An other-worldly nightmare awaits a crew of space travelers as they search for alien life on the edge of the solar system in the trailer for Syfy's sci-fi/horror TV series, Nightflyers. The network has banked heavily on the fact that its new space-based offering is adapted from the 1980 novella by Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire architect George R.R. Martin, with its marketing for the show thus far. However, those who are anticipating a similar tale of political machinations and intrigue (albeit set in outer space) may want to readjust their expectations for this particular Martin creation.
Set in the year 2093, Nightflyers follows the Nightflyer space vessel and its crew - which (as the synopsis puts it) includes eight "maverick" scientists, one "powerful" telepath, and a "reclusive" captain - as their attempt to make first contact goes horribly wrong. Previous clips have suggested Nightflyers is a haunted house tale set in space, in the vein of films like Alien and Event Horizon. The official trailer sticks with that byline while, like the videos before it, dancing around revealing what, exactly, this horrible thing is that the Nightflyer's passengers encounter over the course of their journey.
Jeff Buhler, who also wrote the upcoming horror movie reboots Pet Sematary and Grudge, has been serving as the showrunner on Nightflyers since he took over from Daniel Cerone (who stepped down as showrunner over creative differences earlier this year). The cast includes Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire), Eoin Macken (The Night Shift), David Ajala (Fast & Furious 6), Sam Strike (EastEnders), Maya Eshet (Teen Wolf), Angus Sampson (Fargo), Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship), and Brían F. O'Byrne (Million Dollar Baby). Get your sneak peek of that team in action by watching the new trailer - which debuted during the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel - then check out the series' poster below.
During the Q&A portion of the Nightflyers SDCC panel, Buhler acknowledged that the series pays "homage to the greats: 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Alien," and even uses the same lens as Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi/horror movie. The cast further teased that Nightflyers has one big thing in common with Game of Thrones: a lot of people die on the show. Sampson, in particular, noted that "We don’t get to know what happens before each episode, so we’re always wondering, ‘Am I going to die this week?'"
Between the trailer's promise of horrible things to come and the cast/crew's comments at SDCC, Nightflyers is shaping up to be an intriguing addition to Syfy channel's larger body of original programming. The network has enjoyed its fair share of success by embracing a variety of sci-fi subgenres with its shows in recent years, including zombie epidemic (Z Nation), time-travel (12 Monkeys), and even DC superhero comic book lore with Krypton. There's an opening in there for horror-in-outer-space storytelling that Nightflyers ought to fill nicely, at that.
Nightflyers premieres in the U.S. this fall on Syfy. It will been streaming through Netflix in other countries in 2019.