George R.R. Martin was a well-loved author even before A Song of Ice and Fire, a.k.a. Game of Thrones, with award-winning stories like Sandkings and Nightflyers to his name. His sci-fi horror story Nightflyers was picked up to become a SYFY series a while back, and thanks to Martin’s LiveJournal page, we now know even more:
Martin revealed that Nightflyers will have a 10-episode first season, “with a substantial budget, one that should allow them to create a show that looks as good as modern audiences expect.” Toward that end, writer/creator Jeff Buhler and showrunner Daniel Cerone gave him the picture, above, of the spaceship on which the action takes place. It's a terrific first look.
Nightflyers was a 23,000-word novella from 1980 that was later expanded into a 30,000-word version. In it, our protagonists head into space on the ship Nightflyer to meet the elusive alien Volcryn. But a telepath soon senses something is amiss—and not just because the captain won’t come out of his cabin. A few deaths are involved.
Martin wrote, “Honestly, at first I was baffled as to how they hoped to get a series out of my story, since at the end of the novella…pretty much everyone is dead (it was a horror story, after all). But in May, UCP got me a copy of Jeff Buhler's script, and I saw how he'd dealt with that. It was a good read, and yes, I came away with a better idea of where they'd find a few seasons.”
In addition, we could be seeing some familiar faces: Nightflyers will be shot in the Republic of Ireland. Martin wrote this will give the production “access to the same great pool of Irish and British actors that Game of Thrones has tapped in Belfast (and considering how many characters have been killed, a lot of them should be available).”
If the Seven Gods can be heard in deep space, we pray to them that Aiden Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) will find themselves on the Nightflyer.
This isn’t the first time Nightflyers has been dramatized. Check out the trailer from the original version here. It’s like being smacked in the face by 1987…which means we’ll probably love it.
The SYFY series currently has no release date.