Nightflyers (Syfy)

REBerg

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I must have missed them. Well, sh*t. George knows how to write shocking sex scenes. Man, but how come she has ended in a position of caring for pretty strong telepath and nobody has noticed it before?
Either her telepathic ability so is weak that it doesn't register with Thale, or it is so strong that she can mask it from him.

I'm not so sure. If she had known that she's one then sure. She would know what to do and how to treat someone else having whatever telepaths have on a bad day. But if she didn't, who is going to be in the stronger position and why she wasn't using her powers at the opening sequence?

No guesses on that. Something so horrific that a nasty method of self-execution was her best option?
 

ctg

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I like Sci-Fi and horror.... just haven't seen much good work in them together (shudders, remembering Jason in Space).
Well, this series has more SF than Horror. It also stretches some of the disbelief things, but generally it's well put together. The actors play their socks off, while the directors has tried their best to not add too many things for the post production. In fact a lot of places shows that the production team built the nightflyer and decided to opt out from the green screen tech.
 

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Back to the horror zone
Yikes! Mini Mom on a rampage, slicing and dicing Lommie's therapeutic digital family; Probe innards dancing to the tune of Volcryn transmissions; both resident telepaths losing control of their powers; and, last but not least, Rowan's and Tessia's new baby, stillborn and speed-rotting into a cloud of black, possibly deadly dust.

Yeah, they're still on a ship heading out to make first contact, but the sci-fi element took a seat at the very back of the bus for this episode. I keep wondering, how much of this real and how much is illusion.
There's a whole lot of mental projection going on.
 

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What is weirder then playing Russian Rulette in space? Maybe playing it inside someone else head, while pretending that you're completely off your noggin. Man, the things that the telepaths can do in someone else head is beyond the real. I don't know why Thale decided that in his head they were all in Vietnam while Jimi Hendrix played at the background All Along The Watchtower.

Maybe more amazing to that is that Thale's has imagination to bring D&D alive, and make the people want visit his mind time again. I was a little surprised that by the time Martha grew up role-playing games, especially the traditional ones had disappeared from the mainstream activities. Does it mean that there are no nerds in the future?

It's strange as I certainly would consider Karl and the Chief Biologist as one. But their behaviour is far from the popular nerd activities and instead of doing that they're heavily invested into their sciences, without embracing the rest that comes with it. I personally know a couple theoretical physicist and they're full geeks, minus the pocket protector and slide-rule (except one).

I don't understand why Karl is obsessed accessing the biomechanical White Rabbit. The whole thing is dead and all you can get out from the dead is bad things. Well, maybe not all bad things, but in the Nightflyers case I can imagine the summoning of the zombies or something similar.

Rowan as the Chief Biologist should understand that and maybe he should have recommended Karl to stop and focus on something else. Like making babies. Except he has been continuing to do that for eight months straight. And in the meanwhile trying to make the probe core work.

It freaks me out that at their last session Martha told Karl that she has been taking L suppressants for most of her life. And that twice she has broken through them. Maybe she is as powerful, if not more powerful than Thales.

I think that because she has been taking drugs for most of her life her telepathic powers has only increased and through them she's able to tab the quantum realm to see visions from the future. I don't know how to really explain it, because it doesn't completely make sense. But as soon as she went into the medical coma, the probe came alive and the Volcryn appeared in the detection range.



I get that Martha was able to be free from Thales influence, but to me it seemed that Thales was being possessed by someone else rather than him being in the control. There is a possibility that the Volcryn tried to communicate and in order for them to do that they'll need to be in the drivers seat. As it continued maybe Thales should have tried to fight it, but instead of let go of all his restrains. The possibility is that his head would have exploded or he could have gained a connection with the alien species.



As soon as those hotdogs turned maggot piles and Milkshakes developed a shade of mold I knew that Synthia had broken through Loomie's defences. She said that "she didn't built her Virtual Reality in that way" instead of understanding the danger that deranged organic Ai presents. In fact as soon as Synthia took over, she should have tried to delete her Ai characters to prevent Synthia from killing them.

