Nightflyers is a lot, friends. It's a lot.

Given the popularity of Game of Thrones, it was overdetermined that more George R.R. Martin books would be optioned for high profile TV shows.  It seems that Syfy landed on Nightflyers as the thing they wanted to exploit. I have not read the novella that this show is based on, but since it is now on Netflix I decided to give the first episode a shot.
It’s a mess. Before we get into what sort of mess it is, just note that here there be spoilers if you are concerned about that sort of thing.

The show opens in medias res in the extreme. A woman (Gretchen Mol – we have no idea who or what her character is) is on a space ship which we somehow watched crashing into trees in space. She is being pursued by a burly guy with an ax (a space ax?).  It looks like maybe some sort of slaughter has happened here and she is trying to send out a warning to keep others away.  It gets bloody.

Then we jump to earth and meet scientist guy (Eoin macken). In short order we learn that this is the future, we have wrecked the planet, there’s some sort of plague that has people concerned, it sounds like areas might be under something like martial law and there’s an alien spaceship that we are aware of but cannot communicate with. Our scientist has a plan to go see the aliens because he thinks that if we talk to them they will tell us how to save our planet. It’s unclear what evidence he has for that particular hypothesis, but a billionaire  wants to fund him anyway.

That billionaire lives on a private spaceship (The Nightflyer) and only appears to people as a hologram for some reason.  He agrees to take our scientist, as well as a team of other scientists, onboard his ship to go meet the aliens.  This trip requires that they fly into “The Void” which is, I guess, uncharted space.

The reason that they think they can talk to the aliens is because the ship gives off a special radiation that is identical to the radiation given off by telepaths (in this story it seems like telepathy also somehow includes telekinesis). They have one on board.

Telepaths also seem to be full psychopaths as well, so a lot of time (and presumably money) is spent to keep them contained in big metal pods, and drugged, and maybe switched off somehow. This is all very vague.
Right away the journey is troubled. A malfunction leaving orbit causes injuries and everyone blames the telepath, despite his psychiatrist (Gretchen Mol, we finally know who she is) insisting that he cannot effect machines and such.

The pilot almost drowns in another malfunction, again everyone blames the telepathic kid.
Our main scientist guy is seeing the (ghost?) of his dead daughter and hearing voices and it starts to feel like a haunted house in space story. Which, really, sounds like a great idea. Not a haunted spaceship, but an actual haunted house in space. Think about that for a moment. NASA peeps on the other side of Saturn suddenly see a giant old Victorian house just drifting through space and decide to space walk into that bad boy, then SURPRISE – it’s haunted motherfucker!. Anyway . . .

This show feels like Solaris mashed into Event Horizon but also it’s sort of a soap opera and a mystery thing. It’s a lot. Just really a lot.
I am intrigued, but assume that it will either become even more of a mess, or settle into the sort of pat, cliché story we all expected at the outset.

I will write more after I have seen the second episode.