Episode 1: “Re-Entry”
0:02:00: Near the start, we see a "Welcome Home" party at the home of John & Molly Woods.
Molly, an astronaut, has just returned from a long trip into space.
Their young son, Ethan, gets into a fight over a ball with another child at the party, out near
a lake behind the home; the father has to break things up and correct the boy
(whom, it turns out, is not exactly human - he's a "Humanich", an AI android).
This home is at 1260 La Loma Road, in Pasadena, California.
( That's about two miles southwest of the world-famous Rose Bowl.)
The house, and a few neighboring homes, sit on the banks of a small, hidden lake.
Here is a Google StreetView of the lake, as glimpsed from a nearby road:
This small body of water is known as Johnston Lake, and most people have no idea that
it even exists, since it is completely surrounded by private homes, as well as a chain-link
fence, and lots of "No Trespassing" signs. The lake is owned by a private association of
eighteen homeowners, who have sole access to the natural body of water.
I became aware of Johnston Lake when the TV series "Dexter" planned to film a
scene there in its final season. They never followed through with those plans,
but I recognized it when it finally showed up on the pilot episode of "Extant".
Turns out it's been on TV before, in the shows "Medium" and "Celebrity Rehab".
[ Some of the interior shots of Molly's home, however (notably, the ones showing rock siding on
the living room walls) don't appear to have been filmed in the same house. I believe they were
probably filmed in a nearby house on the same lake, at 451 Laguna Road., in Pasadena. ]
Here is a Google StreetView of the front of the La Loma house (the lake is behind it):
[ Warning: This is a private home. Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else to disturb the residents. ]
0:08:38: Molly's husband, John, and their android son, Ethan,
arrive at Yasumoto Corp., where John is hosting a discussion of his work.
Things don't go well, as he gets into a heated argument with a woman who is concerned about
safety issues with androids ("Humanichs") and asks him if his son has an "off" switch.
Yasumoto Corp shows up again at 25:21: when John meets
with Hideki Yasumoto, the head of the corporation.
One would be forgiven for wondering if this futuristic building was actually just a CGI creation.
But no, believe it or not, it's very real. And it's right here in L.A.
This is actually a school, the Ramon Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts,
at 450 N. Grand Ave, in downtown Los Angeles.
This is an academy for young artists, dancers, musicians and actors.
It was built in 2009, designed by Austrian architect Wolf Prix.
(The cone-shaped building you see above is actually the school library.)
( That's just (north) across the 101 Freeway from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. )
Here is a Google StreetView of the school.
0:09:26: We see the campus of ISEA, the International Space Exploration Agency.,
which is a future version of NASA, only private and international.
( Oddly enough, for an "international" agency, it only flies an American flag. )
Inside, Molly talks with her friend Sam, who tells her that she (Molly) is pregnant -
despite having just spent 13 months alone up in the Seraphim space station.
Molly has a flashback to an odd encounter on the station with a long-dead lover.
( These ISEA buildings pop up again in later episodes. )
Finding this location took me a very long time...
My first guess was that it was probably really a college campus. My second guess was
some kind of modern business park. I also suspected that the buildings were very new.
I was right. But that didn't help much. There are over a hundred colleges in Los Angeles
County, not to mention those in nearby Orange County. And God knows how many
business & office parks. Some aerial photos didn't even show the buildings yet.
But after two weeks of searching, I finally found it.
It turns out to be a group of brand new buildings recently built on the campus of
West Los Angeles College, at 9000 Overland Ave, in Culver City, CA.
The buildings are located near the junction of B Street & F Street, on the WLAC campus.
Here is an artist rendering of (what was) the future construction:
(the new buildings opened in mid-2012)
The new Student Services building, at West Los Angeles College.
And the new General Classroom building, at West Los Angeles College.
0:41:42: Molly and her android son, Ethan, go to the park.
They enjoy ice cream cones on a bridge, overlooking a small waterfall:
They are approached by a man selling balloons. He gives one to Molly, and
tells her it is already paid for (by someone who is nowhere to be seen).
Attached to the balloon's string is a note that reads: "I know what happened to you."
When Ethan drops his ice cream cone, he gets angry, and runs away into the woods.
Molly finds him there, with a dead crow. He tells her it was like that when he found it.
These park scenes were shot up at Kenneth Hahn Park, located on a hilltop
at 4100 S. La Cienega Blvd, in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.
(It's just a mile east of the college where they filmed the ISEA shots.)
To be more specific, they shot the scenes on the footbridge over a rocky stream
that connects a small pond (to the south) with Gwen Moore Lake to the north.
This stream is on the southwest side of Kenneth Hahn Park, where the main
park road curves from south to east.
The later chase scene was shot near the main picnic lawn,
on the other side of the parking lot, northwest of the pond.
( At first, I thought they had probably shot the bridge scene at the park's Doris Japanese garden,
where there's another small waterfall. It is about a half mile northwest of the ponds.
But the bridges at that garden are red, and are not the one shown in the scene. )
Here is a photo of the stream & the bridge (courtesy of Tiffany P):
Here is a Google StreetView of the park entrance.