The first five minutes of SYFY's Nightflyers are now available to watch online, and they're pretty nuts. The television adaptation of George R.R. Martin's sci-fi novella from 1980 wastes no time in dropping you right into the middle of the action.
Episode 1 opens with Dr. Agatha Matheson (Gretchen Mol) recording a dire warning: Their space vessel should not be returned to Earth under any circumstances. All the while, she's being hunted by a fellow ax-wielding crewmember, Rowan (Angus Simpson).
Just as Agatha's about to shoot her recording out into the dark reaches of space, Rowan's ax crashes through the wall right by her head in a near shot-for-shot homage to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It's a nifty shot that will make any movie lover squeal with delight.
Things don't end well for Agatha, who decides to use a medical saw to slit her own throat. The spray from her jugular paints the window red as the camera pulls back to reveal the ship in complete disarray. We imagine that the episode will then flash back to a few days earlier before all this madness began.
If you've read the source material, you'll know that the show follows a group of scientists on a mission in deep space to locate an ancient alien species. The title, Nightflyers, refers to the name of the spaceship, the Nightflyer, which is captained and piloted by the mysterious and suspicious Roy Eris (Falling Water's David Ajala), who never leaves his cabin, except in the form of a hologram. When members of the crew begin to die one by one under mysterious circumstances (a la Alien), it's up to the survivors to band together and find out just what in the hell is going on.
Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship), Eoin Macken (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), Sam Strike (Leatherface), Maya Eshet (Teen Wolf), Brían F. O’Byrne (Season of the Witch), Phillip Rhys (The Adventures of Tintin), and Gwynne McElveen (Vikings) make up the rest of the series' cast.
Nightflyers premieres on SYFY on Dec. 2.