Mini Mom on a rampage, slicing and dicing Lommie's therapeutic digital family;
The exploration is humanity's oldest sin. If Loomie had been like Saru from the ST-D's she could have escaped and locked her VR realm in the same constrains as what she'd put around the original VR place. But the problem is that Synthia could have copied her code everywhere, when she escaped Loomie's constrains in the first place. It is possible that from that code as I explained in the Ai parents case that from those seedlings an evil Synthia could be reborn. But it wouldn't be the same as the real Mum. It would just have that evil characteristic instead of the original one in the Synthia's world.

I keep wondering, how much of this real and how much is illusion.
A lot of it is illusion in the quantum realm. We know that Thale's custom on creating his own world, while Martha is suppressing her abilities. If Martha is the stronger one, she might be able to access the probe, power it and access the memories stored in the time-paradox.

Maybe the Volkryn are the ones that can save them from the loop, because of their superior knowledge and understanding of the universe and how it works. Nobody knows about them, but in each episode they're the McGuffin, the ultimate goal that the crew never reaches.
 

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The exploration is humanity's oldest sin. If Loomie had been like Saru from the ST-D's she could have escaped and locked her VR realm in the same constrains as what she'd put around the original VR place. But the problem is that Synthia could have copied her code everywhere, when she escaped Loomie's constrains in the first place. It is possible that from that code as I explained in the Ai parents case that from those seedlings an evil Synthia could be reborn. But it wouldn't be the same as the real Mum. It would just have that evil characteristic instead of the original one in the Synthia's world]
I am under the impression that Lommie did not constrain child Cynthia when she slammed the door on adult Cynthia, which was the "mistake" she said she had made after Mel freed her from the virtual world of the ship's crystal matrix.
Lommie seems to have assumed that Cynthia did not become psychotic until later in life. and that child was being held prisoner by her older self. That apparently not being the case, does the child have the power to release the adult? Has she already done so?
Of possible future significance, Lommie's revelation to Mel that dying in the crystal means dying in the real world.
 
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ctg

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That apparently not being the case, does the child have the power to release the adult?
Yeah, you would have the power but not the experience or the skills. You would still be a child compared to the adult. You could possible call it as maturing the Ai. How it's done in the reality is far different than how's done in the show, as our current understanding with the Ai's and the Machine Learning has shown that the Ai needs time and repetitions, meaning opportunities to do its thing.

In our reality Ai's aren't that smart or imaginative, but in the Nightflyers universe Synthia used to control the whole ship. They cannot have left it in the manual control for eight months. Someone had to be in the control, reading data and pushing right buttons. I don't think that the bridge crew could do it on their own. They would still need the machines functioning as they were developed.

Where GRRM and the producers are going with this is unknown.
 

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We'll find out in the next three days.
I'm wondering if Nightflyers will be a standalone mini series or a multi-seasonal thing. As things stand right now, I don't see this concept as having the legs to continue beyond Friday night's finale.
That opinion, of course, may change at any point.
 

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I don't see this concept as having the legs to continue beyond Friday night's finale.
True. I think it's one book, one series deal. But, if they want, they can certainly do an ending that offers continuity to the series. It's just as it has been a SyFy tradition, these Christmas specials don't need more serialisation. Maybe they should try something totally new next year. Alister Reynolds maybe or one of SFFChronicles Authors.
 

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Losing a baby at birth is hard. Losing a baby and seeing it turn to black dust is harder. The only way I can explain is through my paradox theory. Maybe it doesn't allow new souls to be born inside the loop. Only make those who are participating in the events live in it. So any mother and father would be suffering through the same misery.

In the other hand it wouldn't explain why the Eagle 16 were able to clone bodies as surely those bodies would have to have gone through the same black dust thing. But at least now we have an explantion for why Chief Biologist went nuts in the opening scene. If that is true then Rowan must have figured out that the telepaths were the source for him losing the baby.

