George R.R. Martin's 'Nightflyers' Series Looks Nothing Like 'Game of Thrones'

But there's still a lot of blood.
March 21, 2018, 4:45pm

Game of Thrones may be nearing the end of its run, but George R.R. Martin is here to stay. HBO somehow managed to turn his hulking fantasy series into a global cultural juggernaut, and now everybody is racing to adapt his other books in hopes that they can wring out another ratings bonanza.

But don't expect the coming onslaught of George R.R. Martin adaptations to follow in the Game of Thrones mold of dragons and zombies and siblings who fuck. On Tuesday, SyFy released the first teaser for its new ten-episode series, Nightflyers, based on George R.R. Martin's 1980 novella—and the sci-fi horror looks absolutely nothing like Game of Thrones.

The Nightflyers setting is about as far from Westeros as you can get. The original book is about a spaceship crew off in search of some aliens, who then wind up in the middle of a deep-space bloodbath when the ship's AI computer turns on them. There are no GoT sprawling vistas or looming castles in the minute-long teaser—it's all tight, claustrophobic shots of unhappy astronauts and malfunctioning high-tech junk. But space setting or no, the show still seems to deliver on the one thing we've come to expect from anything George R.R. Martin-related: a ton of brutal murders.

Martin himself pops in during the clip to explain that the show is "a haunted house story on a starship" and "Psycho in space," but the thing seems more like Alien filtered through SyFy's other recent foray into prestige TV, The Expanse. The Nightflyers story was first adapted into a brain-bleedingly bad 1988 film, but as Handmaid's Tale and Westworld have proven, we can't judge a new series by its gloriously cheesy early adaptations. And with Martin's name attached, it'll probably pull in viewers regardless.

Along with Nightflyers, which is due out this fall, there's already TV version of Martin's alternative-history superhero series on its way, meaning we'll probably get adaptations of his classic rock mystery book and steamboat vampire novel any day now, too. But if Martin's long string of bizarre genre experiments doesn't scratch that post-GoT itch, worry not—HBO already has a bunch of GoT spinoffs in the works.

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