Mysterious phenomenon being encountered while on a plane trip has been an interesting subject for film and television. In the 1990s ABC aired a mini-series adaptation of Stephen King novella “The Langoliers”, before premiering “Lost” in 2004 to rave reviews that elevated the theme. Now, it is NBC’s turn to try their hand at the mysterious airplane trip, but without the horror undertones of the above-mentioned shows. Premiering next week is “Manifest”, about a 2013 routine airline flight that goes through a turbulent but normal journey only to find itself in the here and now, and the implications it places between the plane’s passengers and the rest of the world.
The new show, which has posted a sneak peak of its pilot on YouTube and Facebook, stars Melissa Roxburgh and Josh Dallas as siblings Michaela and Ben Stone, who were vacationing in Jamaica in 2013 as an extended family with their parents and Ben’s wife and twins.
Michaela, Ben and his leukemic son volunteer to stay behind due to their overbooked flight back to New York; their makeup flight runs into heavy turbulence but otherwise reaches its destination, but things start getting weird. They are diverted to NY Stewart and detained by authorities, who claim that the year is 2018 and they have been missing for five and a half years. Now the Stones and their fellow passengers must cope with the time they lost, and the continuing manifestation of other unusual phenomena around them.
Melissa Roxburgh started in minor film roles for the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” film sequels, 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond” and a “Legends of Tomorrow” episode on The CW that same year, before landing a more substantial part in the 1-season military drama “Valor”. She is very effective in the character of Michaela on “Manifest”, a woman with cold feet in marrying her longtime boyfriend while also suffering traumatic nightmares from a past car accident.
Playing the role of her brother Ben is Josh Dallas, best known these days as Fandral in the 2011 MCU film “Thor”, but more importantly perhaps as Prince Charming/David Nolan in ABC’s recently-finished “Once Upon a Time”. I have followed his career since that show and have been singularly impressed by his acting skills there, as well as all his other film and TV appearances I’ve looked up (a voice role in Disney-Pixar’s “Zootopia”? Yes!) He and Roxburgh are looking to become quite an effective main character duo for “Manifest”.
Speaking of the show, its uploaded “First Act” preview has been met with near-universal acclaim and enthusiasm. YouTube has almost a million views and 11,000 likes. Facebook does better with 31 million views, over 100,000 reacts and 92,000 comments, all utterly effusive in their praise.
Produced by Warner Bros. Television, “Manifest” also stars Athena Karkanis as Ben’s wife Grace, Parveen Kaur as Saanvi, Luna Blaise as Olive and J.R. Ramirez as Michaela’s left-behind fiancé Jared, a police detective. The new series premieres next week on Monday, September 24 on NBC.
Image courtesy of 411 Mania