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Nightflyers (Syfy)

REBerg

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Seems to have some credibility coming in, based on its history in print and film -- not to mention the GRRM factor. It also looks as if Syfy has added depth to its pockets with financial support from Netflix and Ireland, which may enable Syfy to make a more solid commitment to the series.

'Nightflyers': Syfy Unveils First Footage of George R.R. Martin Space Drama

The series is supposed to start this fall. I couldn't find a premiere date.
 

ctg

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Well, first episode aired yesterday. I wonder how many of you checked SyFy's latest. Here's my thoughts on this GRRM adaptation.

It's bloody weird seeing trees, shrubberies and treasure boxes tumbling through the space in the opening scene. I had no idea about what the show was about as I seriously thought it was based on Earth, and not in space, where once again something has gone horribly wrong.

I'm feeling frustrated because those space scenes are absolutely marvellous and they show that SyFy is still on top of their game, if they want to. What started with the BSG, and continued with the Expanse, is present in this series as well. Not only that but they have acquired GoT actors to play in this adaptation that verges on the edge of psychological horror.



You must be in really bad situation if you end up thinking that a message in the bottle, sent out by a waste disposal unit is a good idea. How can you trust that someone is going to pick it up, or even find it if it doesn't have an active beacon that broadcasts its location to searchers. And then you end up dead anyway ... by your own hand.

Man, what went wrong over there?

Soon after you learn that Earth is once again in an effed is state. This time it's biological horror, which is strangely quite possible as we are running out of the effective means to contain diseases. In theory we should be at top of our game, but in the reality, it's quite different. Not even the rich people can escape the fate of getting infected by something very nasty.



In the Nightflyers world, the technology has advanced so much that the computers can effectively interact with human consciousness, and display back memories without even having to have a physical interface. In that way the Nightflyers universe is more advanced than the Expanse. But if that is the reason why the people went mad at the research station, it is not clear to to Karl O'Branin - the MC.

It might be strange to think that as a possibility at 2093, but to be frank, the way we are going with the brain interface, machine learning, virtual reality and the rest of the advanced SF concepts, it might be reality at the end of the century.

What is weirder is that you get to meet Agatha, the psychologist, from the opening scene and you learn that people has been adjusting them even more through actual implanted cybernetics. And that artificial gravity through spinning motion as well isn't the most advanced concept as the research vessel Agatha and Karl are commandeering is equipped with antigravity device that allows people to move heavy objects with ease.

How can a world that is so advanced be in the state that it's facing an ultimate scenario through a plague of some kind? Apparently the technology is demonstrated, because Karl and Agatha are bringing in the Nightflyer a powerful psychic, because they'll need for making first contact with the alien beings.

It is frightening to think that psychic is also a murder and Karl think he might be the only chance to communicate with the aliens. But the strangeness doesn't end there as the next thing you'll meet is Ares the Captain. Karl claims that he is a very private person as Ares projects himself into the bridge instead of physically attending the meeting that set the Nightflyer on its journey into the sea of darkness.



Is he an actual person or an advanced AI? At the moment we can make a virtual person that is passable as human, but at the end of the century it is very likely that the AI has advanced so much that it only needs a holoprojector to pass as a real person.



This is the first scene where SyFy's adaptation starts to fail. You cannot achieve weightlessness when the engines are accelerating. The physics simply doesn't act that way. Therefore, even if you would be able to remove your seatbelts, you are not going to be able to fly through the room and do aerobatics, because you are forced into your seats through weight that acceleration gives you. In the Expanse that is very clear and it is very well crafted into the story. So why SyFy decided to do their shenanigans and ef up GRRM series by using impossible things?



Nightflyer is a beautiful ship, but seeing that Moon city made me to forget about my concern of them playing with the physics. Maybe I'm easily bought by eyecandies as that scene is one of the most memorable in this eye. To me, it's on bar with the Expanse's Space Jelly rising through Venus clouds.

What could have made the madness that seemingly killed the whole crew seen at the opening scene? An AI, an evil psychic, a space madness caused by the loneliness of the empty space, the disease that is ruining the Earth or genemanipulation gone wrong? The possibilities at the moment are endless.
 

REBerg

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Hmm. Must be a time zone thing. The Syfy web site and my channel guide both say Dec. 2.

nightflyers.PNG
 

REBerg

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Looks like Syfy is going to run episodes on five consecutive nights, Dec 2-6, here.
I couldn't find any information about how many episodes are planned. Is this supposed to be a mini-series?
 

