With Stephen Speilberg as a producer for some episodes, Extant, the sci-fi series starring Halle Berry, premieres tonight
IT ALL begins when astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) returns from a year-long solo mission in space. And just as she is starting to adjust to her life back here, she discovers she’s pregnant despite being infertile. The lead actor tells us more about her return to television, working in a futuristic show (directed by Mickey Fisher), and having a robot for a son.
When I read the script, it read to me like a movie. The character was rich, she was complicated, she was someone that I instantly related to on some level. I loved the world that was created. It was the perfect balance of supernatural sci-fi and character driven.
I thought some of the best stuff was on television today and I think as artistes, as actors, we have to go where the work is, where the good characters are that move us, that inspire us, that want to make us do what we do.
In the series, Molly and John had infertility issues and they tried for years and years to get pregnant and they couldn’t. So, John, in an attempt to give Molly the greatest gift, decides to create one with his partner, Julie, who is played by Grace Gummer. They create Ethan, this A.I (Artificial Intelligent) robot child.
The problem is that Molly is not sure that this robot baby, Ethan, quite does it for her, that it’s quite childlike enough for her to be fulfilled. So, when Molly finds out she is pregnant, no matter what it is, it’s still hers and it’s inside of her, and she has a natural connection to whatever that is. But they have a very interesting relationship which will slowly evolve over time. Certainly by the end of this season it won’t be resolved, but Molly will be closer to understanding Ethan and closer to maybe finding a way to love him and understanding what loving a robot would mean.
The show is as much about heart and relationships as it is the sci-fi world of it all. I think our series beautifully strikes the balance between the new world science fiction A.I and a family that is human and have real issues that are very relatable to every family right now.
In every episode there’s an element of science fiction, of artificial intelligence. We have this child robot who is in the show. We are in this world that is very futuristic. It’s very subtle but in each episode, you’ll see some little element that will tell you, you are not in 2014, that you are slightly ahead of where we are. And it’s fun to see those little details and operate – like we have cars that drive themselves and that’s not too far away from now! But that’s our world that our characters live in, so those little elements are fun and add a richness to our stories.
Premieres this evening at 10 pm on AXN. Details: cbs.com/showsextant
For the love of food
The passion for culinary adventure brings together Patrick and Kylie
Kylie Flavell, a magazine editor, upped and left her lucrative job in Australia to move to Rome and when she saw Patrick Drake’s video blog, she shot him an email to accompany her – he said yes! When Patrick Met Kylie follows the couple in their travels across the Italian peninsular as they decode the secrets and joys of a nation where food is tradition as they fall in love with that and each other. On her first impressions of Patrick, Kylie says she related instantly because he seemed like her – a dreamer. Patrick thought ‘she might just be as crazy and optimistic’. But when they met ‘it was all about that smile!’ But it wasn’t all hunky dory for the duo. “I had to convince people to believe in this project. Some networks didn’t even believe that our backstory was real! But I wanted to create a show that was not just about food and travel but about going after your passion,” Kylie shares. Currently filming her new show on the Amalfi Coast, Kylie says the best places were rustic and simple. “There is a place in Positano where you arrive by a little wooden boat, the tables are on the sand and you eat fresh fish and mozzarella grilled on lemon leaves outside,” she says of her favourite experience while Patrick’s was at Tuscany. “For me, it was cooking with an awesome guy called Malcolm in our Tuscany episode. We cooked a mouthwatering duck ragu with fresh pappardelle in his rustic little Tuscan kitchen and it was one of the best things I have ever eaten!”
Weekdays, 8pm on FOX Life