NOS4A2 is AMC’s latest horror offering, following “Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children.” He takes the children, at least what remains of them, “… to Christmasland – an icy, twisted Christmas village of Manx’s imagination….” Viewers got to see the very first showing of the pilot (based off the novel by Joe Hill) Saturday at WonderCon.

The pilot opens on a child being abducted from his home. The use of unique camera angles gives the opening scene and the entire episode a terrifying feel. We are introduced to Manx (Zachary Quinto) who is nearly unrecognizable when we first see him.

Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) Image by Zack Dilgard/AMC

He is playing a very elderly looking man driving the car to Christmasland. We get some very creepy uses of some Christmas songs throughout the episode (including the very cool-looking opening credits). Christmasland seems to be a place that only he can get to. The child he abducts… changes towards the end of the episode, and Manx’s becomes younger. Thus we have our first clue that “NOS4A2” might be stealing the souls of young children to make himself young again.

The inaugural NOS4A2 episode follows Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) as she is about to enter her last year of high school. She is working with her mother Linda (Virginia Kull) over the summer by cleaning houses. Her mother seems to have little faith that she’ll be more than she ever wants to be. That, of course, puts doubt in Vic’s mind about going to college. Her father (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), while supportive of Vic following her dreams, has problems of his own.

NOS4A2 – The Shortest Way

Vic often leaves her house to get away from her shouting parents. On one such occasion, and she comes across an old wooden covered bridge. A very creepy set piece, it’s used very well in the pilot episode. She seems to be suffering from a horrible headache whenever she comes across this bridge, which is revealed to have been actually torn down fifteen years ago. The headaches later turn into visions of Charlie Manx, and other sorts of premonitions.

Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) Image by Dana Starbard/AMC

When she crosses through the bridge (later referred to on a map as “The Shortest Way”) it seemingly takes her where she needs to go: first to find her father’s missing watch, and later to find out why her father left the house. and where he’d gone.

Jahkara Smith plays Maggie Leigh in the NOS4A2 pilot. She’s a librarian who wields a magic purple satin bag filled with scrabble tiles. Her arm seemingly disappears into the bag as she asks it questions, and the scrabble tiles she removes spell out clues for her. There are many supernatural elements to this world, and it seems like we will be introduced to many throughout the first season… both good and bad.

Stars and writer of NOS4A2 on the WonderCon stage.
Zachary Quinto explains what it was like to play Charlie Manx (Wondercon 2019)

The Season One Trailer

The trailer did not give us much more information, but there were a couple of interesting notes. First we see that Maggie and Vic appear to be working as a team. Further, and more interestingly, we see a character from the pilot joining forces with Charlie Manx.

The first season only covers one third of the book. AMC is obviously invested in the series and optimistic of the show’s future for additional seasons.

NOS4A2 premieres on June 2nd on AMC.