The news that SyFy has cancelled sci-fi / horror series ‘Nightflyers’ comes as little surprise following a less than satisfying first season.
The news that ‘Nightflyers’ has been cancelled by SyFy comes just a few days after I’ve just finished binge watching the first, and apparently final season.
Citing modest ratings as a major contributing factor, the decision was made not to pick up any further episodes of the show which first debuted on SyFy before reaching a wider audience via Netflix.
Based on a novella written by Game of Thrones author, George R. R. Martin, Nightflyers is a dark science fiction horror series set in 2093.
A team of scientists join the crew aboard the most advanced spacecraft ever built, the Nightflyer. Their mission is to travel into the far reaches of space in the hope of making first contact with an alien being. Their aim is to communicate with the being with the hope of harnessing its advanced technologies that might allow Earth, with dwindling natural resources, to thrive once more.
As the ship pushes further into the void it becomes evident that the greatest danger lies not in the far reaches of space, or even the voyage to get there. But within the fabric of the ship itself. An unseen force aboard The Nightflyer systematically pushes it’s crew and passengers towards the edge of insanity.
From the opening scenes viewers are thrust straight into a graphic prelude of events that will ultimately unfold in the penultimate episode. A significant moment in the season conclusion is presented, but with the understanding that the journey to reach that point will be full of enough twists and turns to make it impossible to second guess the events that lead there. Hardly an original concept, but well executed nonetheless.
‘Nightflyers’ introduces a diverse and relatively unknown cast. Notable characters being Thale (Sam Strike), a troubled and immensely powerful ‘L1’ psychic and Lommie (Maya Eshet), an equally troubled, yet altogether more withdrawn computer genius.
Never shying away from graphic violence, a bleak tone is set from the very start. Increasingly, paranoia and insanity begins to manifest in most of the characters until a breaking point is inevitable. It’s this focus on the individuals that really takes centre stage over the crew’s primary mission. Though this element of the plot isn’t ever fully ignored, nor is it ever really satisfactorily explored.
Individual motives and moments of high tension are enough to keep viewers engaged throughout the entirety of the season. But it’s at the most crucial reveal, the ultimate climax of the season where ‘Nightflyers’ fails in spectacularly suicidal fashion. Never have I felt so nonplussed at the conclusion of a show.
It makes the hours invested feel a complete waste.