What I don't understand is why the telepaths thought that the ice path can shield them from going towards the source for the telepathic energy? But what if that source is the source for the paradox? What if it can create the loop and break it?

I didn't like the black dust killing the Medical Officer. It was horrible sight and it reminded me about my childhood drama of a similar kind of scene in a B-movie. I liked that the BeeMother was willing to kill herself through the decontamination cycle instead of allowing them to infect the whole ship.

When they brought Agatha to medical bay she connected with the black dust. She said, "they are making the sound." As she initialised the decotamination cycle I honestly though that Rowan was going to go completely bonkers as start chasing her around the ship.



Melantha cleverly figured out that Karl was right in regards of those telepaths as she had noticed Thale's becoming stronger with the close proximity. It lead Karl realising that the same telepathic energy is powering the White Rabbit. If it's a super power that can penetrate the time loop, then sure we know why everything went down the toilet at the end. It was just that the Nightflyers couldn't be saved as the humans in middle of it weren't telepaths.

I liked that in the next move Melantha went to ask Loomie's help and she end up threatening her with "a pulse rifle," if she didn't open the door and let her back in. It's just that everything Loomie revealed about her Synthia's made her to doubt that telepaths are in the middle of it. But here's the thing, if the Crystal Matrix is not originally a terrestrial product, it might something that the alien left behind and we reutilised as the Ai cores for the spaceships.

If that is true then they should destroy the cores.



Karl asked his 'daughter' "Where are you?" and her reply told that in the real world she's back at the house, but in the bubble she's with the Chief Scientist. Effectively she's equivalent to the quantumcat in Schrödinger's paradox. Like the dear professor Karl couldn't hold on to the both and as soon as he hugged her, she disappeared.

Maybe that is universe confirming that we are on right path but at the same time it is a warning that we cannot dabble with what we don't understand. There is no cheating. And there is not room for the greed, because you cannot double things.



To further the time loop theory, I think this is a portal created by the telepath energy to escape the paradox. You can see it becoming bigger in the scene and that there is space around it.

The Nightflyers is a very cool series as it reaches to so many conceptual things that are littered in many parts of the SF realms. It keeps watchers guessing almost in the equal level to Nolan's WestWorld. In the same time it reuses many of things that SyFy has created for the other series. But it doesn't make the series cheesy. Instead it make the Nightflyers super interesting.
 

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Seems to me that Nightflyers is not as much about aliens messing with the minds of humans as it is about GRRM messing with the minds of his fans.
Revelations: The black mold is real and organic, while Capt. Eris is less than real and non-organic? I thought that he had picked a bad time to monitor a crisis in person. As it turned out, not so much. Is he a fireproof android?
I have to assume that the mold spores are real and alien. Perhaps they are the actual Volcryn.
How did they get aboard the Nightflyer? My best guess -- via the White Rabbit. Alternate possibility: through the Eagle-16 contact, although the survivors there didn't seem to have a mold problem. Third possibility: GRRRM wrote it that way.
The Nightflyer should have made U-turn and headed back to Earth the moment that the crew learned that the Volcryn were broadcasting on the same telepathic wavelength as the resident Ls. The only alternative would have been to kill both Thale and Agatha before both completely run amok.
Cynthia taking over Lommie's body is more bad news. The crew is in for a rough time. Virtual Lommie is going to learn that her abusive childhood, compared to be trapped with Cynthia's father, really wasn't so bad.
 
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Cynthia taking over Lommie's body is more bad news. The crew is in for a rough time. Virtual Lommie is going to learn that her abusive childhood, compared to be trapped with Cynthia's father, really wasn't so bad.
The father is just a construct. I think she made a mistake when she took over Loomie's mortal body as now she's killable, when as in before she was close to being an immortal.

Third possibility: GRRRM wrote it that way.
Yep. It might be the case.
 

