SyFy and Netflix aired the 10-episode series “Nightflyers,” based on a novella by the “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin. Some critics and viewers loved the series, others not so much. However, the final episode of season one did wrap up the series quite nicely in a form similar to “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Despite this, there was initially talk of a second season of “Nightflyers,” but that has now been squelched. According to The Hollywood Reporter, season one was the only season to air.

‘Nightflyers’ novella and series

Martin wrote the science fiction/horror novella in 1980, 16 years prior to publishing his “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga.

The story followed a group of scientists, one of which is a telepath (actually there eventually turned out to be two), who headed out into space in the Nightflyer. They travelled to the far edge of our solar system, hoping to meet up with alien life, which could then help mankind fix the mess they have made of the planet Earth. Yes, at that time in the future, not surprisingly, we’ve made even more mess of our world.

While the show was running on SyFy, as noted by Deadline, it managed to have limited commercial interruption during the series and even had weekend marathons for fans to catch up and binge the show.

The sets were extravagant and convincing and “Nightflyers” had a stellar cast, including Eoin Macken, Gretchen Moi, Angus Sampson, Maya Eshet, Sam Strike, David Ajala, Jodie Turner-Smith and Brian F. O’Bryne. The show probably attracted more of the science fiction fan audience than those that enjoy horror, but it was definitely both.

Low ratings and viewership on SyFy

Despite all this, the ratings were pretty modest and apparently, viewership dropped off after a few episodes, leading to Syfy cancelling any hope of a second season.

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While it did give viewers closure at the end of the first season, it was the intention of making it an ongoing series, but no such luck. One of the major stars, David Ajala, just got the lead in a new series with CBS, “Under the Bridge.”

Syfy reportedly brought Netflix in as co-producer and it was apparently the most expensive sci-fi drama the cable network had ever produced.

Netflix’s involvement in the show did help SyFy offset some of the heavy costs with producing the set. The show also received financial aid from the government of Ireland via the Irish Film Board and the minister for culture and heritage. So there’s that.

Those who did enjoy “Nightflyers” can go and search for the 1987 film adaptation of the novella, which was produced with a fairly low budget and Martin himself co-wrote the script. Apparently, it’s not bad at all.

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