Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene (Sissy Spacek) live in seclusion in a small town in Illinois. They hardly have contact with other people and never leave their homes. Yet they regularly embark on a journey others can only dream of: via a chamber hidden in the ground, they travel to a distant, deserted planet. They don’t know how this chamber got there, nor what this planet is all about. All they know is that they have to keep the location a secret. That only changes when, to her great surprise, she finds an injured young man named Jude (Chai Hansen) meet there who can no longer remember anything …
Visiting an alien planet
Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling to distant places and exploring completely foreign worlds? The idea of stepping onto distant planets is so fascinating that the science fiction genre often serves this longing in a targeted manner. So do they Amazon Prime Video Serie Night Sky. Here, however, it is not spaceships that enable us to travel far. We’re not dealing with a battle-hardened crew of heroes embarking on great adventures as they make their way through space. Instead, we see a married couple, already on the home stretch of their own lives, using the teleporter behind their house to take a look at an unfamiliar planet. They don’t intend to explore it at all. It is enough for them to look through the large windows as if they were on any observation deck.
First of all: If you watch the series because you want to see more of the planet, you can save the eight episodes. With the science fiction hit Stargate does this have in common the idea of such worlds connecting portals. But this is not used. And also in terms of giving explanations themselves Holden Miller and Daniel C. Connollythat together Night Sky have developed, very reserved. It may well be that the information will be made up for in a possible further season. At the start, however, one is content with throwing a number of puzzles into the room and then leaving them there for the time being. More information will be added over time. But it’s not enough to make for a satisfying ending.
More drama than science fiction
Rather, the focus is on the people. The drama factor far outweighs the science fiction elements. It is above all the old couple that we get to know better and better over time. We learn her story, especially that of her deceased son, whose loss still haunts her. Little by little, the complex picture emerges of a couple who have been through a lot and threatened to break up. These passages are interrupted by a parallel story about the Argentinian Stella (Julieta Zylberberg) and their daughter Toni (Rocio Hernandez). There is initially no connection to the main plot, which can contribute to the frustration of the audience. Night Sky is a very slowly told series that takes its time for everything and likes to open up various subplots.
That reminds a little Tales from the Loop, which two years ago also lured with science fiction mysteries, but instead had a greater interest in human dramas. Anyone who liked this series or generally enjoys stories that combine everyday worries and destinies with unusual trappings should definitely take a look here. The performance of the two Oscar-winning acting heavyweights Sissy Spacek and JK Simmons alone is reason enough to at least give the first few episodes a try. You should just be prepared that things won’t continue at the pace you expect Night Sky could hope for, if the plot is very economical, the episodes with a running time of just under an hour quite long.
OT: „Night Sky“
Director: Juan José Campanella, Philip Martin, Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, Sara Colangelo, Jessica Lowrey, Victoria Mahoney
Script: Holden Miller, Daniel C. Connolly, Allison Moore, Anne-Marie Hess, Ezra Claytan Daniels
Idea: Holden Miller, Daniel C. Connolly
Music: Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
Camera: Ashley Connor, Andrew Wehde, Paul Desanzo
Occupation: Sissy Spacek, JK Simmons, Chai Hansen, Adam Bartley, Julieta Zylberberg, Sonya Walger, Rocío Hernández, Kiah McKirnan, Beth Lacke, Stephen Louis Grush, Cass Buggé
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A married couple has a teleporter behind their house that they can use to travel to a distant planet, which inevitably brings up various questions. “Night Sky” has no interest in answering them immediately. The focus is much more on the interpersonal, despite science fiction mystery elements, this is primarily a drama. This is very well played, but requires a lot of patience.