Manifest: “Pilot” – Review

Manifest premieres September 24th on NBC.

[Ed. note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]

By Sam Davis

Manifest’s pilot episode really took off. With a premise of Montego Air Flight 828 reappearing five years after its departure date and its passengers not aging a day, it brings an interesting sci-fi premise into the present day. It’s like a combination of Lost and 11.22.63. It’s a powerful statement on how much the world has changed in just 5 years. As the world tries to cope with the situation and the passengers affected try to cope with the world, they find they must make adjustments to an Earth that kept spinning without them.

Once Upon A Time’s Josh Dallas plays the level-headed brother, husband, and father opposite Melissa Roxburgh as his sister. While before he was only dealing with his son’s leukemia, now he must also deal with his mother’s death and his daughter being five years older than her twin. Melissa stars as our main focus, Michaela Stone, who comes off the plane with a voice in her head, one who commands her to act, getting louder until she obeys. The voice helps her save a kid from getting hit by a bus, and as it turns out the voice isn’t only talking to her. Michaela also must deal with her on-again, off-again fiancée, who is now married to her best friend. The emotional turmoil she’s going through would be enough to break anyone, especially since she still carries the guilt of someone she killed in a car accident.

With pieces to pick up and the FBI still trying to figure out this mystery, executive producers Jeff Rake, Robert Zemeckis, and Jack Rapke are giving us a show that will be thrilling but needs to decide what kind of show it wants to be. Pick sci-fi mystery. Pick family. Pick medical drama. But Manifest needs to stay in its lane. Besides for that, it’s a solid show.

I give Manifest’s pilot a B.