Every long journey has a beginning, and for our Nerdist overlord Chris Hardwick, it began in Ballroom 20 as he moderated the first of ELEVEN panels over the course of the weekend. Starting him off? CBS show Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, a woman with a mission to figure out just what the heck her role is in an upcoming alien invasion. The panel started off with a rundown of season 1, along with a sneak peek of what to expect from its sophomore installment, which includes a bit of, what they called, “a soft-reboot.”
Appearing alongside Hardwick were Berry, new cast member Jeffrey Dean Morgan, show creator Mickey Fisher, and the series’ new showrunner Craig Shapiro.
- Berry joined the show after reading the pilot and falling in love with its journey where the characters could go. The show’s theme of evolution and how we as a species grow with technology felt particularly resonant to her, particularly surrounding what the possible rewards and consequences of that will be.
- When asked about her dual role as actor and executive producer on the show, Berry said she wishes sometimes she could just be an actor, and not worry about the behind the scenes. However, she was glad to be a part of the process that brought Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Craig Shapiro into the fold.
- When asked why she made the jump to television, Berry said that TV’s abundance of solid roles for women (especially of her age group and ethnicity) was a huge draw, and that the best things happening creatively are on TV right now.
- David Morrissey has joined the cast as Tobias Shepherd, head of the Global Security Commission — basically the NSA of the future, protecting against global threats like pandemics and terrorism. They’ll now concentrate on the impending alien invasion. So think S.H.I.E.L.D. minus the lanyard.
- We also learned that the Global Security Mission are creating androids like Molly’s son Ethan, but to be soldiers. (Uh oh.)
- Morgan talked about his character on the series, cop JD Richter, explaining that he’s essentially there to help ask the questions the audience would ask. But what makes him interesting is that Richter is also a flawed character with his own set of problems — as we will see throughout the upcoming season.
- Chris brought up the fact that the show is visually different that other shows on CBS, with Shapiro explaining they have the go-ahead from the higher-ups to push the envelope a bit. Of course, having Steven Spielberg as an EP doesn’t hurt.
- To wrap up the Q&A, Chris asked Berry to address the report about her being up for a possible Storm movie, to which Berry replied that she was all for it — it was up to the fans to tell Fox that they want to see it.
You can check out some pics from the panel in the gallery below. Extant season 2 began July 1, and airs every Wednesday at 10pm on CBS.
So what do you think? Are you ready to follow Extant into this new direction? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.
Image Credit: CBS