Sci-fi thriller series Manifest is upping the creepy, unexplained factor in S2, with the ominous “Death Date” now the focal point. Passengers from Flight 828 have 828 days left to live – the same number of days they vanished for (five-and-a-half-years) during the flight in S1. That’s a problem but not one that maths professor Ben, his detective sister Michaela, and their friends are willing to let beat them down. Instead, they’re doing everything in their power to stop the Death Date from killing them… and the other passengers, of course. If you’ve missed episodes, use DStv Catch Up to get up to speed as we look at the most important people being affected in Manifest S2…


Ben (Josh Dallas)

Numbers and science are Ben’s game. If someone is going to figure out a way to avoid dying – in-between getting “Callings” to save other passengers – it’s going to be Ben. “S1 was about survival. S2 is about preservation, preserving the things that he holds dear,” explains Josh. “He understands the Death Date and he’s going to make provisions for the Death Date. But his dogged determination is never going to allow him to accept the Death Date or facilitate the answer of what could save their lives.”


Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh)

She had a tough time in S1 with her fiancé Jared (JR Ramirez) moving on with her best friend and not being willing to give him up entirely. And that’s a problem for Michaela in S2 because she’s got another love interest thanks to a Calling… and he’s going to be even more bad news for her because her allegiances will be torn in two. As it is, Michaela is like a Pitbull – once she latches onto something, she’s not going to let go. She’s got a very different approach to Ben though, says Melissa: “We get to see Ben trying to stop it a bit more, and Michaela’s more the one that’s like, ‘Maybe we don’t stop it. Maybe we use it to help the people that we’re supposed to help.’ Obviously, both of those get muddied, and there’s consequences to both sides.”


Saanvi (Parveen Kaur)

Medical scientist and researcher Saanvi is as important as Ben when it comes to the Death Date because while his science may explain the warning, her medicine may cure it. Saanvi starts the season searching for a genetic cure, but along the way she gets involved with “The Major”, who is this diabolical enemy who wants to see everyone linked to 828 crash and burn – government conspiracy and all that jazz. “She's in such a vulnerable situation," says Parveen. “I would love to see her navigate through that and rebuild that herself throughout that situation, especially since The Major is trying to weaponise her DNA anomaly that she believes will delay or cure the Death Date.”


Cal (Jack Messina)

Young Cal is still the most mysterious of the passengers. His cancer seems to be under control, and while his Callings aren’t as debilitating as in S1, the boy is more determined to help everyone around him. Throw in the fact that Ben is his dad, Michaela is his aunt and Saanvi’s research is the reason his condition is manageable, and the boy is surrounded by 828 passengers 24/7. What’s really interesting, though, is that while Cal isn’t in every episode driving the other characters forward, as he did in S1, he is the connecting point for his aunt and this next “interesting character…


Zeke (Matt Long)

Okay, so Zeke wasn’t on Flight 828… but he was in Michaela and Cal’s shared Calling towards the end of S1. He’s still torn between living and dying, because when he was rescued in a secluded cabin, he thought that he had been lost for two weeks and it was really one year… kinda inexplicable like Flight 828. His Death Date is therefore a whole lot closer than the others, and since Michaela is drawn to him romantically, Zeke’s Death Date will impact her life whether either of them wants to accept it or not. “Zeke’s journey is intended to be his story of personal redemption. He started this story believing he had next to no self-worth, and through these Callings he's going to reluctantly and begrudgingly realise that he is not only worthy of redemption, but his redemptive journey is going to be crucial for the survival of all the passengers,” says Matt.

Watch Manifest S2 on Monday, 4 May on M-Net (101) at 20:00

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