In some ways, Extrapolations is typical eco-thriller fare. The Apple TV+ series depicts a planet on the brink of environmental crisis, where ordinary human beings battle increasingly hostile elements, and a villainous tech tycoon seeks to take over the world.
Yet in contrast to apocalyptic climate change dramas, like The Day After Tomorrow and Snowpiercer, Extrapolations doesn't dwell on the End of Days.
“We wanted to focus on what we call the ‘messy middle,’” series creator Scott Burns told NPR in an interview. “Because before we get to the end, there’s a lot of life that we’re all gonna have to go through.”
Despite the barrage of daily news headlines devoted to climate change, there still aren’t many fictional TV shows and movies that deal with the topic. And those that do tend towards disaster, picturing the end of life on Earth as we know it. But Extrapolations attempts to walk the line between fiction and scientific fact to tell the story of what’s at stake for our planet over the next few decades.
Dramatizing the ‘messy middle’
The messy middle dramatized in Extrapolations unfolds over roughly three decades starting about 15 years from now. Burns said he wanted to make climate change feel immediate, especially to young people.