Manifest premiere: What you need to know
Premiering September 24 on NBC
Have you ever gotten off a plane and felt like years had passed? The characters of Manifest can totally relate. Produced by Robert Zemeckis and coming to NBC this fall, Manifest follows the lives of several passengers whose seemingly normal flight has somehow time-warped them five years into the future. While most critics are comparing Manifest to the only other popular plane-related show in existence, Lost, the new series appears to focus more on fate than rugged survivalism. Could the flight’s anomaly have a greater meaning? Are the passengers all part of a mysterious destiny? It’s too early to tell.
On August 28, NBC released a short clip from the upcoming pilot episode to give audiences a glimpse into the series. Here’s what we know so far (beware, minor spoilers are coming!):
It’s 2013. 191 passengers board Montego Airways flight 828 en route to New York from Jamaica. The plane hits a patch of rough turbulence mid-flight, frightening the passengers but leaving them unharmed. The plane lands safely… in 2018. Upon arriving in New York, the travelers discover that what felt like a few hours in airspace actually amounted to five years down on earth. Now, the characters are struggling to reconnect with old family and friends who had already mourned their losses and moved on. To make matters more complicated, the travelers start hearing voices in their heads. Creepy!
The characters’ new realities present a variety of plot twists, some far more pleasant than others. Main character Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) discovers that her mother has fallen ill and died in her absence. As if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend has also married her best friend. At least her job at the NYPD is still secure! Michaela’s life is beginning to look pretty glum, but don’t worry—not all of the flight’s passengers touched down in their own personal nightmares. A passenger named Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) discovers that the research he began in 2013 has evolved into a successful treatment. Michaela’s brother Ben (Josh Dallas) and his son Cal (Jack Messina) benefit from this news immensely, as it may be the key to curing Cal’s leukemia. Saanvi begins to wonder if maybe the plane jumped through time in order to save Cal’s life, but again, it’s too soon to know for certain.
Saanvi’s theory is one of many which will sprout up in the characters’ attempts to explain the flight’s peculiar time jump. The show presents themes of science versus faith as the passengers begin to question why they experienced the anomaly, and what it could mean regarding their existence.
Unfortunately for Manifest, many critics are already slamming the show for botching what could have been an intriguing plot. According to Business Insider, “It’s like ‘Lost’ meets ‘This Is Us’ but only in the worst ways.” Zemeckis, who worked on blockbusters like Back to the Future, Cast Away and Forrest Gump, undoubtedly has the skill required to make Manifest a hit, but maybe this flight was doomed from the start. You be the judge! Watch Manifest on September 24 on NBC. Catch all the action, drama and mystery with an unbeatable entertainment package from DIRECTV.