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George R.R. Martin’s ‘Nightflyers’ Syfy Pilot Nears Series Order In Partnership With Netflix & Dan Cerone As Showrunner

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Nightflyers, picked up to pilot by Syfy in June, is on track for a straight-to-series order. I hear that SyFy and Universal Cable Prods., which produces the project, are in negotiations with Netflix for the streaming network to come on board the supernatural thriller based on the novella by Game of Thrones‘ George R.R. Martin and the 1987 film. Terms of the agreement are being hammered out, but I hear it likely would involve Netflix getting international distribution and second window domestically and co-producing the series.

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Looks like this was picked up after that article was written. Syfy Picks Up Nightflyers to Series, Based on George R.R. Martin's Novella

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The network has handed a series order to Nightflyers, a sci-fi drama based on a novella by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. (The Hollywood Reporter had the news first.) Set in a future where Earth faces imminent destruction, Nightflyers centers on a group of explorers who head into outer space to find an alien ship that may hold the key to their survival. Their spaceship’s artificial intelligence might have other ideas, though…

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I thought this was already picked up, but thefutoncritic just posted this press release from SYFY:

Syfy Announces Series Order for "Nightflyers," Based on George R.R. Martin's Novella, from Universal Cable Productions
 

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Gretchen Mol ("Boardwalk Empire") is set to star as Dr. Agatha Matheson, alongside Eoin Macken ("The Night Shift") as Karl D'Branin, David Ajala ("Fast & Furious 6") as Roy Eris, Sam Strike ("EastEnders") as Thale, Maya Eshet ("Teen Wolf") as Lommie, Angus Sampson ("Fargo") as Rowan, Jodie Turner-Smith ("The Last Ship") as Melantha Jhirl and Brían F. O'Byrne ("Million Dollar Baby") as Auggie.

NIGHTFLYERS follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer - a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain -- in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other -- and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.

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'Nightflyers' Showrunner Exits Syfy's George R.R. Martin Drama
 

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Showrunner Daniel Cerone, who boarded the adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novella when it was officially picked up to series in January, has exited the drama. Sources say Cerone stepped away from the series after creative differences. He is developing other genre fare with Nightflyers producers Universal Cable Productions.

Exec producer Jeff Buhler, who penned the script to bring Nightflyers to TV, will take over as showrunner. 12 Monkeys showrunner Terry Matalas, who has the final season of the Syfy drama coming up this year, was brought in briefly to consult on the series.

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Syfy’s ‘Nightflyers’ Unveils Trailer; Team Dishes On How Series Differs From George R.R. Martin Novella
 

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While the show uses “the framework” of Martin’s book, it takes on a different setting in following eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of the solar system aboard The Nightflyer.

“Instead of going with the 1000-world universe created by Martin, we stepped back a little from the complexity of that world to create a story that takes place 75 years in our own future so that everything feels very realist” and “based on current technology,” executive producer/showrunner Jeff Buhler said.

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Syfy and Syfy Wire to Take Over New York Comic Con 2018
 

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Friday, October 5, 4:30-6PM - NIGHTFLYERS:

Experience the terror with an exclusive world premiere screening of the highly-anticipated SYFY series, NIGHTFLYERS, based on the novella by George R.R. Martin. Set in the year 2093, the series follows a group of maverick scientists and a powerful telepath as they embark on an expedition aboard The Nightflyer - the most advanced ship ever built. As they race towards first contact, terrifying and violent events begin to occur, causing the once tight-knit crew to mistrust each other. It's not long before their main mission becomes survival. Unlike anything you've seen before, NIGHTFLYERS combines horror and science fiction in a way that Martin himself has described as "'Psycho' in space." Following the screening, an exclusive Q&A session with the cast and creators follows.

Panelists: David Ajala, Eoin Macken, Gretchen Mol, David Bartis, Jeff Buhler, Gene Klein

Moderator: Laura Prudom, IGN

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‘Nightflyers’: Syfy Sets Multi-Platform December Rollout For George R.R. Martin Horror Thriller

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Episodes 1-5 will debut Sunday, December 2 through Thursday, December 6 at 10/9c, and episodes 6-10 on Sunday, December 9 through Thursday, December 13 at 10/9c with limited commercial interruption across all platforms. Weekend marathons will give fans an additional opportunity to catch up on the series.

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A team of scientists join the crew of the Nightflyer on a journey to make contact with alien life.

Official Airdate: December 2, 2018 but the episode is already available to stream on SyFy's website.

