Our current era of Peak TV has been a bountiful one, but what’s lately been lacking from the small screen is a large-scale supernatural mystery to captivate American audiences in the way that Lost did from 2004-10. NBC will attempt to rectify that situation when it premieres its own baffling new drama, Manifest, in September — and to get you ready for its confounding storyline, we have an extended first look at the premiere episode.
From executive producer Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Flight), Manifest concerns Montego Air Flight 828, which in 2013 takes off from Jamaica with a full cabin of passengers that includes Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), her brother, Ben (Josh Dallas), and her young nephew, Cal (Jack Messina), who’s suffering from a strain of leukemia yet to be remedied by treatment. As you can see in the above clip, which sets the show’s entire scene, Michaela is still undecided about whether to say “yes” to her boyfriend when she boards the craft, but at the end of the journey — which is marred by a bit of harrowing turbulence — she finds that she has much bigger problems to contend with.
That’s because, after being rerouted to a smaller airport and being greeted by siren-flashing vehicles on the tarmac, she and the rest of the travelers learn something out-of-this-world stunning: They’ve been gone for five and a half years, and thus been presumed dead by the world at large. Even though to them, it’s only been a few hours — and they haven’t aged a day.
How could such a scenario have taken place? What could be responsible for this supernatural turn of events? And what does it all mean for both Montego Air’s passengers and the loved ones waiting to greet them at home? The show’s debut trailer suggests that this bizarre occurrence may be a saving grace for Cal, even as it also implies that the government isn’t just going to let this mystery lie. There’s certainly no doubt that Manifest’s premise seems tailor-made to tantalize viewers with head-spinning questions while simultaneously delivering the sort of heartfelt family and relationship drama that’s made the network’s This Is Us a hit.
Manifest premieres on NBC on Monday, Sept. 24. Watch the trailer:
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