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tv-series reviews / Nightflyers (2018)

added 4 apr 2019
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Nightflyers Season 1 (2018)

Trapped in a malicious holodeck

(this review contains spoilers)

Being both a Game of Thrones fan, and a sci-fi fan, I had to check out this show (its based on the book by George R. R. Martin). Its not up there with Game of Thrones but it was still an entertaining sci-fi with some original ideas.

We enter the story after the Nightflyer spaceship has already left Earth, bound for the Volcryn - a mysterious object in outer space which they believe to be of alien origin. The Earth is dying and the hope is that the Volcryn will be able to help humanity survive. The journey through space takes up the entire show and is fraught with mishaps. It turns out that the ship has a consciousness of its own - Cynthia, the mother of captain Eris, uploaded her mind into the ship's computers before she died. She is against the mission from the start as she fears the Volcryn will destroy the ship, and she does everything she can to sabotage their progress. She disables engines, cranks up the climate control, and even tries to turn the ship around. The ship is fitted with holographic projectors, and Cynthia uses these to "haunt" various crew members with depictions of their loved ones begging them to turn back and abort the mission. Furthermore, all video calls from the ship back to Earth are handled by the ship's computer, and it is not clear whether the ship is altering their messages en route, just to mess with their minds. Under these circumstances, the crew struggle to maintain a grip on reality.

A lot is left unexplained in the show. We are told that the Earth is dying but no details are given as to how or why. We also never really get to see whether their mission to communicate with the Volcryn is successful. They do reach it, in the final minutes of the final episode, but all we see is the ship flying into what appears to be an electrified nebula and then suddenly everyone on the ship is gone, and the main character is back on Earth reunited with his wife and dead daughter. Did the Volcryn bring his daughter back to life? And teleport the whole crew back to Earth? Or is this what might have been and in reality the Volcryn just zapped them all into oblivion?

added 4 apr 2019
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