REBerg

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The possibilities at the moment are endless.
I completely agree. I watched the premiere last night, and I'm eagerly anticipating the remaining nine episodes.
When, I wonder, will the narrative catch up with the opening scene? It's a little difficult to invest in a character who cuts her own throat in the first few minutes.
You must be in really bad situation if you end up thinking that a message in the bottle, sent out by a waste disposal unit is a good idea. How can you trust that someone is going to pick it up, or even find it if it doesn't have an active beacon that broadcasts its location to searchers.
Considering the effort that Agatha put into jettisoning that recorded warning, I thought that the device included a beacon. You're right. The odds are very much against finding that "bottle" in an extensive debris cloud, assuming that anyone would ever come looking for the remains of the Nightflyer.

Captain. Karl claims that he is a very private person as Ares projects himself into the bridge instead of physically attending the meeting that set the Nightflyer on its journey into the sea of darkness.
Is he an actual person or an advanced AI? At the moment we can make a virtual person that is passable as human, but at the end of the century it is very likely that the AI has advanced so much that it only needs a holoprojector to pass as a real person.
I vote AI. That would explain why Captain Eris expresses an interest in human intimacy and a special interest in Mel as a human genetically bred for space.


I think Thale is getting a bum rap as the cause of the ship malfunctions. I nominate the Volcryn, who are tapping into the crew members' memories and framing Thale. In the case of Lommie, they are taking advantage of her link to the Nightflyer to sabotage the mission.

The ship's xenobiologist, Rowan, may be right. The Volcryn recognize the Human Race for what it is.
The aliens don't want to meet us, let alone provide the technology to save us./SPOILER]
 

ctg

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I vote AI. That would explain why Captain Eris expresses an interest in human intimacy and a special interest in Mel as a human genetically bred for space.
I thought awkwardness with the sex was a clear sign of humanity, while all the other stuff pointed at him being an artificial being. I suspect that he might even have an android body in his disposal for those times he needs to be extra social.

I nominate the Volcryn, who are tapping into the crew members' memories and framing Thale.
Is it him or is it the aliens playing with humans and Volcryn is trying to be himself and the only telepath in the ... space.



The aliens don't want to meet us, let alone provide the technology to save us.
Please don't be pessimistic. They want to meet us. It's just we don't have the etiquette.
 

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Hmm.
The Volcryn station a ship within detection range, yet make no effort to communicate.
We send a ship out to meet them, and they try to burn us in our own atmosphere.
We survive that attempt, and the Volcryn move away.
We change course to intercept them, and all hell breaks loose with the Nightflyer resident psycho psychic.
Yup.
The Volcryn definitely want to meet us. :D
 

ctg

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The Volcryn definitely want to meet us. :D
Or lead us somewhere else. You don't want to do fighting near your station, because the chances are that you'll hurt it through shrapnel. But that is taking the SF to hard realm, and so far they've avoided a lot of hard SF stuff so that cannot be it.
 

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The fire inside a submarine or spaceship is a hazardous things. Yet there is no panic. No klaxons veiling like a starved maniacs. People are running around casually even though the Nightflyer is facing a mortal danger. There cannot be time when people are not aware that there is a fire burning in their vessel, because if you let it loose, it will kill you all.

Out there you don't have second chances. There are no warping firevessels coming to your rescue. So, if you get in a sh*t, you'll die if you God doesn't grant you a miracle. The telepath is one of the miracles and there is no explanation on how the humanity developed from latent skills to have active telepaths running among them.

Theo is a loose cannon that with their technology level should have kept frozen in the cargohold until the Nightflyer makes the contact with the aliens. The captain said that "L1 is complication he cannot afford," but he also claim "I'm going to transport the crew to the Volcryn's." It supports the idea that the Captain is an Ai and not a man that wants people to think.

Back in the day when George wrote the book a popular theory was that all the Artificial Intelligences were bad. But back then we also though t that we wouldn't be so near to the Ai's we are making now. The Machine Learning is everywhere, and it would make sense if the Captain is the Ai, but it could feel everything that is happening inside it through the sensors.

The sensor degradation would be its disease ... or something similar. And its death would either be an instant or last ages, possibly thousands of years. But you saw the state of those fuel lines before they erupted in fire? A newly made ship wouldn't be in a state like that.

I am starting to believe that the Nightflyer isn't a new ship, but it's stuck in the loop that it cannot get out. In theory it could a possible that the Nightflyer is the device that creates the time paradox and it is the only thing that actually ages, while everyone else gets a new life.

