What is "Extrapolations", the series of the screenwriter of "Contagion" worth?

Scott Z. Burns a prophet of doom? Author of the screenplay Contagion, by Steven Soderbergh, he described, in this film released in 2011, the concrete causes and consequences of a pandemic. Ten years later, in the midst of the spread of Covid-19, Contagionavailable on Netflix, was again in the limelight as a visionary work for its prediction of the health crisis.

In 2023, Burns revisits our anxieties by attacking, this time, global warming with Extrapolations. A dystopian series in eight episodes on Apple TV+, covering a thirty-three-year interval, between 2037 and 2070. Life on the globe is deteriorating at high speed: mega-fires, air degradation, intense heat waves, complete melting of the Arctic ice cap, submersion of coastal towns, total disappearance of species…

In the first episode, against the backdrop of COP42 organized in Tel Aviv, we discover this nightmarish world and certain individual destinies that will intersect over the course of the series: a scientist and her diplomat husband (Sienna Miller and Tahar Rahim), an apprentice rabbi in Israel (Daveed Diggs) confronted with the severe repercussions of the climate on the health of his mother, an Elon Musk-style tech titan lambasted by mobs and soon tried in The Hague for the crime of “ecocide” (Kit Harington, ex-Jon Snow in Game of Thrones), a real estate developer planning to build floating hotels at the North Pole (Matthew Rhys)…

Little ray of hope

The further the calendar advances, the tighter the noose around the neck of humanity. In the third episode, set in 2047, Miami is partly flooded, while in 2068, three episodes later, it is no longer possible to put your nose outside in San Francisco without equipping yourself with an oxygen mask. .

The most depressed who can afford it, or who have won the lottery, decide to withdraw from this nightmare world by uploading their consciousness to the Cloud to wake up in a happier virtual reality. To avoid completely knocking us out, in the last segment, the authors still light a small glimmer of hope via a revolutionary scientific discovery allowing to reduce carbon emissions.

“Climate change and its consequences are the most urgent and pressing problem facing humanity and, curiously, this theme is absent from most films and series”, confides to the Point Pop executive producer Dorothy Fortenberry. “As creators, it seemed to us our moral duty to write a story describing how we are heading towards this apocalypse, what its consequences are for our daily lives and, above all, how we can avoid it. It is also our duty to analyze our reality and to say which are the structures and the people who have made the world as it is. And to raise the following questions: can we imagine a different economy, based on other sources of energy…? Chaos is not inevitable. »

Abundance of futuristic technologies

Filled to the brim with guest stars (Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker, Marion Cotillard, Tobey Maguire, Ed Norton…), Extrapolations has the defect of its qualities. Hyperambitious whistleblower series in logistical terms, with an undisclosed budget, but which we imagine huge, it is scattered between too many intrigues to attach us to its characters.

His writing interspersing itineraries inherits from Altman but, in essence, the attention remains more stimulated by the abundance of futuristic technologies evoking Black Mirroras well as the impressive Who’s Who of the credits and the anxiety-inducing thrill of the end of the world flavor of each episode.

“Extrapolations” is based on scientific work like “Contagion” did.Scott Z. Burns

“I have always been influenced by George Orwell”, explains to the Point Pop Scott Z. Burns, “and Orwell said that all art is political. I assume to take a position in Extrapolationswhich is based on scientific work just like Contagion. We went through the annual reports of the IPCC and discussed at length with the specialists concerned to describe the future effects of climate change, from the rise in sea level to the extinction of species”.

A bit heavy political burden

Promotional gadget or sincere initiative, production has created a site web linked to the series and designed to raise public awareness of climate challenges, with the help of various international NGOs (WWF, the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC, the Earth Day network, etc.).

Through industrialist Nic Bilton (Kit Harington), who exploits climate change and the extinction of humpback whales for his own profit, Extrapolations delivers a somewhat heavy political charge. But Scott Z. Burns, who also produced the documentary An inconvenient truthwith Al Gore, in 2006, denies falling into primary anti-capitalism.

READ ALSO“Don’t Look Up: Cosmic Denial”: Netflix’s Christmas present “Capitalism is as responsible for climate change as it is for solutions to it. The question the series asks is: can we compel the market to develop innovative climate solutions and distribute them fairly? Or do we allow this extractive colonialist version of capitalism to continue? We’re glad Apple let us explore this theme in a series. »

And Dorothy Fortenberry to add: “We have scrupulously written a series where it is not too late to act against climate change, where choices are still possible. The technologies exist. Our dearest wish is that, in twenty years, the public will watch Extrapolations thinking that we had greatly exaggerated our predictions. It’s ours too.

Extrapolations, by Scott Z. Burns (8 x 50′). Starting March 17 on Apple TV+.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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