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D'Branin puts his team first as panic spreads; Eris resorts to bold measures to restore balance.

Official Airdate: December 3, 2018 but the episode is already available to stream on SyFy's website.

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Watched the first two episodes on SyFy's website, and honestly don't know how I feel about this series. Horror's not really my thing, and while some of the characters are compelling, I can't say I really felt much of a connection to any of them.

Random observations:

-Is it sad that I'm kind of hoping Murphy suffers a horrific injury in every episode, but keeps coming back like a live action version of Kenny from South Park?

-The spider was creepy AF. Love how Eris did nothing to help bald, bearded guy, who presumably could have been helped... I mean, he didn't seem to be in multiple pieces like the other guy, but maybe only Murphy gets the magical regenerative treatment?

-Eoin Macken's accent continues to be all over the map.

-Sam Strike (Thale) is pretty electric to watch. So I'm assuming it will turn out that whatever power is monkeying with things also altered Murphy's memory and it wasn't actually Thale who lit him on fire?

-Considering no one else seemed to acknowledge Tessia (the bee lady) when they came to collect Thale-- is it possible she's not real?

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I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I don’t like horror so this may not be my thing. And the pacing, or dialogue, or editing, something was off. Can’t put my finger on it. 

Yet it’s intriguing enough I may try to watch between my fingers. 

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The opening scene was a bad ideal. Maybe there are the fans who watch episodic TV knowing everything goes to shit in the end but just watching a closed society crew picked apart one by one to the end doesn't seem fun.

 

I got hung up on 2093, thinking there won't be that much cultural drift "Nightflyer" as a ship name for that mission. The genetically modified children for space flight and all. Then you have them dropping F-bombs but in the shower scene with the "Captain" who is almost certainly a HAL computer and showing Jodie Turner-Smith in her bra then shying away from the ass shot .

 

That giant security chief reminded me of Adam from Joan Of Acadia

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That opening scene: why? I suppose I am not the type whose anticipation is whetted by a foregone conclusion. How many episodes (or seasons) will it take to get there? Will the actors even look the same? Was it a hallucination? (There were a lot of those ... which tends to get confusing, and exhausting,  after a while.) 

It was okay - but not exactly frightening or riveting. Too many fake-outs. And what would be the logic of bringing a certified homicidal telepath  whose cooperation is critical to the success of your mission? 
Maybe the problem was that there were so many plot lines thrown against the wall in the first episode: dying planet, a plague,  alien contact , genetically modified humans, dangerous telepaths, family drama, mysterious absentee captain, etc. 

Television pickings are somewhat slim this time of year, so we will continue to watch  ... but I was expecting more after all the marketing hype. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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37 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

That opening scene: why? I suppose I am not the type whose anticipation is whetted by a foregone conclusion. How many episodes (or seasons) will it take to get there? Will the actors even look the same? Was it a hallucination? (There were a lot of those ... which tends to get confusing, and exhausting,  after a while.) 

I'm not a fan of that kind of gimmick either. And the rest of the episode didn't grab me either so I stopped watching after 15 or 20 minutes.

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I was quite underwhelmed, and I say that as a huge syfy fan.  I'm not at all a fan of the almost-cliched at this point:  opening massacre, then flashback approach.  Don't care for hallucinations, too much trouble for me as a viewer to keep it straight.  So far, the thing really is just a mass of cliches, including the dead daughter.

Ont he other hand - Gretchen Mol!  Always a delight.

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I’ll go further back:  they cancel “Dominion” because (among other things) it was too complicated (really?) and give us this?

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2 hours ago, edhopper said:

They cancel The Expanse and give us this? Sorry SyFy, not good choices.

 

The reason "The Expanse" got canceled was that Syfy signed a deal with the producers that didn't give them many ways to make money from it.  Apparently they made a much better deal on this show.

Edited by TobyTucker

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2 hours ago, TobyTucker said:

The reason "The Expanse" got canceled was that Syfy signed a deal with the producers that didn't give them many ways to make money from it.  Apparently they made a much better deal on this show.

Good business doesn't equal good shows.

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It feels as if the show is dangling the prospect of alien contact - and filling in the time before that happens with conflicts among the crew, mechanical failures, weird happenings, etc. 
No one seemed that freaked out that the telepathic kid could be released from his prison pen without any  evidence of who did it or when  (physical, video, etc) .... on a futuristic space ship.  

That one guy (Murphy?) has had a really bad couple of days. Is there OSHA in space? 
They are going to have to introduce more characters if they are planning on killing off one or two every episode. 

