'Extant' creator says he was inspired by Steven Spielberg, 'Doctor Who'

Starring Halle Berry, the show is to premiere July 9.
By Karen Butler  |  June 27, 2014 at 7:10 PM
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NEW YORK, June 27 (UPI) -- Extant creator and executive producer Mickey Fisher says Steven Spielberg's early sci-fi movies and the recent revival of Britain's Doctor Who series were among the inspirations for his new TV show.

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry plays an astronaut who returns to her family after a year in outer space in Extant, a futuristic family drama/mystery thriller, which is to premiere on CBS July 9.

"I was a kid who grew up on [Spielberg's] Amblin movies and I think, in so many ways, I was programmed by those movies. My creativity, in a way, almost, was programmed by those movies and guys like George Lucas," Fisher told reporters in a teleconference Thursday. "While I was writing the pilot -- because I am a big Doctor Who fan -- I had a post-it note on the corner of my monitor that said, 'WWSMD?' 'What would Steven Moffat do?' Because I think [the Doctor Who scribe] is a great writer and I would look at that every now and again when I would get stuck and I would ask myself that question -- 'What would Steven Moffat do?' And the answer was always like, 'Just write it better.' And, so, I just kept trying to do that."

So, did Fisher try to get any of the spirit of Doctor Who into Extant?

"It has such a great heart at the center of it and I think that was really important to me and important to [Extant show-runner] Greg [Walker.] It was one of the things I think I connected to Greg right away with because he's got such a great spirit and he is a family guy and when we first met, we talked about his sons and baseball. I feel like there is just this warmth and heart. It's not a dystopian world. We wanted it to be something people can relate to and a story about this family people would appreciate," Fisher said.

Executive produced by Spielberg, the 13-episode series co-stars Goran Visnjic, Camryn Manheim and Grace Gummer.

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