‘Nightflyers’ on Syfy fumbles George R.R. Martin’s space thriller

‘Nightflyers’ on Syfy fumbles George R.R. Martin’s space thriller

There’s been numerous curiosity in Syfy’s new collection, “Nightflyers,” because it’s tailored from “Sport of Thrones” creator George RR Martin’s 1980 space-thriller novella and an eponymous 1987 big-screen film that didn’t take flight.

So now they’re attempting once more, this time on the small display, with numerous actors with British accents.

I discovered the primary two episodes of the 10-episode “Nightflyers” paying homage to — and, in some methods, aspiring to be like — “Alien,” Ridley Scott’s 1979 outer space horror present starring Sigourney Weaver. (Its tagline: “In space, nobody can hear you scream.”) However “Nightflyers” lacks that movie’s sci-fi/horror gravitas; it’s murky at greatest, each in its storyline and its character growth, and grinds alongside at a snail’s tempo attempting to assemble its elaborate state of affairs. It does boast terrific particular results and an abundance of blood and gore, each of that are used generously. That could be sufficient to maintain some viewers coming again, however it’s a dangerous proposition for a medium like TV that caters to quick consideration spans.

The collection opens with a riveting scene, after which rewinds: It’s the yr 2093 on Earth, which is at risk of extinction attributable to a plague of worldwide viruses threatening to wipe out mankind. Scientist Karl D’Branin (Eoin Macken) and Dr. Agatha Matheson (Gretchen Mol), together with their high-tech workforce — together with Melantha Jhirl (Jodie Turner-Smith), “genetically designed for space journey” — board the ginormous space vessel Nightflyer. They hope to journey “throughout the void” to the galaxy’s edge on a years-long mission to make contact with the elusive Volcryns, an alien race with a superior power drive that might save Mom Earth from herself. Or one thing like that.

D’Branin and Matheson meet resistance from the Nightflyer crew once they carry aboard a violent dude named Thale (Sam Strike). He’s an “L-1” with lethal psychic powers. His presence isn’t welcome by the ship’s reclusive captain, Roy Eris (David Ajala), a hologramic projection (after all he’s) who’s ostensibly creepy and likes to “research” folks to determine their essence, together with whereas they’re in varied levels of undress (cue the gratuitous flesh-baring and romantic scenes for the 14-year-old boys who is perhaps watching).

When bizarre and lethal occasions begin to blitz the Nightflyer, the crew turns on one another and on Thale, who they consider is sabotaging the journey for his personal evil causes. He glowers so much, which jogs my memory of a favourite Stanley Kubrick cinematic system — assume Personal Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio) proper earlier than he blows his brains out in “Full Steel Jacket” or Jack Nicholson with the ax in “The Shining” (which components into the plot in one other Kubrick-ian method).

It most likely helps to have learn Martin’s novella to maintain rating of what’s taking place on-screen — however in the event you’re tuning in as a “Nightflyers” beginner, it’s a troublesome slog.


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