eoin macken

Syfy Sets Space Horror Series Nightflyers for December Marathon Release

The George R.R. Martin novella is getting the series treatment.
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In the wake of the global success of Game of Thrones, networks are rushing to nab the rights to everything George R.R. Martin has ever written. Syfy and Netflix have partnered up to bring Martin’s 1980 science fiction horror novella Nightflyers to the small screen. The novella was expanded into a short story collection in 1985, and adapted into a film in 1987.

Jeff Buhler (the upcoming Pet Sematary and Grudge reboots) is writing and running the series, which stars Eoin Macken (The Night Shift), Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship), and Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire). The official synopsis reads, “Set in the year 2093, Nightflyers 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, and to the edge of insanity, as they realize true horror isn’t waiting for them in outer space—it’s already on their ship.”

While the space horror genre has been explored in feature films from the classic (the Alien franchise) to the … not so classic (Leprechaun 4: In Space), we have yet to see a modern take on space horror in television. The environment of space naturally lends itself to the horror genre: confined spaces, endless darkness, and the fear of the unknown all play into classic horror tropes.

The series will premiere on December 2nd, with a multi-platform release that will air all 10 episodes of season one timed to the beginning of the linear telecast. The first five episodes of Nightflyers will be available on Sunday, December 2nd (the broadcast premiere date) through Thursday, December 6th, and episodes 6 through 10 will drop on Sunday, December 9th through Thursday, December 13th. The release plan is part of network television’s attempts to keep up with the demands of an audience that has gotten used to the instant gratification of a binge-able series.

It will be interesting to see if audiences tune in to Nightflyers. On the surface, it bears little resemblance to Martin’s best-known series, but the name recognition may be enough to draw in viewers who wouldn’t watch it otherwise. Will you be watching Nightflyers, or will you be busting out that old VHS copy of Event Horizon?

(via Deadline, image: Syfy)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.