Extraordinary creator admits Disney sitcom was ‘s**t’ before adding twist



Hilarious new comedy Extraordinary is one of the first UK-based shows produced by Disney+ and is on its way to becoming another major hit for the popular streamer. Series creator Emma Moran developed the series while completing her Screenwriting Masters in Manchester, and revealed how she was inspired by the wave of Marvel and DC superhero films to put a twist on the classic sitcom format.

Moran confirmed her new series originally contained no superpowers or supernatural elements whatsoever when she first started writing.

The London-based comedy stars Máiréad Tyers as Jen, a down-on-her-luck young woman who has no special abilities whatsoever.

While this wouldn’t usually be a problem, Jen lives in a world where almost everyone is granted their own superpower around the age of 18.

However, Extraordinary originally started out following a very basic sitcom format following a group of 20-somethings trying to get by in the real world.

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“I started out trying to write a flat share sitcom,” Moran recalled at the show’s London premiere. “Like, a classic British-Irish comedy.

“I was trying to write it and it was, honestly, just a bit s**t. And it wasn’t really saying anything.

“This is fine!” she said of the show in its current form. “It was just the previous drafts.”

Moran began writing the series when comic book fare from Marvel and DC had become the biggest blockbusters hitting the big screen.

Extraordinary’s London isn’t populated with heroes like the Avengers or Batman-esque vigilantes, however, as many of its characters exhibit awkward, inconvenient or downright bizarre powers.

“I was writing at a time when superhero stuff was, like, everywhere. Luckily that’s changed,” Moran joked.

“So I had the idea, one day, to take the genre that’s all about being the best, the hero, the fastest and the strongest, and just pairing it with these useless idiots!

“It’s kind of high and low coming together. So once that got combined it just ran away with itself, really.”

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Not only was it a slow process for the show to become fully realised, Moran also admitted she didn’t realise Jen was going to be Irish until casting began.

“I think I was the last person to realise it,” she revealed. “I kept sending in scripts like, ‘Yeah, this is the most English thing anyone’s ever written’.

“And then, once I started seeing casting I said, ‘Why are they sending me all these Irish people to read for it?’”

Thankfully, once Irish actress Tyers had auditioned, Moran realised there was no one else who could play her not-so-super heroine.

She added: “And then I saw Máiréad’s tape and I went, ‘Ohh, yeah. I was just writing a really sarky Irish woman’.

“So once I saw it it just clicked and I was like, ‘This is that character’. It’s just nice to have a lot of Irish talent representing the show.”

The series also stars Derry Girls alum Siobhán McSweeney as Jen’s mother Mary, but the four core cast members are sure to be stars in their own right by the time the confirmed second season comes around.

Extraordinary season 1 is available to stream on Disney+.

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