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Review of 'Manifest 1.1'

Canterbury Voices

By Paul LevinsonPublished 5 years ago 1 min read

I reviewed the 9 and 1/2 minute sneak peek of Manifest in August, and said it had some outstanding possibilities as a time-travel drama. I therefore watched the full first-hour debut last night with great expectation. And it was good. But...

It had very little to do with time travel. There were some nice time-travel touches, like twins before the airplane which took the passengers five+ years into the future, now separated by those same 5+ years, since one was on the plane and the other on the ground. Or the almost-fiancee who married someone else, because, well, he thought his girlfriend had died on that plane.

But the real story is that all the people on the plane—captain as well as passengers—hear voices which tell them important things, like the need to free two girls who had been locked in a metal shop. That was the main story of tonight's episode, which ended with a promise of who knows how many other stories from the other passengers.

So Manifest may well be a Canterbury Tales of time-travel. Or, this may be a Canterbury Tales of astounding stories in which the vehicle—not of the tales but the people who deliver them—is a plane that skips ahead 5+ years. This episode also ends with the question of who or what is responsible for this?

Possibilities are people from a future far from ours, aliens, beings from another dimension, the Deity, take your pick. There's powerful material here—including a boy (one of the twins) who otherwise would have succumbed to leukemia, but now can receive a life-saving treatment not yet available when he boarded the plane in 2013. So I'll keep watching Manifest, even if, at this point, it may well have little ahead about time travel.

tv review

About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction includes The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Details here. My Twitter. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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