Josh Dallas stars in “Manifest,” NBC’s much anticipated drama, premiering Sept. 24

Details about NBC’s new drama mystery “Manifest” with star Josh Dallas, from contributing television journalist Judy Sloane. Josh Dallas reports: “This is ‘Lost’ meets ‘This Is Us.’ This is a high concept drama mixed in this emotionally rich family drama at the heart of it. It’s about normal people going through something very extraordinary.” 

“Manifest” (photo: NBCUniversal)

NBC’s new drama “Manifest” spotlights the mysterious flight of Montego 828, that takes off headed for New York. During their trip the 191 passengers and crew experience violent turbulence, and are relieved to land safely at the airport. Yet, during that five hour flight the world had aged five and a half years. Their families and friends have grieved and moved on. Now they are all faced with the mystery of what happened to the plane and people during those years?

Josh Dallas, best known for his role of Prince Charming in TV’s “Once Upon a Time,” portrays Ben Stone, one of the bewildered passengers of Montego 828. He is travelling with his terminally ill son Cal (Jack Messina) who, when they land hasn’t aged a day even though it’s over five years later.

Dallas spoke of his new series at Comic-Con this summer. The show premieres on NBC on Monday, September 24th at 10 p.m.

Q: Can you talk about your character?

Josh Dallas: Ben Stone is a mathematician. He’s a man of science; he has a very logical brain. He needs answers to things, he needs solutions. He needs a certain type of reality to have things make sense to him. He has an obsessive mind that can be a good or bad thing. It can make him impulsive, it can make him have blinders at times. But he is self-aware and can see his faults, which kind of softens his edges a little bit.

He’s an intriguing guy to figure out for me, and hopefully the audience. He’s fun to play. As we go forward in the story he’s going to try and figure out what this mystery is, what’s happened to them on this plane. He knows there is a logical explanation and he’s going to set out to find that answer. (He’s) Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss’ character) in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” That kind of obsessive being.

‘Manifest’ star Josh Dallas at 2018 ComicCon, San Diego (Photo by Todd Williamson /NBC)

Q: How do you relate to the character?
Dallas: That’s where we differ. I’m a very spiritual guy and I believe in the universe, I believe in a higher power. That just helps me get through the world; it helps me get through life.

Ben is not of that nature. The great thing about science is it’s true, whether you believe in it or not. That’s what he believes, regardless of what theology says. So we differ in that way very much. He’s the complete opposite of me. So it’s great for me to be able to look at that point of view and we’ll see as we go through how that changes him and how that changes Michaela, and how that affects him and his family.

Q: When people share an experience they become bonded – is that going to be explored on the series?

Dallas: These people are definitely going to be connected in ways unknown to the characters. One way that we do know is that another passenger on the plane created the cure for his son. His son is dying and when they left on the plane there was no cure, he was terminal. They land, there’s a cure; it was done by another passenger on the plane who is also a scientist. So that’s a mystery that we’re yet to uncover and to solve.

Q: What is his relationship going to be like with his daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise), who is now 5 years older?

Dallas: It’s heartbreaking. You gain and you lose. He gains a life with his son when he lands. But his son also lost something. He’s supposed to be sixteen years old now. (Ben’s) daughter in a way died, he lost five and a half years of her life. She’s now a different person.

Josh Dallas from “Manifest” (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood /NBC)

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Ben’s relationship with his wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis)? Is there any potential tension between them?

Dallas: Yeah, there’s huge tension. When Ben comes back, he’s on Mars, this is a different world; he’s a stranger in a strange place. Everything’s different. Nothing looks like it used to. Nothing is what it seems. But it kind of is.

Q: Do you know what the mystery is?

Dallas: I don’t know what the mystery is, and I don’t want to know. I told Jeff Rake (the show’s writer and executive producer) that I don’t want to know, I want to discover it as things go along, so I’m going to be just like the audience. I’m going to be discovering this mystery along with you guys. I’m excited to go on that journey.

This show is all about second chances and about the choices you make. What choices do you make when you’re presented with that? What do you do now? Are you going to make different choices? This is “Lost” meets “This Is Us.” This is a high concept drama mixed in this emotionally rich family drama at the heart of it. It’s about normal people going through something very extraordinary.”

Contributing television jounalist Judy Sloane reporting on “Manifest,” premiering Sept. 24 on NBC. Tune in.


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 35 years.

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