Monday, February 25, 2019

Nightflyers (2018)

There is a small obscure tv series called Game of Thrones. You probably haven't heard about it. It is based on Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. When that got attention of few people it made sense to make tv adaptions of Martin's other work. This is based on Martin's Nightflyers novella.

Series is almost ruined in the beginning. It show scene from later where ship has had incident, one crew member has gone mad and other one kills herself. I watched this unspoiled expecting first contact with aliens science fiction. Beginning set this to be different type of series. Biggest problem was it showed where two characters will end up. After that you wonder how they end up where they end up. That start to happen on later half. Before that showing scene near the end ruined characters arcs. It was shame because one character had interesting backstory and not knowing her fate would have made the series better. Other character isn't as interesting but would have worked better if we weren't shown him going mad at the beginning.

Next problem comes soon after. Ship leaves Earth's orbit but that doesn't go smoothly since someone has sabotaged the ship. One crew member is injured but nothing comes from this. It felt odd for them continuing the mission without doing any check ups when they were still close to Earth. I don't remember there being any urgency. They just left with sabotaged ship. Injuring crew member showed us individual crew members were expendable. This doesn't change later even when someone we know better dies. But that doesn't happen until later. Game of Thrones is famous for killing important characters at any time. This doesn't do that. Important characters die but their deaths lack impact and and the deaths are often foreshadowed earlier. It gives feeling of everyone being expendable.

Series started to work around third episode. By then we know enough of characters and everything stops constantly malfunctioning. Series would have benefited from slower start. Usually this kind of movies and series start introducing characters and then going into the story. This started with story before we knew the characters. This almost made me stop watching. But I continued because I wanted to see what George R.R. Martin's science fiction looks like.

What I can say about that? I watched this in two sessions divided by over night sleep. I found series mostly interesting or I wanted to see where this ends up. I am not sure which and I didn't like the ending which is open ended if not a cliffhanger. There are few issues and cheap story telling devices but mostly I liked the series. Overall this left same feeling is Gene Roddenberry's other series. Creator is better know for other work but this is still interesting without reaching the level of better known work. That said I will probably forget Nightflyers in few days.

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