Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Five things you did not know about Manifest
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[ # ] Five things you did not know about Manifest
January 13th, 2020 under NBC

Manifest is back for season 2 on NBC, Monday nights at 10p, and it is not the same show it was last season. The show is about a plane landing five and a half years after it took off, and everyone looks the same. What happened during that time when they were in wherever they were? Where were they?

Last year, it was about acting on the callings that the passengers get, which tells them to help people. This season, it is about why the callings make a difference and figuring out how to beat the death date. That is the day, as many days in the future as the days they were missing, which will be when they are going to die. The passengers on Flight 828 have to figure out a way to beat it before it is too late. Once it is too late, there will be no going back for them.

Over the weekend at the NBC Winter TCA Press Day, Show Creator Jeff Rake, and the show’s stars Josh Dallas (Ben) and Matt Long (Zeke) talked about what we can expect over the next five seasons. That is when they hit the death date in 2024.

Five things you should know about Manifest:
Why is there a death date?
Jeff Rake:
From a thematic place, why does it exist? A lot of our episodes center around the theme of redemption and second chances, and I thought it would be interesting if we had a literal ticking clock, because it would just kind of amp the stakes for our heroes as they figure out the price of redemption, what it means to have a second bite at the apple, what the consequences are when you only have a limited amount of time to try to reinvent yourself. And so that’s kind of the thematic reason. And then, just from a basic storytelling point of view, I thought our stories would just become increasingly exciting if, as the characters are trying to puzzle their way through the mystery of the show, they’re running out of time.

How are the callings different for season 2?
Josh Dallas:
I mean, the callings are presenting themselves a little bit differently this season. We’re having shared callings now and callings that are leading us to certain places. So they’re presenting themselves in a different way. So they have to look at that as characters.

Was Zeke, who returned but was not on the plane, always part of the show from the beginning?
Jeff Rake:
That’s been there from the very beginning. Anybody who’s in the room from Warner Bros. or at NBC could tell you that when I went and pitched the show, that character was part of the architecture from the beginning. For some reason, his name was Reed in development, and we changed his name in the writers’ room to Zeke when we got to series. There’s a story behind that that I won’t bore you with. But, yes, that story, that triangle was always part of the infrastructure of the story. Melissa’s [Roxburgh] character Michaela was always intended to be challenged and perplexed by the idea of our meeting an individual who did not come off of the airplane with everyone and yet somehow seemed to be on a parallel journey with them and the universe bringing these two characters together. That obviously also set up a romantic triangle that we’re playing from the relationship drama side of the story, and that came to an apex at the end of Season 1.

What happens to Zeke now that he turned himself in for shooting Michaela?
Matt Long:
For the next few episodes, that storyline continues to play out, but some really big things happen with regard to Michaela and Jared and Zeke. And I don’t want to give anything away, but yeah, I don’t want to give anything away, but yeah, it’s really interesting things happen with regard to that. And then that story sort of concludes in a way, but the way that that concludes opens up all kinds of other issues with the sort of three of us, and it’s really interesting and exciting to watch.

Is Jeff Rake prepared for the show not to go until the death date aka six seasons?
Jeff Rake:
Absolutely not.

So buckle up, as you do on a plane, because this is going to be a long ride. One we are not going to want to miss every Monday at 10p on NBC.


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