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Netflix aims to replicate Game of Thrones success with George RR Martin series Nightflyers

Thursday, February 15th 2018 by Steve McCaskill

Netflix is teaming up with Syfy to produce Nightflyers, a sci-fi tv series based on Game of Thrones author George RR Martin’s novella of the same name.

Nightflyers, published in 1980, tells the story of eight scientists and a telepath who travel on an expedition to the edge of the solar system in a bid to make contract with aliens.

It goes without saying that the adventure doesn’t quite go to plan and results in horrifying consequences.

The novella was turned into a film in 1987 and the Jeff Buhler-written TV adaption will be produced by SyFy’s parent company NBC Universal.

The cast includes Gretchen Mol from Boardwalk Empire as Dr Agatha Matheson and Eoin Macken from The Night Shift as Karl D’Branin. Sam Strike, better known for playing Johnny Carter in EastEnders is also involved.

Production has started in Ireland and will be completed by August with a view to being broadcast in 2019. The series will be broadcast on Syfy in the US, but Netflix will have first dibs elsewhere.

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Netflix started life as a DVD rental company before expanding to streamed content. It arrived in the UK in 2012 and has since developed a reputation for its high quality, addictive original content.

The first Netflix original was House of Cards, and sci-fi has proved to be a fruitful source of material. Star Trek: Discovery and The Expanse have proved a hit with viewers, while Altered Carbon is the company’s most expensive box set to date.

Netflix will hope that the appeal of George RR Martin will attract more subscribers and replicate the success of Game of Thrones, which has been a phenomenon for HBO since it debuted on our screens in 2011.

The final season of Game of Thrones will also be broadcast in 2019, making it a big year for Martin, who hopes to complete the next novel in the series, Winds of Winter, by the end of 2018.

You can subscribe to Netflix for as little as £5.99, although this restricts you to standard-definition programmes and a single device. For £7.99 you can get high definition streams and can watch on up to two devices at the same time, and with the £9.99 ‘premium’ package you get access to the 4K Ultra HD content and you can watch on four devices simultaneously.

New customers get a month for free on any of the three packages.

Netflix is available on virtually any device you can think of. It works in a web browser, Windows 10, iPhone, iPad and Android application, on Xbox and PlayStation devices and on smart TVs and streaming sticks.

And if you have Virgin Media TV and a Tivo or V6 box you can even watch on there.

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