Never heard of Into the Night? Nor had I. But the premise sounded intriguing and finding myself with no projects to work on one evening, my wife and I began watching and while the program ran a total of six episodes, I could not help but binge-watch the series in one evening. The Belgian apocalyptic science-fiction series was based on the novel, The Old Axolotl by Jacek Dukaj, and is the first of what is supposed to be many Belgian productions for Netflix. Dubbed in English (quite well, by the way), the series follows a group of people who are hijacked while onboard a red-eye flight from Brussels. The hijacker, an Italian NATO soldier, forces his way onto the commercial aircraft and demands an early take-off. At first, the few passengers on board suspect the hijacker is mentally unstable when he insists the plane continue to fly West. If the sun comes up, they will die. A cosmic event results in the death of billions on the globe – exposure to the sunlight will kill all life via microwave effect. But it does not take long for the passengers to discover the hijacker is not crazy.
The group continues to head west in an attempt to survive the catastrophe. But just how long can you continue to gas and fly without routine maintenance to the plane, an eventual fuel shortage, and irradiated food? Like most post-apocalyptic epics, the out-of-the-ordinary scenario is not the primary problem. A clash of personalities, distrust and hidden agendas are the real threat.
The episodes are brief in length, almost making me suspect the producers figured an option, should the program not become a television series, to be edited into one feature-length movie. The brevity is the only flaw with the series. There is not enough time to explore the inner thoughts or motivations of the characters – there is no sympathy or empathy for any of the characters – only curiosity as to how the story will end.
If this is the least Netflix will present us from their recent plans to offer us new products from Belgium, I will be curious to see what they come up with next. As for the streaming service, I sincerely hope Netflix confirms a second season, and based on how the story ended, I would like to see more. With so many programs available on streaming services, this one is worth binge-watching for one evening. Just close the shades to keep out the sunlight.
Into The Night is on Netflix.