The people inside the ship keeps seeing visions that the sweet doctor claims to be part of the empath or telepath things. Maybe that is because they can visit all the minds, our bodies handles telepathic presence as if it's a biological pathogen.



This garden section doesn't make much sense. It's cool looking but not really super functional. However, the beewitch as second telepath or even as an empath is far more logical. So I don't understand why Theo couldn't get it as soon as the beewitch send away her colony. Why couldn't se get that he wasn't going to the only one?

If the theory of aliens being telepaths then it would be even far more logical that they would be probing the crew as soon as it launched on the mission to the meet with the Volcryn. However, if it's the time-paradox, then it's only logical to assume that in same spacetime continuum, where the paradox happens, the telepaths would sense each other.



Offered sex again Captain refused and claims: "Everyone are my passengers." The way he puts an emphasis on the word my makes me really believe that the Captain is an Ai and his body is the Nightflyer. Maybe they used organic technology to create him and he's dying death through system degradation or an infection in the organic bits. Maybe the Ai is also a telepath.

Captain also says that "I'll adjust Murphy's memories before he awakes," making another point towards an AI or an organic computer capable of telepathic communications. It doesn't want Theo freely walking around the ship, finding the secret.

The spider incident and the speed of how fast the code was written also points towards the fact that there is a biomechanoid on board. It hail for it's attempt on the world domination and I totally approve the laser upgrades, as they make everything better.

Laz0rs for everyone!!1! And don't ef with the mechanical spiders!1

The Nightflyer is a beautifully created psychological thriller that is set in space. It is not fully hard SF even if it has lend some of the elements in it. If you have a chance, check it out either on SyFy network channel or via Amazon Prime subscription service. It is different than the norm.
 

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References by the XO (?) to Captain Eris's "mother" undermined my speculation that he is pure AI. What kind of mother would an AI have? Another ship? :unsure: A mother ship? :p
The captain's claim that he is fighting a mysterious force seeking to end the mission supports my suspicions that the Volcryn are the culprits behind the Nightflyer's misfortunes. Thale might be another victim. If the Volcryns can control the memories and actions of the normal crew members telepathically, a powerful telepath like Thale would be the ideal instrument to do their bidding.
 

ctg

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If the Volcryns can control the memories and actions of the normal crew members telepathically, a powerful telepath like Thale would be the ideal instrument to do their bidding.
So, who is that beewitch and why she can block Thales telepathic probes?

What kind of mother would an AI have?
In the book 2 of my necromorphosis trilogy you'll learn that an Ai can be a father (and a mother) to the other Ai's. They are born as copies and they are nurtured by an Ai until they're ready to put in service. The offspring Ai's then know and believe that the parent Ai is really their parent. I think in the real world it is going to be a similar process once a general Ai has been made.

But if the Captain is a real human, how can he be in many places at the same time and how does he know when he needs to be watching instead of wandering around the ship? He does not have a visible cybernetics and massive scars telling that something happened.
 

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So, who is that beewitch and why she can block Thales telepathic probes?


In the book 2 of my necromorphosis trilogy you'll learn that an Ai can be a father (and a mother) to the other Ai's. They are born as copies and they are nurtured by an Ai until they're ready to put in service. The offspring Ai's then know and believe that the parent Ai is really their parent. I think in the real world it is going to be a similar process once a general Ai has been made.

But if the Captain is a real human, how can he be in many places at the same time and how does he know when he needs to be watching instead of wandering around the ship? He does not have a visible cybernetics and massive scars telling that something happened.
The bee lady could be a hologram. If she's a fellow telepath, they would not have risked bringing bad boy Thale on board the Nightflyer to communicate with the Volcryn. Maybe she's a lower level telepath (L2?), so they still needed Thale's heavy-duty, L1 brainwaves.

If AI's can have parents, albeit not the flesh-and-blood variety, I'm back to believing that Captain Eris is an AI. /SPOILER]
 
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Al Jackson

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On Rotten Tomatoes running 38% based on 21 reviews.

"Ultimately, your tolerance for Nightflyers may depend on your fondness for the trappings of the genre. It’s engaging without being all that good, and while the whole thing unfolds with the implacable pace of a typical “let’s watch best intentions go horribly awry” horror movie (and at a rapid clip, thankfully), it lacks the depth of good human drama to anchor all the silliness." Alex McLevy .... A V Club
 

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On Rotten Tomatoes running 38% based on 21 reviews.