If the Bee Lady was not real or an alien presence, I think the telepathic kid would not have picked up normal-ish thoughts from her.
I do like the fact the lead scientist guy (with dead daughter) cannot pull off bullshit lying with Thale around. 

So the creepy voyeur illusion captain ( who may be an A.I. ) has a creepier Mom who is living in the computer systems after death. Isn't there already enough crap to deal with at this point? 
And the  illusion captain looks more like a Parisian male model than a ship's captain  ... to me, at least ... not that that is a bad thing..

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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I like the actors so far, and the space effects are great, but the story itself is already somehow both confusing and cliche. The dead daughter, telepaths who everyone hates, the cynical scientist, etc. I do think the Captain not ever appearing in person seemingly and having lived in space all his life is kind of interesting. But, I basically still have no idea what this show is actually about. 

Horror and science fiction are a pretty solid combination, so I will give it some more time to figure itself out. It set up a whole bunch of stuff that seems like it has potential, if not groundbreaking, which it will hopefully explore. 

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On 12/2/2018 at 7:52 PM, dargosmydaddy said:

-Is it sad that I'm kind of hoping Murphy suffers a horrific injury in every episode, but keeps coming back like a live action version of Kenny from South Park?

Ha ha, that would be awesome.  I liked the second episode even less than the first one (no disrespect to anyone who liked it), it seemed like there was a lot of action but no real forward movement plot-wise.  Do re really need mommy issues?  I'll keep watching, though, since there are a limited number of episodes.  I don't know if I could have lasted through a whole season.
This could have been so much better with some tighter writing and editing.  The acting and look are fine, but I really don't care at all about anyone or their various subvert agendas.  I keep waiting for Roger Cross to show up. 

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Personally, the narrative setup for this show was severely lacking. 

The earth is about to die. Dealt with in a single sentence.

There are aliens that might help earth's future. Dealt with in a couple of sentences.

We need a dangerous psychic who may kill us all on this mission. Dealt with in a couple of sentences.

We got a busted ship in earth orbit. No alternative mentioned. 

The Nightflyer is apparently a crew for hire that doesn't believe in the mission. Not really dealt with.

Maybe these things will be addressed later, But I'm not sure I'll stick around after episode 2.

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You all echoed some of my thoughts.  I thought it was interesting, but confusing.  I'm willing to give it a few more episodes though. 

At some point I turned to my husband and said, "Why don't they just put the telepath into a coma and get him out when they are ready?"

Also, I think the telepath may have saved that woman in the shower rather than hurt her because there is apparently some other baddie on the ship.

Oh, we'll see how it goes.

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Not a lot of comments - so this could serve as a catch-all for the bulk of the in-between episodes.
As with most rapid-fire series, it seems as if the bulk of the comments are related the first and last episodes..

3 "The Abyss Stares Back"  December 4, 2018
D'Branin investigates the source of the malfunctions; Rowan prepares Thale for first contact.

4 "White Rabbit"  December 5, 2018
The white rabbit probe puzzles the science team; D'Branin learns a secret from Agatha's past.

5 "Greywing"  December 6, 2018
Lommie's talents come in handy for D'Branin; Rowan and Tessia develop a theory about alien life.

Edited by shrewd.buddha

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6 "The Sacred Gift"  December 9, 2018
D'Branin and his team explore a more permanent solution to their problem.

7 "Transmission" December 10, 2018
D'Branin has a breakthrough; Rowan prepares for big changes; Lommie seeks comfort in her past.

8 "Rebirth" December 11, 2018
A new threat challenges ship protocol; Mel notices changes in the crew; Lommie returns to Greywing.

9 "Icarus"  December 12, 2018
D'Branin pushes ahead with his plan; Rowan processes his grief; Agatha finds a way to help.

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I found it a bit odd in episode 3 that D'Branin, who has had visions or hallucinations, attempted to use the Chamber of Memories to prove that Thale (telepathic kid) was innocent of setting that guy on fire - - but was disappointed with the results. 
Would not D'Branin - and the psychiatrist woman - not realize that the guy's memories are not reliable if people are having hallucinations? There is also the captain who can project images of himself throughout the ship. So, Burning Man could have actually seen a holographic projection or hallucination and that would have been his memory of the event. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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17 hours ago, shrewd.buddha said:

I found it a bit odd in episode 3 that D'Branin, who has had visions or hallucinations, attempted to use the Chamber of Memories to prove that Thale (telepathic kid) was innocent of setting that guy on fire

Ooh, that's right, in fact, didn't D'Branin actually have a false memory from the machine? Plus when the Burning Man first saw Thale in that corridor, I wasn't sure if it was really him or if it was a hallucination so I don't think anything is conclusive.

