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"Sky's Manifest better not have a rubbish ending like Lost"

PUBLISHED: 21:30 14 August 2019

What the hell happened on their flight?  Picture: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers

What the hell happened on their flight? Picture: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers

2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Will the writers of this new show give us a satisfying conclusion, or leave us hanging?

I wasted years of my life watching Lost. You know, the one where the plane crashes. With the polar bears…the numbers…the hidden trap doors….the secret villages. Like many other fans I was spellbound by the puzzle of it all - a giant Rubik's Cube of a show which presented so many twists and turns, but never ended up with all the colours on the right sides. So much went unexplained. I'm not going to lie, it still makes me mad! I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it (where have you been?) but the fact they were dead or whatever in the final episode felt like such a cop out.

So you can see why I might have avoided skybound series ever since. Then along came Manifest, one of Sky One's newest recruits and one they surely hope will prop the channel up against the big budget surefire hits Netflix keeps pinging out every week.

I binged all 16 episodes over a few evenings and despite it being a little on the cheesy side, I was absolutely hooked from the off. Unlike Netflix' more cerebral thriller offering of Dark (another must-watch) which moved me to draft up a timeline/who's who chart (yes I am that sad), I found Manifest an easy-watching kind of affair. The type of thing the whole family can huddle together for, trying to solve all the puzzles and mysteries - in fact, my kids loved it too. We're all delighted it's been picked up for a second season - so many cliffhangers!

So what's it all about to the uninitiated?

The story hinges on the lives and loves of the Stone family and a bunch of other randoms. They've just enjoyed a luxury break in Jamaica. Some much-needed respite from the horror of young Cal Stone's battle with cancer. A bing-bong over the Jamaican airport's intercom says there's a £400 tip for any passengers willing to take a later flight. Er (sticks hand wildly up in the air) yes please, sign me up. More drinks at the bar, time with a good book, and a nice little earner to boot.

Cal Stone, his father Ben and aunt Michaela (played by the almost distractingly beautiful, Brooke Sheilds-esque Melissa Roburgh) agree to stay back while the rest of the family head on home.

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And this is where it gets interesting. Flight 828, April 7, 2013, eventually cruises the skies on what is a relatively smooth ride, bar a bumpy patch of nasty turbulence and lightning. And it touches down at JFK….on November 4, 2018 - years later.

The world has moved on without them.

The Stones are devastated to find their mother has passed. Michaela's fiancée has married her best mate. Ben's wife has a wonderful new man in her life - one their daughter Olive dares to call dad.

And so it begins. The 'callings' experienced by Ben, Cal, Michaela and other key cast members from the flight including Dr Saanvi Bahl. Cal's haunting premonitions. Group hallucinations.

Like Lost there are so many threads and questions which need answering. Who is the mysterious 'major' who wants to get their hands on 'The Returned'? Is the number 828 important? Can Cal really see the future? Is there more to their disappearance than what happened on the plane? And, most importantly, is there a ticking time bomb over all their heads?

We'll just have to keep watching to find out. Get the popcorn out and saddle up for this ride.

Manifest, all 16 episodes streaming now, Sky One

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