Imagine a world where you develop your very own superpower on your 18th birthday – what kind of power would you hope for? Would it help your life, or would it further complicate things for you? What if it’s been seven years and you still haven’t developed your superpower? That’s the basis of the new Disney+ original comedy series Extraordinary.
25-year-old Jen, played by Máiréad Tyers (Dracula) is still waiting for her superpowers and isn’t fussy about what it could be. Joining Jen during her journey are her flatmates: best friend Carrie (Sofia Oxenham, Poldark), Carrie’s long-term boyfriend Kash (Bilal Hasna, Screw) and their cat Jizzlord (Luke Rollason, Jack).
Created by Emma Moran, the 8-episode first season drops on Disney+ on Jan. 25 under the Star banner. The series also stars Derry Girls’ Siobhán McSweeney as Jen’s mum Mary.
The TV Watercooler had the opportunity to chat with series stars Máiréad Tyers, Sofia Oxenham, Bilal Hasna, and Luke Rollason ahead of the premiere to find out more about the show, and which powers they wish they’d have.
Can you set up the world that Extraordinary is set in?
Máiréad Tyers: It’s set in London and about 10 years ago, everyone above the age of 18 got a superpower. Your superpower can be something super mundane – like being able to reupholster chairs or turn on the lights – or you could be able to fly!
Extraordinary is a comedy that is basically set in a world that looks the exact same [as ours], except everyone has superpowers, but my character (Jen) doesn’t have a superpower! So, the series kind of centers around her trying to find her superpower by different means.
She’s 25! So, she’s a late bloomer. That makes her feel quite ****.
Do the superpowers influence the type of job one may have?
Sofia Oxenham: They can. It depends. I play Carrie and her superpower is that she can channel the dead. She works in a lawyer’s office and often, a lot of her work is to settle estate disputes. So, she can speak to the person that has died and is able to bring them into the room so that they can directly say who they want the money to go to.
So yeah, Carrie’s superpower does coincide with her work, but not everyone’s does. For example, Kash’s doesn’t!
Bilal Hasna: Yeah. [Laughs] Because Kash is unemployed.
Luke Rollason: Despite having an amazing power as well.
Bilal: My character can turn back time by four minutes and 30 seconds. Or four minutes and 50 seconds if he’s carb-loaded!
Unfortunately, due to who he is as a person, he cannot find a job because he’s quite disorganized, lazy, and full of all sorts of ideas and schemes.
Luke: I think something that’s quite beautiful about the show, which is that even though everyone suddenly has these powers and that they are capable of doing things that are unimaginable in our world, it’s that people are still people.
It’s not that they’ve all become heroes and suddenly super strong. You may be able to breathe fire or fly, and Kash has the power to literally turn back time, but he still can’t get his life together!
Carrie can channel famous and confident dead people, but she’s still so shy in her own life and I think that’s something that is really special about the show.
So, even whilst Jen is trying to feel like she is just as special as everyone else in the world, everyone else is still struggling with the same thing as they would struggle [if they didn’t have superpowers].
Their powers don’t save their lives.
Will we see Carrie channel any famous people?
Sofia: She does quite a lot! She channels an old country Western singer, for example, who has an unfinished album. There are a few others, but I’ll leave them to the viewers to discover!
If you could channel someone deceased, who would it be?
Sofia: I think I would channel someone who did a lot of incredible speeches…
Máiréad: Or what about someone whose murder was never solved?
Sofia: Yes! Oh, my goodness.
Máiréad: You could go back and get the person who was murdered and then find the person who killed them.
Sofia: That’s a really good one!
Luke: It would really be nice to show someone who was never appreciated in their own lifetime… I was thinking of Nikola Testa or someone like Vincent van Gogh who thought they were a failure in their own life.
If you could have a superpower in your own life, what would it be?
Máiréad: To play every instrument! How amazing would that be?
Bilal: And be a one-person band!
Máiréad: You could play absolutely everything! I get really impatient when I can’t do something, so I wouldn’t have to go through the years of hard fingers [that I imagine you’d get practicing] to try to learn the guitar. I would just know how to play it.
Bilal: You know what I’d actually love? It would be to close my eyes and go and see exactly what anyone I want to is doing right now. Wouldn’t that be so cool? “What’s my mum doing right now?” Or like, why hasn’t so and so texted me back yet? “What are they doing?”
Carrie: That could get you in trouble, though!
Luke: Yeah, that’s quite scary that one…
Bilal: It’s an invasion of privacy, to a certain extent.
Luke: I know there’s an app for this, but I’m bad at using my phone in that I can’t get it out in time, but I’d like to be the human Shazam! “Oh, this is a catchy tune!” It’s by LCD Soundsystem.
Bilal: Imagine if you knew every single song?
Máiréad: Like a library.
Sofia: If I had to choose, it would be to have extremely stretchy limbs! Which sounds really weird… If you could just throw your arm, you could get [things]. It would be useful.
Luke: You’d be able to give yourself massages, which is what I would like.
Sofia: Yeah, that would be nice!
Luke, what can you tell us about your character?
Luke: My character’s name is Jizzlord! His power is that he’s a shapeshifter and can turn into a cat. He doesn’t have any control over when he does that.
He’s given the name Jizzlord when he’s a cat by Kash. These three adopt him when he’s lost as a cat, not realizing that he’s actually a very, very lost human being inside a cat!
During the series, he’s going to be going through his own journey to try to find out who he was before he got stuck being a cat. But, he’s also stuck being called Jizzlord, which – as far as he knows – that’s a normal name for him to have!
Extraordinary begins streaming on Disney+ on January 25, 2023. In the U.S., the series will stream on Hulu.