Until they revealed the mother, I thought the ship was the Captain since we had only seen him in virtual form.

Cynthia is going to be rippin' mad when she gets out of that barrier room.

Edited by AngelKitty · Reason: I forgot to thank shrewd.buddha, so, Thank You.

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The extras that are shown after the main episode do help me root for the show more - - you can tell the actors and producers are really into it.
And I like the Loomie character and actor - she has a unique look you don't see often in these type shows - with a significant role. 
Unlike GRR Martin's 'other' show (GoT), the producers of this show went the typical route of pretty people with problems. GoT seems to mostly have actors that are the "warts and all" variety - - who come off as more authentic ... to me, anyway..

Now that the voyeur Captain of Illusion is no longer 'the man behind the curtain', he really does not seem that special anymore - which is a pity. Now he is just a guy with mommy issues who likes to watch the passengers on his ship like a creeper. 

The White Rabbit probe took an interesting turn. 

I still do not know if this show is supposed to done in one season or if there are plans for more. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha

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I just started watching this by watching re-runs of the first 3 or 4 episodes today.  With just this first one I had no idea what the opening was about.  At first I thought it was a flashBACK to some ship heading to earth then suddenly they wanted to go away from earth for some quickly mumbled reason aboard the ship that just came back to earth.  It took me a while to figure out that the artsy fartsy crowd who produced this was trying to show off their video-making "skillz."  It didn't work.

And why should I care now for the two characters we flashed forward to?  I guess that was what they were going for but who really knows.  One is shown offing themselves and the other as a crazed maniac.  Not characters you want to settle in with for the long ride.

Then there is some main character who talks normally sometimes but most other times talks like a poor Batman impersonator with that hoarse whisper crap and can't decide whether he wants to be clean shaven or grow a beard so settles for some mess in the middle instead.  Don't like him at all.  The bossy character or the actor.

In other news 2093 doesn't look like a year I'd want to live through.

Edited by green
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On 12/2/2018 at 7:52 PM, dargosmydaddy said:

-Is it sad that I'm kind of hoping Murphy suffers a horrific injury in every episode, but keeps coming back like a live action version of Kenny from South Park?

LOL,  The Redshirt Kenny in Space. 

Another confusing episode about people I don't care about.  2093 continues to look like a year I don't want to ever see.  The only interesting character to me is the biology guy who didn't have that great an into in the prelude in episode 1.  Sigh.

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Okay this show just became a total laugh riot in Episode 3 when it officially became "My Mother the Car" but in space.

If you are too young to get the reference, from Wikipedia:

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My Mother the Car is an American fantasy sitcom that aired for a single season on NBC between September 14, 1965, and April 5, 1966. A total of 30 episodes were produced by United Artists Television. The premise features a man whose deceased mother communicates with him through a car radio.

Critics and adult viewers generally disliked the show, often savagely. In 2002, TV Guide proclaimed it to be the second-worst of all time, behind The Jerry Springer Show.

At the rate Nightflyers is going it may soon make that list too.

PS:  Hope the aliens refuse to answer their doorbell when this crazy group actually (if ever) reaches them.  "It's those nutty damn Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons again, dear.  Let's turn the lights out until they go away."

Edited by green
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I am not sure I understood why My Mother the Spaceship decided to take out her frustrations on some random service guy, leaving him frozen solid. 
She did - eventually - target the actual passengers who were causing her grief ... by making them sweaty ...
Okay, Cynthia Spaceship did cut off D'Branin's oxygen, but I expected his plot armor to protect him - - until closer to the end of the show. 

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Well this show is just a bundle of joy now, isn't it?  Sadism, torture, torment, endless pain and angst on everyone's faces all the time.  And the jerk main character off in Daughterland not giving a damn about whether anyone else in the universe lives of dies.  Reminds me of the jerk main character in Manifest who only cares for his son and screw everyone else on the planet.  Both are self-absorbed idiots.  Run, aliens.  Run fast, run far from these crazy humans.

After Episode 8, which is when I am posting, they had their aftermath where the author of the original book said the magic of it all is making people care about fictional characters.  I don't know if he managed that in the book but the TV series sure hasn't.  At this point the only being I'm rooting for is the black mold.  And then only to rid me of the rest of these miserable characters.

