FIRST LOOK: Spoiler-Free Review of ABC’s Emergence – REVIEW

With Fall premieres just around the corner, FANVERSATION got the chance to preview ABC’s new sci-fi thriller, Emergence, starring Allison Tolman.

If you’re a fan of sci-fi mysteries like Believe (NBC), Touch (FOX), The 4400 (USA), Revolution (NBC), and Extant (CBS), then Emergence is your next favorite show. From writers and producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Emergence is a character-driven genre thriller about a police chief (Tolman) who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.

The pacing of the pilot is as suspenseful as your favorite event driven mystery – think Lost (ABC), FlashForward (ABC), or Manifest (NBC) – but only more episodes will tell if the secrets are interesting and important enough to keep viewers watching.

The real draw to Emergence is undoubtedly the characters like Police Chief Jo Evans, who lives with her tween daughter Mia (Ashley Aufderheide) and father Ed (Clancy Brown), as well as the mysterious girl with no memory (played creepily, and intriguingly, by Alexa Swinton) who inserts herself into their lives. The mysterious girl is quickly welcomed into their family, even by Mia’s father/Jo’s ex –  played by Donald Faison in a dramatic turn.

Throughout the pilot, sci-fi elements are at play, but none are explained, let alone explored more than a couple “What was that?”s, so don’t expect any answers coming at you from the gate. Based on the pilot, Emergence is in it for the long-haul, so tune and wait it out. In the meantime, get to know this lovable family and stay a while.

Emergence premieres Tuesday, September 24th on ABC

— Yael Tygiel


  1. It sounds great but the chances of it making it past one season seem pretty slim to me. This feels like they took the adopted child’s storyline from “The Passage” and fleshed it out into a whole show.

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