George R.R. Martin’s name might be most closely associated with HBO’s Game of Thrones, but SYFY is hoping to change that with a first look at the sci-fi horror series Nightflyers. The new trailer is the first bit of footage from the new series and it doesn’t shy away from establishing a creepy and threatening atmosphere, one with a message that the titular ship should not be brought back to Earth.
The show is based on the novella of the same name written by Martin in 1980 and published a year later. Although it was already adapted into a less-than-stellar feature film, the title is far removed from the pop cultural cache possessed by the A Song of Ice and Fire series of books. As such, SYFY makes the wise decision to have the first look trailer include some face time with Martin himself. In it, he explains the basic premise of the series, starting off with a pretty great elevator pitch, calling Nightflyers “a haunted house story set on a starship” and “Psycho in space.”
The first look doesn’t really aim to accomplish anything more than sell fans on the series by its association to the Martin name and through some fun hyperbole from star Phillip Rhys, supervising producer Sean Ryerson, and cinematographer Marcus Förderer. Each gives his take on what kind of series Nightflyers will be, saying things like “Nightflyers is like nothing you’ve seen before,” “Epic,” and “Just f***ing awesome.” While those descriptions steer well clear of attempting to explain what the series is about, they at least point out that SYFY and the show’s producers know how to appeal to their target audience.
The rest of the trailer delivers the kind of violent, scary visuals you would expect to accompany Martin’s earlier appraisal of the story. There is no shortage of gore covering the ship’s interior, as well as the character issuing the warning to avoid the Nightflyer at all costs. The rest hints at a dark series that seems to share certain thematic and tonal similarities with the likes of Event Horizon and perhaps even the Dead Space video game franchise.
In lieu of a proper trailer, this first look is likely the best way to go from a marketing standpoint. Martin is by far the most important name involved with the series and putting him front and center in this unexpected promo gives audiences some idea of what they’re in for, and more than likely gets others eager to see another adaptation of the author’s work. The only drawback, of course, is the more Martin talks about Nightflyers the less he’s working on finishing The Winds of Winter, but a man can only type so much.
Nightflyers will premiere this fall on SYFY.