Nightflyers
US TV

Review: Nightflyers 1×1 (US: Syfy; UK: Netflix)

In the US: Sunday-Thursday, 10/9c, Syfy
In the UK: Acquired by Netflix

Sometimes, two TV shows turn up at the same time and you wonder why. Are the networks stealing from each other? Are they tying into a trend? Or is it simply coincidence?

In the case of YouTube Premium’s Origin and Syfy (US)’s Nightflyers, I’m going to assume that it’s just coincidence that they’ve turned up within the space of a fortnight of each other. I mean two expensive-looking sci-fi/horror shows set on spaceships that slowly see their international, largely British casts slashed away by something gruesome? That’s not a trend. And why would you steal that idea?

Equally, Nightflyers is based on a novella written by George RR Martin (Beauty and the Beast, Game of Thrones) in 1981 and Origin is essentially Paul WS Anderson ripping off his own Event Horizon and Alien Vs Predator, so it’s not like there’s any real inter-show plagiarism going on. But there’s still a lot more in common than I’ve already mentioned, suggesting either a paucity of ideas in the world or a general consensus we’re heading towards a future dystopian nightmare.

Nightflyers

Nightflyers

Nightflyers is a generally superior affair compared to Origin that sees the world 50-odd years from now generally going to pot thanks to disease outbreaks and the like. Fortunately, there are spaceships and, equally interestingly, aliens, who might be able to help save us from self-destruction. At least, we think there are aliens, since a spaceship has popped into our solar system. However, despite our bombarding it with signals and probes from afar, the aliens haven’t said so much as a dicky bird in response and are merrily getting on with their lives instead.

Eoin Macken (Merlin, The Night Shift) therefore suggests sending a spaceship off to meet them, the only one within range and ready being the Nightflyer. He populates it with various futuristic sci-fi people: Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship), who’s been genetically engineered for space travel; Maya Eshet, who communicates with the ship’s computer cybernetically; xenobiologist Angus Sampson (Shut Eye) and psychologist Gretchen Mol (Life on Mars, Chance).

However, there’s already a ship’s crew, including engineer Brían F. O’Byrne (The Last Ship, The Magicians, Brotherhood) and captain David Ajala (Falling Water), who for reasons best known to himself only appears as a hologram. Said crew isn’t too chuffed by the new arrivals and having their mission changed; they’re even less chuffed by having a “L-1 Teke” on board (EastEnders‘s Sam Strike) – a telepath who can make you think whatever he wants you to think, whether you like it or not, unless Mol administers him some suppressing drugs. But since the alien spaceship is giving off TK energy, it seems a good idea to take along someone who might be able to communicate with them.

Well, seemed, anyway. Because its not long after Strike turns up that everyone starts having nasty visions. And seeing as the first episode starts with a flashforward to Mol warning no one to rescue the Nightflyer and then slashing her throat, it seems it’s all going to go pear-shaped at some point. But why?

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The Last Ship
International TV

What have you been watching? Including The Last Ship and You

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

Another slow week this week. Only Amazon served up something new, which it hid very well: new German original Beat, which hopefully should be better than You Are Wanted. I was too busy watching Homecoming to start that so unless something better comes along this week, Beat will be getting the Boxset Monday treatment next week.

That means it’s just the regulars again this week, although even that number is about to start dwindling. After the jump, then, the latest episodes of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, Happy Together, Magnum P.I. and Titans, as well as the returning Black Lightning. I’ll also be looking at the season finales of Pine Gap and You, as well as the series finale of The Last Ship. Will it all end well, and will there be any more promotions this week? You’ll find out in a mo…

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Tell Me A Story
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Tell Me A Story

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

It’s been a bit of a slow one, this week – yes, I’m talking about myself – but it’s also been a bit quiet for TV. I’m vaguely considering watching Amazon’s Homecoming, since:

  1. It stars Julia Roberts
  2. It’s from Sam Esmail (Mr Robot)
  3. Each episode is only about half an hour long
  4. I would have watched it last weekend, but I was away (!)

But that’s more or less been it for new shows, although I’ll be taking a look at the first episode of new arrival Tell Me A Story (US: CBS All Access) after the jump.

I’m sure the weekend will bring us something new, though. Gosh, if only there were a handy feature on this ‘ere blog that could tell me when new shows were starting

Time for the regulars, though. Black Lightning went on holiday this week, so after the jump, it’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, Happy Together, The Last Ship, Magnum PI, Pine Gap, Titans and You. There’s not one but two promotions in that list. Can you guess which ones will receive the TMINE blessing?

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The Haunting of Hill House
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Mr InBetween and The Haunting of Hill House

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

Not many new shows this week, so I was able to make it through the entire first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina yesterday. I also passed verdict on Titans (US: DC Universe; UK: Netflix). I’m not sure if Netflix or Amazon have anything shiny and new for me this coming weekend, so who knows what might happen on Monday. I might even review all the films I’ve watched in the past six months in the exceptionally infrequent ‘Movie Monday’…

After the jump, we can talk about all the usual regulars: Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, Happy Together, The Last Ship, Magnum P.I., Pine Gap, and You. We can also talk about the final episode of Mr InBetween and the final two episodes of The Haunting of Hill House

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Pine Gap
International TV

What have you been watching? Including Pine Gap, All American and Light as a Feather

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

At my TV signal, unleash Hell.

Gosh, what a lot of new shows there have been this week. I got the air date of Marvel’s Daredevil wrong – it’s out this Friday, not last Friday as I thought last week – which was some relief, but The CW has finally released its new wares onto the world and ABC has unveiled its second wave of shows. I’ve just not had time to review them yet.

Of the new shows, elsewhere, I’ve reviewed DC Universe’s Titans and passed a fourth-episode verdict on Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House; I’ve also passed verdicts on ABC (US)’s A Million Little Things and CBS (US)’s God Friended MeThe Neighborhood and Happy Together. But that still leaves a fair few other shows to cover. After the jump, I’ll be dealing with two of them: The CW’s All American and Hulu’s Light As A Feather. But HBO’s remake of BBC Four’s Camping, The CW’s remake of its predecessor The CW’s Charmed, last night’s new ABC shows The Rookie and The Kids Are Alright, and Amazon’s Matthew Weiner anthology show The Romanoffs will all have to wait. As will anything else joining them in the next couple of days, although I imagine I’ll be binge-watching Daredevil at the weekend. Or maybe Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – that’s this weekend, too, isn’t it?

However, joining All American and Light as a Feather after the jump is another new show, this one from Australia to add a little variety: Pine Gap. And, of course, there’ll be the current roster of regulars: Black Lightning, Doctor Who, The Last Ship, Magnum P.I., Mr InBetween, SEAL Team and You. One of those is for the chop – can you guess which?

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