The cast of Disney's Extraordinary on superpowers, series 2 and... shower gel?

EXCLUSIVE: we talk to the cast and creator of one of Disney+'s best shows

(Image credit: Disney+)

The year 2023  was a great one for streaming, but there was one show that launched right at the start of last year that I found had its hooks in me through winter, spring, summer and autumn. 

That was the Disney+ (Hulu in the US) series Extraordinary, a whip-smart and fantastically funny sitcom set in a superpower-filled London. Series 2 is about to release on 6 March and I couldn't wait to speak to its creator Emma Moran and the show’s stars, who I'm happy to report were all extra lovely to boot! 

Feeling super


(Image credit: Disney+)

In a world where everyone develops an ability at the age of 18, our protagonist Jen,  played (with aplomb) by Máiréad Tyers, finds herself in her mid-twenties and still perfectly ordinary.

An obvious first place to start would be what superpowers the cast would choose for themselves. Siobhán McSweeney who plays Jen’s mum Mary (and you may remember as everyone's favourite nun from Derry Girls), kicked us off with a power from the show itself, "I love Kash's ability to turn back time… I'd love to time travel because I'm an old-fashioned girl, I wouldn't travel to the future at all." 

Moran, meanwhile, opted for super-speed on the basis that "I can't mess up anyone's life too badly," while Tyers suggested the power to "dispose of rubbish in a responsible way". 

The best answer, however, must go to Luke Rollason who plays the character Jizzlord (don't ask). "What I want is to eat any shower gel and have it taste like how you expect would from the smell," he told me with an excited smile on his face, having clearly spent some time pondering this. 

I can't think of a better way of summing up the show's wacky sense of humour than that.  

The perfect recipe 


(Image credit: Disney+)

The first series of the show was met with universal praise and boasts the most special of honours – a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. But what exactly makes it so brilliant? Sofia Oxenham, who plays Carrie, had a beautiful explanation that at the heart of it is Moran's writing and the fact that "everyone who works on the show has so much love it, from the producers to the directors to the cameramen."

Perhaps influenced by my question about what made the show's ‘secret sauce’, Bilal Hasna, who plays Kash, stuck with the food-based metaphor. "It's not just that the ingredients are cool and exciting and new, but also the way it's cooked."

Hasna was excited for the world to see series two, saying that there was a lot more improvisation this season and the cast got a chance to "stretch our comedy muscles." 

Oxenham also reflected on the cast growing into their roles. "Sometimes we will have conversations where one us wouldn't feel so good about a scene and the other person would say 'what are you talking about? That was incredible!'"

The wonder of everyday

Of course, it's not really a superhero show. In essence, Extraordinary is a sitcom and "the superpowers are the least interesting thing about it," agrees McSweeny. 

Moran initially planned the show without the superhero element. "It was a flatshare comedy – like the sort I've grown up with. I inhaled sitcoms like Spaced," she said. 

So what gave her the idea to combine the two? "I really love genre, and genre mashing. I tried out a few coats [of paint] and I put superheroes on top of it and it made sense after that. ‘Loser characters who aren't good at everything’ compared to the superhero genre where ‘everyone has to be the best at everything’."

With streaming services you often wait months for a new series of your favourite shows to come around, only to devour them in a day or two with an epic binge-watch. I often wonder if that's what the writers would want, and put the question to Moran. 

She could see the merits of both indulging and taking your time. She praised the weekly release of shows like Succession for feeling "like an event" but for Extraordinary she could see the benefits of indulging. "I quite like that a lot of people have said they've watched it in one go. Once you're in the world, you want to stay there – it feels like hanging out with your mates."

Tyers feels the same, saying "I love it when we sit down and watch four episodes in a row." So binge away! 

All in the mind 


(Image credit: Disney+)

A key plot thread of season two involves Jen going to therapy to discover her power. She's literally taken inside her own mind to resolve her problems, and it's beautifully manifested as a messy library of books, each one representing an insecurity. 

I put it to Tyers and Rollason what their equivalents would look like. Tyers was typically considered: "Mine would be a really nice countryside field, and then there are trees for all my problems." Rollason was more chaotic: "A kid's jungle gym or ball pit, with every ball a moment in my life," he mused.  

With Rollason’s character having the ability to turn into a cat, I asked if he had gone full method and studied some feline friends closely. "I cat-sat quite a lot and I watched a lot of videos of cats going after laser pointers," he said. You'll have to watch for yourself to judge – but I think he nailed it. 

Oxenham’s character, Carrie, has the power to channel dead people and speak to them. If she could do so in real life, she would "love to channel like your great great grandparents to speak with them, or like your friend's great, great auntie to see how similar they are." 

Hasna’s answer was just as valid: Whitney Houston, his karaoke go-to.

You could take these two answers as a microcosm of the entire show really, Oxenham’s heartfelt response is sweet and considerate, while Hasna just wants to have some fun. That’s the line that Extraordinary walks so well, you feel for these characters, but you’re also never far from the next belly laugh.  

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.