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Home / Entertainment / The new TV series by George R. R. Martin is more Event Horizon than Game Of Thrones

The new TV series by George R. R. Martin is more Event Horizon than Game Of Thrones

Photo: Jonathan Hession (Syfy)

Sci-fi horror can sometimes feel like a strange fit. The latter genre is more often rooted in the past than in the future, and more suited to organic fears than technological nightmares ̵

1; hence the tendency to simply use sci-fi as a showcase for an old-fashioned monster movie. (There's a reason Alien 's chilling is rooted in messy flesh, and the vicious AI drama of 2001 does not play like horror.) Nightflyers The New Syfy Show, which is based on a 1980s novella by by Game Of Thrones authored by George RR Martin, attempts to pinpoint the ghostly horrors in the machine, and though they are cool imagery and compelling Performances, the show lacks the execution. It's never boring, but it's hard to get over the uneven handling of the material.

The obvious point of comparison is the 1997 Event Horizon another story about a crew of spaceship-bound characters an unknown source of evil. (The less about the earlier attempt to adapt to Martin's short story, a weak 1987 movie starring Catherine Mary Stuart, the better.) However, this series continues into the realm of fantasy by involving a psychic among its crew of space travelers. After the scientist Dr. Karl D & # 39; Branin (19459024] The Night Shift Eoin Macken) had discovered an alien ship, he gathered a team to take the ship with the long-lived spaceship The Nightflyer to reach the previous one to establish an unresponsive alien ship and the first contact, all in the hope of finding a means to save a rapidly dwindling human population on Earth. Unfortunately, the crew of the Nightflyer in front of the Telepath, capable of fatal mischief (Sam Strike), whom D'Branin brings as an alien communicator, is more dreadful than she is optimistic for the new mission. Worse, someone or something causes dangerous hallucinations, sabotages the ship, and puts the mission at risk. There is a lot going on and the series races through its storyline, often before it can actually register. That's probably the best, because this thing can not withstand a thorough examination.


C +

Created by

Jeff Buhler (based on the novella "Nightflyers" by George RR Martin) [19659008] Actor

Eoin Macken, Gretchen Mol, David Ajala, Jodi Turner -Smith, Angus Sampson, Maya Eshet, and Sam Strike


10pm Eastern, Sunday through Thursday, beginning December 2nd


Hours of sci-fi horror. Five episodes spotted for a review.

This is an abrupt show. Plot evolutions are introduced in Pell-Mell with little chance to build, and the viewer gets a sense of lash as he tries to process what has happened between the scenes. At some point, it implies that a month has passed on board the ship, and nothing means that time goes by unless a character quits so much. Part of the problem is editing – characters suddenly appear in various places Boarding the ship, which can easily lead to confusion in confusion of menacing digital projections of people in history. Mostly, it's a scripting problem. The true-to-life mysteries with which the characters struggle too easily become mysteries about the narrative of the series itself.

It's easy to engage in the distribution of confusing rendered characters and plot points caught. There is a telepath, but its powers are ambiguous at best, causing more confusion than a fascinating mystery. The retired Captain Eris (David Ajala, who makes the most of an inherited role) has to let the narrative water sink in and pull out the old "I can not tell you yet" tap dance to explain everything an episode later. no logical reason for the delay. Too often, the show will raise a question that might develop into something more (is this experience really true, is this threat a red herring?), Just to throw it aside with a "oh, guess". The upgrading of the genre conventions that Martin perfected with Game Of Thrones is either mistreated or underdeveloped here, as the normal tropes of space horror seem like common twists – some are represented with formulaic intimacy, others never blossom into something different enough to look fresh. It makes sense that this has all been done before and showrunner Jeff Buhler is not sure how to feel new again.

Eoin Macken, Gretchen Mol and Angus Sampson in Nightflyers.
Photo: Jonathan Hession (Syfy)

It is a testimony to the pulpy drama of the source material that Nightflyers continues to enjoy pleasing despite these weaknesses. The process is of an amazing low-bow movie that quickly jumps from one absurd sequence to the next to prevent the story from collapsing under the weight of its many implausibilities. ("Everyone on this ship accepts that a particular character has heard voices in his head for decades without questioning his mental stability, so who is it, TV viewers, to doubt it?) Is one example of this massive loyalty of the show to its audience.) At some point, you either go along with the random nature of your decisions or throw your hands in frustration over the many questions that have not been addressed. (A woman seems to be covered with bees at an early age, and yet the immediate thought – is certainly dismissed as yet another hallucination ) in favor of a devastating reality half the show is a clumsily handled one.)
[19659003] Replacing the massive pay-cable with a Syfy budget through one of his more successful GoT siblings (leaving Martin out of the cinema's creative process altogether (his HBO contract is exclusive), the series nevertheless creates an appealing visual Style Mike Cahill, Director of the Credit Pilot (19659019] I Origins Another Earth noted a cool sense of spatial ingenuity: The camera leaves a window and floats on the outside of the giant ship before moving to another The Nightflyer stepped in to start a new scene and he has a good understanding of how to standard Ho rror conventions; From an opening scene straight out of a Slasher movie to the ghostly projections that can appear anytime, he delivers some real fear that subsequent episodes can mimic with reasonable success.

Similarly, the actors mostly sell this supernatural disguised-as-sci-fi hokum. Many of the characters are either inconsistent or forced into narrative situations that swing them from one emotion to another like ping-pong balls. It's a relief when professionals like Ajala or Angus Sampson just pick a mood and roll with it. Maya Eshet, an actress with whom I was previously unfamiliar, is especially good; Her computer specialist Lommie (with a port in her arm that allows her to literally connect to the ship's controls) is the most complex and subtly shaded performance in the group. Eshet is deeply charismatic, a magnetic presence that elevates every scene in which she appears. It is no coincidence that the fifth episode, which presents the entry into the computer mainframe as an independent story, is the best in the first half of the season.

Ultimately, your tolerance for Nightflyers may depend on your preference for the specifics of the genre. It's captivating without being too good, and while unfolding with the relentless tempo of a typical horror movie (let's get the best intentions terribly down) (and luckily a quick clip), it lacks the depth of a good one anchor the whole stupidity of human drama. In the end, the silent and unknown alien entity may feel more relative in the far reaches of outer space than these implausible humans.

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