Originally written in 1980, the 23,000-word ‘Nightflyers’ is a science fiction horror novella by George R. R. Martin, the American novelist, and short-story writer best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones. The short novella was adapted into a television show airing on the SyFy Channel in December 2018.
The show takes place in 2093 and follows a team of misfit scientists aboard the eponymous spaceship ‘The Nightflyer’ on a mission to save humanity and a dying Earth. The crew of misfits is getting ever closer to their extraterrestrial mission goal, to establish first contact with an alien species called the Volcryn.
But things on board the ship starts getting very weird the closer they get to the Volcryn, whose energy and the spaceship itself – which happens to be possessed by the captain’s mother – begin messing with the crew’s minds including that of the telepaths onboard.
Karl D’Branin (Eoin Macken), an astrophysicist who’s in charge of the scientific mission on the Nightflyer, is haunted by the memory of his dead daughter. Lommie (Maya Eshet), who is able to hook up to the ship’s computers through a port in her arm, has plenty of dark secrets of her own. Thale (Sam Strike) is a powerful telepath known as an L-1, trusted only by psychiatrist Agatha Matheson (Gretchen Mol) who has some hidden particular skills and is more than what she seems. Melantha Jhirl (Jodie Turner-Smith) is “genetically enhanced” for space travel with conflicts of her own. Roy Eris (David Ajala) is the captain of the Nightflyer, torn between his haunting mother and his responsibilities as a commander.
The show is dark, brooding and we love it. It is a fine addition to an onscreen canon that is rarely replenished with new content and genre that we simply can’t get enough of, the space horror genre.
Cast: David Ajala, Maya Eshet, Eoin Macken, Gretchen Mol, Brían F. O’Byrne, Angus Sampson, Sam Strike, Jodie Turner-Smith. Executive Producers: George R. R. Martin, Jeff Buhler, Brian Nelson, Mike Cahill, Andrew McCarthy, Gene Klein, David Bartis, Doug Liman, Alison Rosenzweig, Michael Gaeta, Lloyd Ivan Miller, Alice P. Neuhauser.