Thursday, January 25, 2018
From the Hollywood Reporter and the web, there is news that NBC has ordered a pilot for a series which contains some initial traits of LOST. The synopsis is as follows:
A plane mysteriously goes missing mid-flight. Later, it reappears. For the passengers on board, it’s like it never happened. For everyone else, years have passed with the assumption that everyone on board was dead.
That’s the plot of Manifest, a new TV pilot ordered by NBC that’ll be produced by Robert Zemeckis. Jeff Rake (executive producer of The Mysteries of Laura) wrote the show, which will focus on how that passage of time changes the lives of the people on board as well as why it happened in the first place.
The show's premise is set up as a plane disaster to spawn dramatic mysteries which harks to LOST and the genre of castaways like Robinson Caruso. But this series seems to have no beaches, no smoke monsters—just one massive, unfathomable event, a long passage of time, and the fallout from it.
Zemeckis was the director and co-creator of Back to the Future. He won an Oscar for directing Forrest Gump. He’s produced a few TV series over the years, but nothing in several decades.
This show will investigate maybe not the reason why the plane disappeared (any science fiction reason would probably suffice) but what happens to the characters who suddenly land 5, 10, 15 years later? Of course their normal lives would have changed. Characters who were married probably no longer have spouses (since one can be declared dead after 7 years). Spouses who have remarried with children would want little to so with the returning spouse (or maybe not - - - that could be a point of conflict.) Characters would be coming home to find they have no job, no home, or lost family members who may have died without knowing their lost family member was still alive.
We could see the use of "flashbacks" to narrate the back stories of the airplane passengers as they try to navigate through a new world which forgot about them.
The pilot episode needs to hit hard and grasp the viewers immediately to avoid the curse of LOST strong start and weak finish.