Manifest is NBC’s latest mystery box series with an equal emphasis on melodrama and its unraveling central mystery.
If you’ve finished watching this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Manifest.
Similarities – Characters returning inexplicably
The Returned’s story gravitates around several people that come back to life years after their death. Reeling from this revelation, much of the series’ 10 episodes focus on the different groups of characters as they try to piece their life together
Teenager Camille comes back to find her family fractured from the once happy life she knew. Simon returns to find his fiancé Rowan is now marrying someone else. And a silent little boy named Victor is found wandering the streets.
A host of other characters join the fray too, and as the series progresses each find their stories intertwine and cross paths.
The story is intriguing, the characters are relatable and there’s a good balance of mystery, drama and fantasy. The lack of a second season is a bit disappointing but there’s enough to enjoy here nonetheless.
Similarities – Characters & Themes
Sense8 is one of the more ambitious (and expensive) projects green-lit by Netflix. Shot on-location across the globe, Sense8 is an incredibly good looking show and it merges that with a thought provoking and action-packed story.
The narrative here centers around a group of people across the globe who suddenly and inexplicably are mentally linked together. These characters are then thrust head-first into danger, forced to find a way to survive as they’re hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world’s order.
Sense8 backs up its impressive cinematography with 8 cerebrally charged narratives intertwined together to form one interesting story. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, and it was such a fan favourite in its time that the abrupt ending to season 2 forced Netflix’s hand to commission a conclusive feature film to finish the story.
Similarities – Characters
A small town in Kansas is left in the dark after seeing a mushroom cloud over nearby Denver, Colorado. With radio transmissions out and lots of unanswered questions, this small town tries to figure out what’s going on – and how to survive.
Suspenseful, well written and surprisingly gripping, Jericho became a cult hit until it was unceremoniously dumped by networks. The fans were so angry over this, 20 tons of peanuts were sent to the CBS offices in a bid to reinstate the show… and it worked too!
Partly the reason the show works as well as it does is the way it surpasses expectations to move beyond its simple premise. There’s some smartly written themes in here too and it’s backed up by some likable and well-rounded characters.
Similarities – Mystery
Speaking of cancellations, The OA’s chop caused quite the stir online. That alone should tell you all you need to know about the power and quality surrounding this utterly bizarre Netflix Original.
The OA is undeniably weird and its mystery does so well to keep you glued to find out what happens next. The main story revolves around a missing blind girl called Prairie returning home. Now in her twenties, she suddenly has her sight restored and no one seems to know why.
From here, the show grows and piles on more mystery, delivering two seasons of utterly compelling TV. Unfortunately, the final episode of season 2 does end on a cliffhanger which could make or break the experience for you. However, in terms of atmosphere and riveting mystery, The OA absolutely nails it.
Similarities – Characters & Mystery Box
Back in 2004, a tiny show called Lost went way over-budget with its pilot episode. The consequences of that saw several people fired.
Little did they know this mishap would help grow Lost into a worldwide phenomenon that completely changed the way people watched TV.
This highly engrossing, mystery series revolves around a group of plane-crash survivors washing up on shore and fighting for survival on a very weird island holding many, many secrets.
Across 6 seasons the show does lose its way a little but it serves up an engrossing and unmissable journey nonetheless. If you haven’t seen it already, Lost is a must-watch show.
Similarities – Mystery & Tension
Flashforward was an unfortunate casualty of the Network TV cancellation Russian Roulette. In a post-LOST era, every TV show jumped on the mystery box bandwagon with varying degrees of success. Flashforward – despite its similarities to LOST’s opening – quickly stepped beyond that to deliver an addictive slice of sci-fi.
The main premise here sees the entire world’s population black out for approximately 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The effect of this leads the entire world to catch a glimpse of life six months in the future.
With the world changed forever, an elite FBI task force is formed to investigate just what happened – and why.
As the episode progress, more of this mystery starts to unravel. Along the way, there are lots of big cliffhangers and shocking twists. It’s just too bad ABC killed this one after a single season. Despite its agonizing cliffhanger ending, this one’s still worth a watch.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Themes
At first glance you’d be forgiven for writing off Travelers as another generic sci-fi show. After all, a collection of people coming together to try to stop the world from total annihilation is hardly the most original of ideas.
Where Travelers stands out though, is the unique way it manages to weave its unique premise through a well written plot and believable, complex characters.
The story takes place 100’s of years from now, as surviving humans discover how to send their consciousness back through time into people of the 21st century. Desperate to change the fateful path of humanity, Travelers combines mystery, action and tension to great effect.
The show does well to conclude its three season run too with an epic finale that does just about enough to conclude this tale on a high. However, it also leaves the door open for a possible reboot further down the line.
Into The Night
Similarities – Thriller
Belgium’s first Netflix original Into The Night is a tense and fast paced sci-fi thriller. The series is the perfect binge-watch thanks to its interesting premise and shorter episodes, each clocking in at around 35 to 40 minutes.
Struggling after the loss of her boyfriend, the story begins with Sylvie determined to board a flight to Russia while Terenzio arrives in Brussels and appears desperate to get on any planes due west. After going through security, he storm a plane heading to Russia (the same one as Sylvie) with a stolen gun and demands they change its direction. Claiming there’s a deadly phenomena caused by the sun, a race against time ensues.
The show centers around this foreboding cataclysmic event, as a group of survivors are forced to work together as they face multiple obstacles, desperately running away from this deadly threat.
This one’s a great sci-fi thriller with plenty of twists and turns along the way, guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat just like our survivors during their nail-biting journey!
365: Repeat The Year
Similarities – Thriller
356: Repeat the Year is a suspenseful thriller about a group of people resetting their lives for different reasons. Specifically, our story here follows 10 different individuals who reset their life by one year and relive their past. Only, unexpectedly mysterious situations begin to arise, with each of the characters seeing their fates changed and distorted in the process.
At the forefront of this is Ji Hyung Joo, a detective in the violent crime division. When he figures out something is awry, he begins investigating this phenomena.
Dripping in tension and full of clever twists, 365: Repeat The Year is a mystery box series with a really pacey story.
Similarities – Characters & Themes
The 4400 feels like a mash-up of various other sci-fi shows. There are clear influences of Lost, Flashforward and The X-Files. However, the show nicely blends that together to form the core of this series.
The story here revolves around the trials and tribulations of 4400 people, who all suddenly return in a ball of light to Earth. None of the returnees have aged physically, although mentally some of them definitely have.
Tasked with investigating this phenomenon is the NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) who try to work out why this has occurred.
Smartly written and chock full of binge-worthy episodes, The 4400 is definitely worth a watch.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Manifest on NBC.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!