Sy-Fy’s adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s novella “Nightflyers” continues with episode six, “The Sacred Gift,” where it becomes clear that the proverbial shit has really only just begun to hit the fan for the crew of the Nightflyer.
It’s only recently become clear that Auggie, Roy Eris’s second in command, was in a relationship with Cynthia Eris when she lived and remains devoted to her in death. The “old news” that Cynthia lives on inside the ship’s crystal matrix and communicates with Roy is a revelation to Auggie. When the others decide to swap their crystal matrix a la Cynthia with that of another ship Auggie is quick to take action in order to ensure that Eris won’t be left adrift and alone in another vessel as they carry on towards the volcryn. “Where are they going to find another ship?” Look to the void, my friends, because it seems it holds other surprises than the volcryn . . .
When the Nightflyer encounters a second vessel that has been lost in space for over fifteen years the main crew is motivated to come up with their switch-the-crystals plan and anxious to explore. The team dispatched to explore the ship includes Auggie, Lommie, Karl, and Rowan, as well as the assumption that the ship is abandoned and the crew long dead – but! this is a science fiction show and we’re not amateurs so obviously the second ship has mystery occupants. P.S. – they literally have a dead lady living in the heart of their ship. How are all of these scientists so quick to assume this other ship is uninhabited? No one even suggests it. I find it upsetting, if anyone wants to know how I feel about it.
Without revealing too much, I’ll say that most of the encounters the team has with the occupants of the other ship are negative and the theme of their visit is that man should never assume that he is the most powerful being in the void. Lommie is triggered by an environment similar to her luddite past and there is a general atmosphere of “let’s get out of here fast” from the Nightflyer crew that gives Auggie time to smash the crystal matrix from the second ship, ensuring that it can’t be switched out for Cynthia.
The other big reveal in the episode is confirmation that Agatha has not been entirely honest about why she is so interested in the study and treatment of L1s. When she and Karl get intimate her abilities slip out and while they are not as strong as Thales she’s never told Karl about them because of his feelings on the subject.
Overall it’s another great episode, but loaded with plot and often a far cry from the novella that it’s adapted from. I’m enjoying it but miss some of the bare-bones aspect that the show’s writers have padded.