop of Duncan Jones’ film Moon, the film Solaris and a touch of the British series Prisoner.  Not forgetting the X-Files.

We shall see.  I am not sure how much longer Extanct can maintain its interest by being fresh and different and enjoyable.  Whether there will be more of the slide towards schlock as experienced in the scenes with Yazumoto and his unusual first sighting like he was some kind of eternal vampire. The painting of an ancient Japanese warrior in Yazumoto’s incredible collection of artefacts looks suspiciously like him.

The fact that Molly’s stomach keeps sprouting moving as in up and down circular bumps like a honeycomb on steroids is un-nerving indeed.

Ethan is seriously creepy.  I just thought of another drama in which there is an other worldly boy: Les Revenants/ The Returned.

Ethan is deeply unpredictable. However even more sinister really is Ethan’s father and Molly’s husband, John.  I mean I know it’s the future and everything but believing that his invention, Humanix and his beloved creation will just be A OK in the world: has all the hallmarks of a complete madman.

John is a crazy scientist.  In love with his creation.  Existing in an odd secondary couple with his business partner and fellow designer (of artificial intelligence) Elise.  Elise and John tut and argue over their creation like the true parents.

The viewer can see that this un-objective fondness of this dysfunctional couple will only lead to trouble.  John and Elise will refuse of course like all mad scientists in films: to see the evil in their invention.
Until it’s too late.

Up to then it will be only Molly that will see.  And suffer.  In true classic horror movie style.

***

Footnotes.

There are no subtitles in Extanct.

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Molly’s father is played by Louis Gosset Junior.  The unforgettable drill sergeant who tries to make or break Richard Gere as the raw army recruit in the film Officer and a Gentleman.

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All quotes for “computer voices” refer to the loudspeaker computerised voice that regulates, informs and instructs the people in Extanct, constantly.  These voices are not actually coming from computers but from hidden speakers, everywhere it seems.  At least in the city.  The computer voice does not appear when Molly goes to visit her father, who lives on an island.

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The reference to Hal is from the film 2001 Space Odyssey.  Omen refers to the old British horror film of that name.  Likewise the more recent film sci-fi horror film, Solaris.  Although I have only seen the American remake not the original Russian film Solaris. (the original is very long)

Somewhere on this Blog I have reviewed the film Moon by Duncan Jones. Love that film although it is somewhat horror filled too..
Duncan Jones is the son of  David Bowie.

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