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Space Horror Drama ‘Nightflyers’ Blasts Off on Syfy

Nightflyers, a “space horror drama,” in Syfy’s words, begins on that network Dec. 2. It is based on a George R.R. Martin novella from 1980; Martin of course wrote the books that hatched Game of Thrones on HBO. He’s an executive producer on Nightflyers.

Syfy is on board for 10 episodes. Jeff Buhler is the showrunner. Buhler comes from the horror movie world; his credits include Pet Sematary and Jacob’s Ladder. But he describes himself as “an old school swords-and-sandals guy,” who “fell in love with Game of Thrones right away.”

The show is set in 2093, and follows a team of scientists aboard a spaceship called, yes, The Nightflyer. They search for other life forms out in space. “Their mission takes them to the edge of the solar system, and to the edge of insanity, as they realize true horror isn’t waiting for them in outer space,” said Syfy. “It’s already on their ship.

Buhler describes Nightflyers as “a haunted house story on a spaceship.” Science fiction, he adds, is “an incredible device to hold up the mirror to look at society.”

Many networks are playing around with the increasingly timeworn concept of releasing an episode every week, including how AMC released The Terror and Lodge 49 on AMC Premiere for those who care to binge. Syfy is sharing a new Nightflyers episode nightly from Dec. 2 to Dec. 6, then the final five episodes Dec. 9 to Dec. 13. Syfy said weekend marathons will give fans an additional opportunity to catch up.

Universal Cable Productions produces the show, and Netflix co-produces.

The Nightflyers cast includes Eoin Macken, David Ajala, Gretchen Mol, Jodie Turner-Smith, Angus Sampson, Sam Strike, Maya Eshet and Brían F. O'Byrne.

Buhler said there’s a bit of overlap between Game of Thrones and Nightflyers. “Complex, flawed characters,” he said. “A lot of complex relationships. A world where things are not black and white.”