In December, viewers can feast their eyes on SYFY’s television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers, but before the series premieres, they can check out the first terrifying five minutes of the series. Adapted from one of Martin’s earlier works, a novella of the same name, Nightflyers is the latest project with the author’s name attached, something that presumably makes getting a green light a little easier in the wake of Game of Thrones’ continued success.
While HBO moves forward with its plans for a Game of Thrones prequel series, Hulu is preparing to turn the author’s Wild Cards into a series of shows. Meanwhile, SYFY is set to turn his sci-fi-horror novella into a multi-night binge-watch at the beginning of December. The network has recently begun doling out its new and returning series in multi-night events, and the appeal of the format is readily evident and seems to be working, as SYFY turned the fourth (and scariest) season of Channel Zero into a binge-watch via live, streaming, and on-demand platforms. The network also released the last two seasons of 12 Monkeys in a similarly less traditional manner, making the new episodes into much more of an event.
Whether or not Nightflyers will turn out to be an event remains to be seen, but from the look of the first five minutes recently released by the network, it certainly has the makings of one. The genre mashup starts with a bang, as Gretchen Mol’s (Boardwalk Empire) Dr. Agatha Matheson is on the run from Angus Sampson’s (Fargo) deranged Rowan (seriously, he’s gone full Jack Torrance in the sneak peek), while also trying to dispose of some mysterious biological specimen and send a warning for others not to attempt to board what is presumably a soon to be a derelict spacecraft. Check out the first five minutes below:
The sequence is certainly reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, what with an unhinged individual stalking someone he clearly knows with an ax. But given the setting is dramatically different, and that Mol’s character is attempting to dissuade others from trying to board the craft in the future, there’s a compelling mystery element introduced as well. Add to that Dr. Matheson taking a bone saw to her jugular after successfully jettisoning that material into space, and you’ve go the makings of a creepy binge-watch.
With the full season of Nightflyers being made available much sooner than if SYFY has stuck to a more traditional release schedule, there’s some concern that the series may be forgotten by viewers too soon. But if the rest of Nightflyers can maintain the intensity of its first five minutes, it's unlikely that viewers are going to forget what they've seen.
Nightflyers premieres Friday, December 2 on SYFY.