Nightflyers, a new horror thriller based on the novella of the same name from George R.R. Martin, premieres this week on SYFY. The series, set 2093, follows a team of scientists aboard The Nightflyer, the most advanced ship ever built, as they embark on a journey to find other life forms. Their mission takes them to the edge of the solar system where terrifying things start to happen. The crew’s sanity will be put to the test once they realize their issues are not in the space outside of their ship – it is actually onboard. The cast for this series are Eoin Macken, David Ajala, Gretchen Mol, Jodie Turner-Smith, Angus Sampson, Sam Strike, Maya Eshet, and Brían F. O’Byrne.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the several of the series cast along with executive producers Gene Klein and David Bartis during San Diego Comic Con. Klein and Bartis discussed how they charted out the first season using the novella. Since the source material for the series is only 100 pages it allowed them to develop the course in which the series would take while also allowing the characters to develop. They discussed referring back to the novella periodically as the writing and filming of the series progress to figure out a few decisions they need to make. This look-back also allowed themselves some room to take a few liberties. When asked about Martin’s involvement they informed us that he was extremely supportive and provided feedback on the pilot to series showrunner and executive producer Jeff Buhler.
Klein and Bartis described the series can be quite gory and they tried not to hold back on the horror elements. They were surprised Syfy did not ask them to tone down the content. They hinted at situations which will get “bananas” mid-way through the season and that there will be elements of Aliens and The Shining weaved into the storytelling. For the production design Bartis and Klein discussed how the production team and the writers thought of technological designs which could be made and exist over the next 75 years. They used the example of the spaceship in this series, The Nightflyer, and as we look at it there are parts of the ship that could be made now and built up over in time with new parts. They mentioned that the production designer for the series said early on that ships of that size some of the sections will have to be built in space.
The cast were excited to discuss the series but also did not want to give too much away. David Ajala (Roy Iris) and Gretchen Mol (Dr. Agatha Matheson), when asked what drew then to the role, told us science-fiction basis of the series was what attracted them. Mol went on to discuss how she read the novella and was very curious to see how the character of Dr. Matheson developed over the course of the story.
Eoin Macken (Karl D’Branin) described being on the series as beautiful experience and exciting. While describing the elements and themes of the series as dark and horrifying he also told us that the series goes to places you don’t expect. Jodie Turner-Smith (Melantha Jhirl) described the series and the filming experience as “wild”. She informed us that she read the novella once she took on the role and that the series does take on a life and identity of its own.
SYFY is taking a unique approach for airing this series. Episodes 1 through 5 debuting Sunday, December 2 through Thursday, December 6 at 10/9c, and episodes 6-10 on Sunday, December 9 through Thursday, December 13 at 10/9c all with limited commercial interruption. Also, there will be weekend marathons which will give viewers an additional opportunity to catch up on the series.
I am looking forward to this series and based on the trailers I have seen so far I think it will be a wild ride.
Here are a few production stills followed by the trailer for series which will show what we have in store for this series:
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