‘Extrapolations’ World, Explained: Does The Apple Series Foreshadow The Future Of Humanity?

Scott Z. Burns’ show about the horrifying conditions of the Earth a few decades from now, “Extrapolations” on Apple TV, premiered its final episode this week, and there’s a lot to learn from the show. The 8-episode series looks into the ways in which man’s actions create a world where man ends up being the biggest sufferer of their wrongdoings, other than the animals and birds, although they’re the collateral damage to man’s greed. Is it all fiction, or is there anything real about the warnings the show makes? Is this the future we’re heading towards?


This is not a rambling after watching a drama series on Apple TV. This is a blueprint for the foreseeable future of the planet Earth within 25 years unless we, the people, take steps about it. When Burns’ “Extrapolations” starts, it’s 2037, and a bizarre montage of the appalling condition of the Earth quickly depresses you as you witness how the forests are going up in flames, the ice caps are on their last legs, animal species, especially the endangered kind, are on the edge of going extinct, and every other proof that mankind might need to prove that climate change is not a myth. We’re introduced to Nick Bilton (Kit Harrington), the young founder and CEO of Alpha Industries, who has plans to take his company to the top of the ladder by any means necessary and doesn’t care about the consequences in the slightest. Then there are builders like Junior and rich old men like Ben Zucker who can’t understand why they should give up their comforts because the planet is burning.

By “Extrapolations” Episode 2, almost all megafauna is gone as Dr. Rebecca Shearer attempts to gather information from the last living humpback whale in the world. Today, there are several species that are on the brink of extinction, including the Vaquita, the Sumatran, and Javan tigers and the Hawksbill turtles, to name just a few. If the continuous illegal poaching doesn’t stop and if people don’t realize that the lives of these animals are more important than enjoying their meat as delicacies, within 20 years, we too might only be left with children’s books that remind us what tigers used to look like.


Science in the series advances at an exponential rate with each passing year, and by 2060, people will be sending holograms of themselves and using robots to do their work. But this isn’t a luxury, as science fiction has told us. Episode 5 shows a vivid depiction of India, the land of greenery and abundance of crops that can feed as many mouths, where people now have to pay to breathe clean air from stalls as the normal air is so severely polluted that it either gives them asthma or cancer. Organic grains are a thing of the past; Alpha’s artificial rice is the only way to go, as the burning heat doesn’t allow rain, and all life ceases during the daytime because it’s impossible to step outside with the sun shining, lest people want to die of sunstroke. A section of India just experienced an almost 2-week-long heatwave that exceeded every previous record as there were no signs of the rain shower that usually arrives during April. In 2022, more than 20,000 deaths were recorded in Europe when the temperature reached a record high of 47 degrees. It’s 2023—we’ve got around 20-odd years before the Earth becomes a wasteland with unbearable heat from the sun and sea levels so high that entire countries have to be abandoned, if the show’s to be believed.

Cancer will be cured in 2060, and organizations are creating children for infertile couples using the features of both parents, but these children can be switched off with a button because they’re bots. The good thing is that the bots won’t have ‘Summer Heart,’ though—a condition incurred by pregnant mothers and babies by massive amounts of smoke inhalation during the forest fires of the 2030s and 40s. To avoid losing their memories because of dementia caused by this condition, the Summer Heart patients need to upload their memories to a cloud to ensure they don’t forget what’s important to them. In the late 2050s, people will upload their memories, and your memory will become public property if you fail to pay the premium for using the cloud to store your memories. It sounds like an episode from “Black Mirror,” and that might not make sense in 2023 when we still don’t have flying cars, but who knows how far science will advance in two more decades? However, one thing is certain: the big conglomerates will do anything possible to create better cars, improved technology, and every other way to provide electricity to the 9.96 billion people living on Earth at that time, but they won’t take any meaningful steps to curb the insane heat or the severe smog.


The show presents Bilton as the central evildoer and the face of all the wrongs that Earth has faced, and in the end, he gets charged with 25 years of prison in space, but he’s just the representation of the billionaires who are taking their private jet to their private islands while enjoying a glass of Pinot Noir or the celebrity singers whose private jet planes emit upwards of 8,000 metric tons of carbon because of their frequent touring. 1% of the wealth of the billionaires of the world spent towards activities like ocean clean-ups, installing solar panels, and stopping the unbridled waste-dumping into oceans can make these missions a success, but they’re too busy buying private islands; where would they find the time?

By the end of the show, Bilton is found guilty of ecocide and sent to a space prison, but will that happen to the billionaires who commit just as much harm to the environment? We could hazard a guess that they’ll get away scot-free while the have-nots die from the severe temperatures and more and more species continue dying out. If you watched “Extrapolations” and the show scared you, realize that the people in 2070 didn’t have the choices that we do. Plant a tree, reduce the carbon output, and try to protect the habitats of the animals and birds that depend on humans to survive. The show gives a message about the world we’re leaving for the next generation, and it’s up to us to decide whether we want to make the dystopic horrors of “Extrapolations” a reality or not.


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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