‘Into the Night’: this sci-fi series makes for compulsive viewing

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Sci-fi disaster series Into The Night cuts close to the bone, but may be the escapist and exciting show you need right now.

What is Into the Night about?

Brussels Airport, present day: an armed soldier bursts onto a commercial flight and forces the pilot to take off at gun point.

It isn’t until later that the handful of passengers onboard learn the horrifying truth. Something has happened to the polarity of the sun, and it’s killing everything on the face of the planet.

The only chance of survival is if the plane can outrun the sun – by continually flying West, into the night. But with limited fuel and a mixed bag of passengers – some of whom hide dark and deadly secrets – this round-the-world race looks like an impossible journey.

What’s it like?

Think ‘disaster movie meets prison breakout’

Currently streaming on Netflix, Into the Night is fast paced and suspense driven. It’s based on Jacek Dukaj’s post-apocalyptic novel The Old Axolotl but – despite the sci-fi premise – the adaptation is a heady mix of character intrigue and almost unbearable tension. Think ‘disaster movie meets prison breakout’ and you’ll have a fair idea of the flavour.

Season 1 comprises six episodes, each around 40 minutes long. That length, plus the ramped up narrative, makes it supremely bingeable.

This is a subtitled show, mostly spoken in French. It also features lots of other languages, reflecting the nationalities of the passengers and the plane’s journey around the world. It works really well, but if you don’t like subtitles, Netflix offers a few dubbed options.

Highlights

The writing. There are a few holes along the way – some characters drop out of sight and there are a couple of clunky spots – but the overall pacing, suspense and characters make this an exciting, intriguing watch.

Is it triggering?

If you’re after something to take your mind off the pandmic and its aftermath, Into the Night is perfect escapism. It’s easy to get lost in this world, and to care about (or detest) it characters.

That said, global destruction is a significant part of the back-story. There’s minimal gore – and it’s nothing like Knowing’s apocalyptic double-cross – but if thinking about such things is a trigger for you right now, keep it in mind.

Is it a limited series?

Only one season has been released so far, but the ending does point towards a follow-up. From what we’ve heard, the source novel has a lot more material to mine, too. Watch this space.


Pic credit: David Kovalenko