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A little bit of facts about the novella.
The original version, clocking in at 23,000 words, was published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 1980. The next year, Martin expanded the novella to 30,000 words so that it could be included in Dell’s Binary Star series, which pairs two works in one book; Nightflyers joined Vernor Vinge’s cyberpunk novella True Names. The later Nightflyers, which was also published in Bluejay Books’ 1985 collection, is Martin’s preferred version.

In 1981, Nightflyers was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novella. While it did not win the Hugo, it did win the Locus Award (for Best Novella) and the 1983 Seiun Award in Japan (for foreign short fiction). It was one of the major adventures, though not the first, in what Martin called the “manrealm,” or the “Thousand Worlds” universe.
Everything You Need to Know About George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers

One of my favourite long reads are Verno Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Both are as unfilmable as Dan Simmons Hyperion. But if they would be given enough of love and attention, both would make as marvellous series as this one. Although they would need a bit resources to explain things, and as Fire Upon the Deep is around 200 000 words, SyFy certainly would have a lot of material to cover.

Interesting point is that GoodReads rates GRRM's The Nightflyers around 3.5, which in itself doesn't equate as the top class. If I would have to score this series, I would put it between 3 and 4 on 5 scale, because the concepts fly so high over the average watchers world view that the whole thing might be a bit off putting. Also I really don't like that they have the artificial gravity turned on, instead of using wires and CGI in certain parts of the ship to imitate areas that are weaker.
 

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I don't know if Rowan's rampage was driven by his extreme grief or his actions were telepathically powered (Cynthia, Thale, the Volcryn, the bees?). Either way, farewell Agatha and Captain Eris [(maybe) and at least one other crew member who was unfortunate enough to cross his honey-smearing path before his spree ended.
The opening scene in which Rowan buried his baby's blanket, toy bunny and wooden nameplate was touching, The bees seemed to be paying their respects to the family as they gathered over the grave, although Rowan saw them as a personification of Tessia.
It appeared as if he took his final murderous instructions from the lone bee that rouses him from his grieving stupor, lands on his ax and leads him through the ship in search of his targets. Tessia? Is that you? You seemed so nice when you were alive.
Funny that neither Karl nor Mel asked for clarification when Thale said they did not want to know what was going on inside Rowan's head. No sidetracking that plot filament.
The series finally caught up the death scene presented in the first minutes of the premiere episode. Agatha's suicide motivation was, I guess, saving Thale from the Teke energy feedback intensifying as the Nightflyer approached the Volcryn, driving them both mad. There must have been a better way -- maybe both staying in astral-projection mode?
I doubt that Karl's obsession about being reunited with his daughter through the Volcyrn will materialize. The sight of the Nightflyer being pulled into the Volcryn cloud was reminiscent of the ships entering the ring in The Expanse.
 

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I cannot say I would know what went on within Rowan's mind. when he buried his child. Murder was one possibility, but others are the loss, the sadness, the anger and the despair for losing everything that had made him happy. But for him being such smart man, he surely let the anger build over everything even though he cannot say it was Agatha's or Thale's fault that the child died through that black dust. Although I think he was pushed to make conclusions when the freaking bees started to hover over the grave site.

We know that the bees sometimes makes nests in the corpses, but it shouldn't mean that they can smell the stuff coming from the grave, when everything organic got vaporised in the decontamination cycle. But when we saw Ares again, he had already reinstalled his eyes as if it was nothing and there was reserves for those things stored somewhere in the ship.

Melantha made the same observation and she even added: "How the f-ck did you survive?"

The question in mind is if Synthia is his mother, then was Synthia a biological candidate or was she always an Ai? Ares answered: "My eyes were manufactured by the ship and they were part of my mothers synthetic program."

If you remember earlier scene, where Synthia went mad and she gave dear Captain a headache, he acted as if he was an android. As there are no others like him, it might be likely that there was not just one soul upload, but two. One for same dear mum, and other to make Ares the caretaker.

