"Who in the audience is not going to be able to relate to a guy who has his family ripped out under him and ends up doing what he does in the pilot?" the Gilmore Girls actor tells TVGuide.com
To recap, Patterson's character Michael Buchanan ends up piloting a plane headed for the president after his daughter Leila (Sarah Roemer) goes missing. Also on the plane is Leila's boyfriend, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), who's trying to stop him.
Patterson describes his character as an affable and lovable man, who just so happens to find himself in a situation in the middle of a global conspiracy. Although a lot of questions grew out of the premiere, he says viewers will get a lot of answers in Episode 2.
With a large ensemble cast, a lot of stories become intertwined.
"The real power, to me, is the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of these characters and how these mini-events that keep happening through the series are going to affect these people and their relationships going forward ... that's the glue that holds it together," he says.
While the series certainly has a supernatural aspect to it, Patterson says the series is only about 10 percent sci-fi. "They're not going to hit you over the head with it throughout the whole episode," he says, adding, "If it gets too big and fancy for its britches, you forget about the characters and how these events are affecting the characters in a very deeply personal way."
The 52-year-old actor has been waiting a long time for a project of this caliber to come his way.
"For two years [I] sat back and read every script and went on every audition and I just kept telling my people, something big is coming, I need to be available for it," he says. "I just felt it in my bones. ... Lo and behold, here comes The Event ... I'm still in a state of shock."
The Event airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.