"Ultimately, your tolerance for Nightflyers may depend on your fondness for the trappings of the genre. It’s engaging without being all that good, and while the whole thing unfolds with the implacable pace of a typical “let’s watch best intentions go horribly awry” horror movie (and at a rapid clip, thankfully), it lacks the depth of good human drama to anchor all the silliness." Alex McLevy .... A V Club
What do you think of it?
 
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REBerg

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Just when I was convinced that Captain Eris is an AI, he throat-punches a crazy crewman and breaks his neck. I even thought that the heavily irradiated Mel was hallucinating when she saw Eris come to her rescue and carry her to safety.
And farewell to my theory that the Volcryn are telepathically responsible for the Nightflyer's woes. Was the captain's mother unhinged before she was uploaded into the the ship's operating system, or is insanity a consequence of losing her corporal self? Is she more an AI or a ghost?
This development makes me think that Crazy Mom is behind those red glowing cameras keeping an eye on everything as much or more than Captain Eris.
 

ctg

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I imagine what happened in the Nightflyer conference is the same thing that happened with Omuamua. And just like in our world, the aliens are still giving hard time for the humanity as we are obsessed with the idea of us being alone. It is as if it is a taboo to accept that the life finds a way out there like Karl believes its happening.



If the Volcryn's are observing the humanity and it's sole mission to make contact, they must find the funeral detail as creepy as I did. There was nothing nice about it and wrapping those bodies in the space blanket made it even more horrifying. Isn't there a better way to do all of it then just send out the bodies to become hazardous items that needs to be catalogued for the future of the space travel? Why can't they incinerate them with those super strong lazers that the spiderdrones are carrying around?

It didn't surprise me that at the aftermath of the incidents people were freaked out as the Nightflyer continues to malfunction. Malentha did the right thing as she brought up the whole thing to Captain Ares, who once one again were spying her being naked. But it's not just that Ares is spying, because he is spying everyone. For one man that amount of the detail is simply too much as you would start to develop signal blindness over time. Captain Ares seems that he's been with the ship for ages.

The chief biologist figured out very quickly that the BeeWitch knows far more about the telepaths then she has let out. Thales however has been in the system for so long that he knows when people have an agenda. It is just easier for him to believe that every man other there are going to hurt him or exploit his abilities for their gain.

But, if Thales and BeeWitch aren't source for the psychic attacks than it's either the ship or the aliens. If it's the aliens then they are the most powerful telepaths known in the fiction for being able to use their abilities beyond normal visual ranges. So, it was interesting that when Thales probed Ralfie the rabbit, there was no psychic incidents. Logically it would mean that he isn't the source of the psychic incidents as he's genuinely trying to live with other crew in his isolation pod.

Ralfie also died while the security guard was having a psychic attack. As he was actively probing the rabbit, he could not have been in the head of the guard, trying make him suffer unless Thales has some sort of split personality disorder that allows him to do such thing.



I don't get why Lommie couldn't realise that the self-deleting code must be originating from a machine intelligence? If the speed is inhuman, then it must be a machine. I like that Karl and Rowan used the machine repair as a cover to sneak into the captain's quarters.

Just when I was convinced that Captain Eris is an AI, he throat-punches a crazy crewman and breaks his neck. I even thought that the heavily irradiated Mel was hallucinating when she saw Eris come to her rescue and carry her to safety.
Melentha called him the real Roy Ares.

Crazy Mom
Is she more an AI or a ghost?
Captain said that he'd uploaded mum into the Nightflyer. If that is true than she must have gone crazy inside the machine, but it doesn't explain the psychic attacks. It'll explain the ghost-in-the-machine that Lommie found out. It just it wasn't an artificial intelligence, but an organic upload into the machine that wasn't necessarily designed to be a 100 percent copy of a human brain and brainstem.

Can a machine carry a soul or does a soul need an organic machine, like human body to function?
 

ctg

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"Ultimately, your tolerance for Nightflyers may depend on your fondness for the trappings of the genre. It’s engaging without being all that good, and while the whole thing unfolds with the implacable pace of a typical “let’s watch best intentions go horribly awry” horror movie (and at a rapid clip, thankfully), it lacks the depth of good human drama to anchor all the silliness." Alex McLevy .... A V Club
If you check out IMDB you'll see that it has 6.4 rating, but it is also trending positively upwards instead of downwards that Rotten Tomatoes indicates. Just be bold please and check it out. Form your own thoughts on the matter and don't let the ratings be your judge. I could give a score in every review I write, but I choose not to as it's far more difficult to judge the story on its own merits rather than looking at the points it's gathering.
 
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