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Chairman of Secret International Commission to Save the World: "Humanity might be screwed. Our only chance might be meeting up with the aliens we found. What's the best way to make First Contact?"

Member: "How about we round up a bunch of people who have suffered severe emotional trauma in their past, put them on a ship with a machine where they can relive that trauma at will, has a captain who only communicates through a hologram and the ship might be haunted by the woman who built it. Oh, and we'll need a telepath who might be a sociopath."

Commission: "Brilliant! What could possibly go wrong?"

 

I'm surprised Thale didn't go after the xenobiologist after that rabbit trick. That was pretty cruel. To Thale and the rabbit.

That memory deletion therapy is THE WORST. If it's become an acceptable practice then the human race was doomed regardless of any virus, global climate change or aliens. What a bunch of snowflakes.  

Did they ever explain the bees?

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Done Episode 9.  And after these 9 episodes I still don't know how earth knows about some alien race and knows their name even yet has never met them before. 

And actor playing lead selfish jerk guy I want to clobber you every time you do your "I'm Batman" hoarse whisper crap which is about 9 out of every 10 lines you utter.  That annoys me totally and is NOT acting. 

It has gotten to the point that I am rooting for the biologist with the axe to take out the whole entire cast.  And please don't stop there.  Keep going into the writers' room while at it.

There are really bad shows that are fun to watch and make fun of and then there are really bad shows that just plain stink.  This is the latter.  No wonder SyFy is burning up the episodes one a day to get this show over as quickly as possible.

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Just finished episode 6 - The Lost Ship of Crazy Cannibal Women...
Wow .. there was just so much over-the-top, WtF's in this one. The whole episode felt like a wild tangent from the overall story.
Just some of the WtF's:

  • The Lost Ship 'just appears' out of nowhere, right beside the Nightflyer. How? 
  • The Crazy Cannibal Women are keeping the entire ship filled with breathable oxygen using sub-minimal power? How?
  • Captain Voyeur, and Team, decide this is good opportunity to dump off Crazy Mom Cynthia's consciousness encased in a crystal. The whole crystal consciousness is its own WtF.
  • Crazy Cannibal Women are growing and eating brain-dead clones. But what are they feeding the clones in order for them to grow?  You have to have a food chain that starts somewhere.
  • The Nightflyer captain only sends over the Alien Contact team? There is no concept of a boarding party? No Safety or  Security concerns?
  • The Captain of the Lost Ship just decides he is going to kill himself? Plot convenience? Would he not have some valuable information? 

..and that is just the top-of-my-head stuff. The concept of finding a lost ship could have filled several episodes. They just glossed over any type of scans or probes and jumped straight to boarding the ship. 
The whole thing made me think that the Nightflyers series is bit of a hot mess. 
 

Edited by shrewd.buddha

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On 12/12/2018 at 1:13 AM, green said:

Well this show is just a bundle of joy now, isn't it?  Sadism, torture, torment, endless pain and angst on everyone's faces all the time.  And the jerk main character off in Daughterland not giving a damn about whether anyone else in the universe lives of dies.  Reminds me of the jerk main character in Manifest who only cares for his son and screw everyone else on the planet.  Both are self-absorbed idiots.  Run, aliens.  Run fast, run far from these crazy humans.

After Episode 8, which is when I am posting, they had their aftermath where the author of the original book said the magic of it all is making people care about fictional characters.  I don't know if he managed that in the book but the TV series sure hasn't.  At this point the only being I'm rooting for is the black mold.  And then only to rid me of the rest of these miserable characters.

 

19 hours ago, Mateony said:

The man-milking maids, the mold baby, the complete off-the-railsness of it all. I don't know whether I love it or hate it. 

 

11 hours ago, green said:

Done Episode 9.  And after these 9 episodes I still don't know how earth knows about some alien race and knows their name even yet has never met them before. 

And actor playing lead selfish jerk guy I want to clobber you every time you do your "I'm Batman" hoarse whisper crap which is about 9 out of every 10 lines you utter.  That annoys me totally and is NOT acting. 

It has gotten to the point that I am rooting for the biologist with the axe to take out the whole entire cast.  And please don't stop there.  Keep going into the writers' room while at it.

There are really bad shows that are fun to watch and make fun of and then there are really bad shows that just plain stink.  This is the latter.  No wonder SyFy is burning up the episodes one a day to get this show over as quickly as possible.

I actually started laughing out loud when the captain turned out to be a robot because of course he is. At this rate I am expecting the finale to be that all of this madness turned out to be in the imagination of an autstic child looking into a snow globe.

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