Nightflyers has the blood, the count we expect from George R.R. Martin

<img src = "×539.jpg" alt = "Scientists aboard the spaceship Nightflyer Finding their mission to discover other forms of life on the edges of our solar system has gone terribly wrong. "/>

Enlarge / Scientists aboard the spaceship Nightflyer Finding their mission to discover other forms of life on the edges of our solar system has gone horribly wrong.


With the last season of the blockbuster Game of thrones The series is fast approaching, everyone is scrambling to find the next George R.R. Martin cash cow. Make your debut this weekend, Nightflyers It is the adaptation by SYFY of the novel of 1980, proposed by Hugo. Established in 2093, this kind of sci-fi and horror film is as far removed from the medieval world of Westeros as possible. But you can bet that there will be blood and a very large number of bodies.

(Spoilers for novella below.)

Nightflyers tells the story of a scientific expedition to the far reaches of the known universe, with the aim of studying a mysterious extraterrestrial race known as volcryn. Their spaceship, the Nightflyer, is advanced enough to require only one human operator, Captain Royd Eris, who only communicates via voice projection or hologram. But there is also a strange malicious presence on board, detected by the telepath of the team. A series of bloody murders ensues, humans sharing their hopes of survival with a genetically improved crewmember, Melantha Jhirl.

This first season of SYFY Nightflyers will cover everything that happened in the original news. The fact that everyone dies in the end, like George R.R. Martin, was an intriguing challenge for Buhler and his team of writers. The showrunner Jeff Buhler decided to give the game aside in the cold episode of the pilot episode, where we see Agatha (Gretchen Mol) escaping from a murderous scientist. She just has time to send a message to her superiors: do not send anyone to save the Nightflyer before committing suicide with a saw blade. The rest of the season unpacked everything that led to the tragedy.

"Science fiction works best for me when it reflects something of ourselves."

"Yes, many people are sentenced to death, I just wanted it to disappear in the first four minutes," says Buhler. "All those who have read the source material have a pretty good idea of ​​where we are going in general, but I will say that the way this scene is played is very different from that of the episode nine, when we learn what led to these events. "

There are some major differences from the news, especially the period. The news of Martin was born in several centuries long after the collapse of the human race on Earth as a result of an interstellar war with extraterrestrials. It is part of his fictional world Thousand Worlds, with nearly two dozen other novels, novels and novels written in the 1970s and 1980s.

Buhler chose to place his series in the near future of the Earth. In the chronology of the series, all the extra-worlds and alien species of the expanded universe of Thousand Worlds of Martin do not exist yet. He has also turned the Nightflyer into a colony-building vessel, rather than turning it into a lonely vessel that rarely ships passengers. "The idea was to bring the history of our contemporary world closer together," he says. "Science fiction works best for me when it reflects something of ourselves."

They are doomed

The adaptation of SYFY corrects Martin's biggest regret: the whitewashing of Melantha Jhirl, both in the original cover and in the 1987 film version. (Seriously, this film was so bad that the director Robert Collector used a pseudonym rather than openly recognizing it.) Martin described it as "a head higher than anyone on board … muscles moving smoothly under shiny, black skin. "

But his publisher did not think that a black woman on the cover would sell and Martin did not think he had the leisure to make fuss at the time. Ditto for the version of the film, which transformed Melantha into a white woman named Miranda Dorlac, played by Catherine Mary Stewart.

This time, Martin had considerably more weight, given his many bestselling books and the resounding success of Game of thrones. Everyone at SYFY was respectful of his desire to rectify money laundering, even though he had no official role in production. "[Mel] was the only [role] Buhler said, "It had to do with his spirit and his strength, and with what fierce ferocity. she is, not her skin color. "

For the rest of the cast, the story required an international team of scientists. The casting decisions were really based on the actors who best represented the characters – race, age, gender and similar considerations were not really a factor. In fact, apart from the Irish-born Macken who was to adopt an American accent, Buhler asked all other cast members to use only their own accents to speak.

A haunted spaceship

The design of the ship is the creation of Guy Hendricks Diaz, who also designed the spaceships for Sunshine (2007) and The passengers (2016). This Nightflyer is a modular, ever-evolving spacecraft built over several decades. "You can see the modular nodules on the outside of the ship," Buhler said. "They are like LEGOs that can be attached and detached as technology progresses." Adding a new mess, medical unit or crew quarters is as easy as taking one module out and inserting another. There is also a giant rotating outer ring that generates additional artificial gravity, especially for maintaining the domes of the colony.

Buhler graduated from UC-Santa Cruz, where he specialized in biochemistry and studied a bit of astrophysics. Plus, he is a longtime science fiction and horror fan, making him pretty much the perfect person to adapt to Nightflyers for television. His vision of the show was not to make traveling in space too easy. "J & # 39; Love Star wars, but it's a great example of a world in which you press a button and then the next planet. You are not really aware of the distance between this planet and the exact meaning of this planet. cross the gulf between these two oceans ".

"Nobody can sleep in a homeostatic pod and wake up at the destination."

Even though the Nightflyer is the most advanced vessel ever built for this period, there is no deformation drive to find. "Nobody can sleep in a homeostasis cell and wake up at their destination," he says. "It's a very long road trip and it plays on people's psychology." The crew heads to the unknown territory of the "void". Only one other ship has ever ventured so far, and we have never heard of it again.

Buhler has already sketched the bows for a second and third season of Nightflyersmust the series be renewed? Except that the members of the original team are not all dead? That's why Buhler has expanded the size and scope of the distribution. "Having a much larger team has allowed us to build characters around new characters, with deep emotional connections, so we care about them when they are in jeopardy," he says. "There is definitely a way to go, and it's pretty interesting and scary."

Multiplatform deployment for Nightflyers starts this weekend, depending on the release dates of SYFY. The first five episodes will air from Sunday, December 2 to Thursday, December 6, at 22 hours. The last five episodes will air from Sunday, December 9 to Thursday, December 13 at the same time. There will be marathons on weekends for those who prefer to gorge themselves on their playoffs.

SyFy Nightflyers trailer.

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