I don't really understand how Synthia wasn't fully able to control Loomie's body. I can only suspect that somehow the soul vessel is marked for everyone and there is no way you can transport a soul from one body to another. But if that is true in their universe, it should also mean that clones aren't able carry lives of the original ones.



They truly went far away into the interstellar space to meet with the Volcryn. The captain said: "I've never seen anything like this," as the Volcryn kept moving in the space hologram as fluidly and as freely as if they were living in the vacuum. But that is also a thing that would explain why the aliens are super powerful telepaths. Without out the matter transmitting the sound, they had to become a telepaths to be able to communicate with each other.

It might even be that they don't need to eat matter like we do, if they're biological beings living in the space as they could feed from the cosmic rays, and somehow translate radiation into energy to keep them alive.

Karl cleverly realised that the waves Volcryn produces are the pulses of psychic energy, allowing Thale's to connect with the alien beings. But as he really got pulled in, the Volcryn produced the portal pattern and showed scenes captured far away in the space, like the Pillars of the Creation that you can see underneath.



To me that is a clear proof that the Volcryn are trying to break the time paradox, and that they've always lived in the space. Thale's said, "I saw death, rebirths, thousands of world," when he descibed what he'd seen. Either it's proof of the paradox or it's a proof that they've been living in the space forever.

Karl however couldn't understand that sort of thing, even though all the logic was there laid out before him. Maybe he was too close, too emotionally attached to the mechanisms and laws that we know to not think out from the box.



That didn't stop Agatha as she freely detached her soul from her biological body and became an astral projection. Then she went and thought that same thing to Thale's. She understood clearly that they were able to live in those bodies at vicinity to the aliens. She even called as ascension to something new. It is clear that the suppression chemicals made her to be the stronger telepath.

What I don't understand is why she tried to make Karl to stop and then gave him a blessing, when she realised that he'd become obsessed by the first contact. Why she couldn't make Karl to understand that they'd been in contact ever since Thale was brought into the ship?

Why Karl couldn't ask her to go out there in her astral body?



When Agatha entered into her cabin and as Chief Biologist slobbering a piece of honey comb all over his face, she could had alerted the whole ship as it's clear that she understood that Rowen was harbouring murder. In the lift the same thing happened. And when the ship started to become apart, she could have possible taken over his man and put him into a psychic coma, instead of letting Rowen to play an axe murder.

Maybe she was too scared to go into the mind of crazed killer even though she'd been Thale's caretaker for years and years. You could probably lose yourself in their minds, but it is far more likely that the Chief Biologist would have been stunned.

Instead she fled, hid herself in the lab and produced the recording we saw in the opening. Telepaths should be awesome cops, if they would allow themselves to free from phobias. It is strange that Rowen felt nothing, when he grabbed her and shoved on the floor. Instead of getting connect to the telepaths mind, he continued being nuts almost as if he'd become invulnerable to psychic connections.

Did she knew that she was able live as an astral body within the Volcryn construct?

At the end she said: "I have to break the loop!"

So it was a paradox. Will SyFy make another season? Maybe. Let's hope so.

Fantastic season final. And just as I said that the psychics aren't realistic they showed what happens, when the artificial gravity breaks down. SyFy clearly has a plan for this series and it is possible that there is another season in the future. Maybe it's even plausible to think that it's all happening with George's blessing.

If you haven't seen this series, check it out whenever you can. But when you do, be open minded as there are things that will fly over your head, just like it did with Nolan's WestWorld. The season final pushed this series up on 4 out of 5. The reason for missing point, the lack of world building as I would love to find out how the Nightflyer universe is normally, what the humanity has done in the space, and how far they've gone to colonise the other places.
 

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The sight of the Nightflyer being pulled into the Volcryn cloud was reminiscent of the ships entering the ring in The Expanse.
Yeah. Except there was no Ring, just the zone.
 

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Hey, let's not jump the gun, here. We've got the finale (1.10 "All That Have Found") scheduled tonight. :D
 
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