Recently I was pleasantly surprised to hear that BYUtv, the television channel run by Brigham Young University, was soon to be releasing a brand new science fiction IP in the form of ‘Extinct,’ which premiered last night. ‘Extinct’ is the second original scripted show produced by BYUtv, the first being the well-received Cold War drama ‘Granite Flats’ (which can be seen streaming on Netflix or at graniteflats.com). ‘Granite Flats’ expanded BYUtv’s audience immensely, garnering around half a million viewers. A substantial increase from their previously most watched show, which didn’t even draw 10,000 viewers. So it’s no surprise they would want to try and recapture that success, and they’re apparently banking on ‘Extinct’.
The story so far is that Aliens invade Earth and drive humanity to utter extinction. That’s it, Humanity is kaput. We’ve kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Humanity is an ex-species. Fast forward 400 years into the future and now for some reason, an unknown alien race is using some sort of nanobots called “Sparks” to remake humans and start repopulating the Earth with them. Not just any humans, but specifically humans from during the start of the alien invasion. They’re making them new bodies and restoring their memories. And this is where things start getting interesting because it raises a lot of questions. Who is doing this? The aliens that killed humans off in the first place or different aliens? Why are they doing this? How did they get the genetic and mental information to restore humans from? Why these people specifically? Things get even more complicated when the restored humans find out they’re being hunted by other restored humans who have been infected by symbiotic parasites called “Skinriders”. Where did the Skinriders come from and what do they want with the Sparks? Put all of this together and you’ve got an engaging story that you’re going to want to keep watching. Let’s just hope that they actually answer at least some of these questions. Nobody wants another ‘Lost’ where it seemed nothing was ever really answered.
Having watched the first two episodes so far, I’m definitely hooked by the story, and I have to say the production isn’t bad either. It’s not perfect, obviously, since this is being run on a budget provided by a private University and I imagine a lot of the people working on it are students. You can’t really expect HBO quality here. So, yeah, the fairly low budget does show itself at times, but more often than not I find myself quite impressed with how good the show looks and how good the acting is. There are ten episodes scheduled for the first season, and you can watch them either on the BYUtv channel as they are aired or alternatively you can stream the first eight episodes right now at byutv.org.
As I said, I’m impressed so far and will definitely be watching the rest of the episodes as I have time. I encourage you to check it out too, I have a feeling this is going to be a bit of an underground hit. Do it for the sci-fi hipster cred if nothing else.