Imagine a group of passengers, onboarded on a plane, going back home; they reach their destination after facing some turbulence in the air.
Upon reaching, they realise that their flight which took merely a few hours actually cost them five and a half years in real life; the world presumed them dead.
What happened to them on the flight? Why didn’t they realise? NBC TV series Manifest delves into that mystery and tries to find an answer behind it.
The series primarily centres around the Stone family. Some of the family members were on that fateful flight 828, travelling to the future.
Ben Stone, his son Cal and sister Michaela arrive at their home in New York and know that 5.5 years have passed, Ben’s mother died and his wife dating another man, Michaela’s fiancé married to her best friend, and Cal’s sister and friends have grown up while he is still a kid.
These things affect them dearly as they try to blend into a new society.
Although the then-missing passengers get a second chance in life, that comes at a high price.
Many of the passengers develop some psychic powers of premonition dubbed ‘the callings,’ including the members of the Stone family.
Cal develops the strongest ability among them, always knowing the future events beforehand and drawing them in detail.
As the world addresses the comeback of flight 828 passengers as a miracle, they get celebrity-like attention which causes a lot of trouble.
Most victims are bothered by a cult following, while some exploit it. Events take a twist when governmental intelligence agency NSA surveillances the passengers suspecting the cause behind their disappearances.
A group of crooked individuals and companies secretly kidnap some stranded passengers and conduct inhumane experiments on them, prompting police detective Michaela and her brother Ben to investigate.
Manifest may look like a police procedural drama with supernatural elements at first. But as the plot dives into deep, it depicts families of abruptly missing passengers affected by their disappearance and their struggle to cope with it for more than five years.
Even the fateful flight victims find it hard to comprehend their family members and friends who presumed them dead.
As Michaela Stone said in season 1, episode 10, “After 5 ½ years, you can’t just pick up where you left off. Everyone moved on, except us. So now we start over. The government thinks we’re criminals. Other people think we’re angels or saints….or guinea pigs to be experimented on.”
Her quote perfectly describes the frustrations of the passengers travelling through time unwillingly, tension and disbelief between them and the rest of the world.
Manifest has a fine cast, including Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, J. R. Ramirez, Parveen Kaur, who are prominent in the North American TV industry. For supernatural mystery thriller lovers, Manifest is a must-watch.