NIGHT SKY on Prime Video is a new sci-fi series starring J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. It’s definitely a slow-burn mystery in many ways. Fortunately, it’s also utterly fascinating. Every episode tends to deliver a new piece to a mindboggling puzzle. Read our full Night Sky Season 1 review here!
NIGHT SKY is a new Prime Video sci-fi series. Officially, the three main genres consist of adventure, drama, and fantasy. Which is definitely appropriate as well. For me, however, sci-fi and mystery would probably be on top of the list. If I was to compare this new Prime Video series with anything else, it would definitely be Outer Range.
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The two are very different in terms of their core plot, but also have quite a few similarities. Particularly in terms of being slow-burn and relying on immense talent to carry the story.
Continue reading our Night Sky Season 1 review below. We’ve watched the first four (out of eight) episodes in the season.
What’s in the shed?
With J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek at the helm, you feel very safe that Night Sky will deliver. From the very few moments in episode 1, my heart was completely on board with these two. They portray an older married couple who have been together since they were very young.
Now, they’re beginning to struggle with the aches and pains that come with age. Both physically and mentally. What’s that, you don’t think this sounds like a series we should be reviewing here on Heaven of Horror?! Well, that’s because I haven’t gotten to the whole “night sky” element of their story yet.
You see, Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene York (Sissy Spacek) have a very special chamber underneath the shed in their garden. It looks a bit like a bunker. But a very futuristic kind of bunker. In fact, it looks more alien. As in outer space. Also, when they talk about going to “look at the stars”, it’s very literally what they’re doing.
However, from what planet they’re looking at the stars, they don’t know.
J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek? I’m in!
Look, aside from this being an intriguing plot with wonderful visuals and a strong and very relatable story, Night Sky had me at J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek. For as far back as I can remember, Sissy Spacek has been there. In the shape of the title character in Carrie (1976) first and foremost. However, in recent years, also in series like Homecoming, Castle Rock, and Bloodline.
And then there’s J.K. Simmons who I always remember from Oz first. Not the most charming character, but he was so good already back then. More recently, he blew my mind in Whiplash (2014) which earned him a well-deserved Oscar.
Obviously, these two aren’t the only actors in the Night Sky which has a strong cast all-around. Other actors in this cast are Adam Bartley (Candy) as the nosey neighbor, Byron, and Chai Hansen (The 100) as the mysterious stranger, Jude. Another key character is Denise, who plays the granddaughter of Franklin and Irene. She is played wonderfully by Kiah McKirnan (Mare of Easttown).
Watch season 1 of Night Sky on Prime Video!
Holden Miller is the creator of Night Sky and the pilot [episode 1] is directed by Juan José Campanella. Now there’s yet another name that immediately makes me pay attention. Juan José Campanella directed and co-wrote the brilliant The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film and was remade in the US in 2015.
Yes, this new Prime Video sci-fi series is definitely a slow-burn mystery. Even to a fault, at times. The story could move a bit faster, but there is method in its madness. Again, we’re halfway through the season, so it could go either way. However, the parts of the story that don’t directly involve the sci-fi fantasy adventure are still very important.
Also, it is utterly fascinating. Okay, yes, especially that strange bunker underneath their shed. But also just watching Franklin and Irene interact. Every episode tends to deliver a new piece to a mindboggling puzzle. Overall, I am impressed by what Holden Miller has created. You just need to be a bit patient with this series.
Night Sky is out on Amazon’s Prime Video with all 8 episodes from May 20, 2022.
Creator: Holden Miller
Writers: Holden Miller, Daniel C. Connolly
Directors: Juan José Campanella, Philip Martin, Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman, Sara Colangelo, Jessica Lowrey, Victoria Mahoney
Cast: Sissy Spacek, J.K. Simmons, Adam Bartley, Chai Hansen, Kiah McKirnan
Spanning space and time, Night Sky follows Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin York (J.K. Simmons), a couple who, years ago, discovered a chamber buried in their backyard which inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man (Chai Hansen) enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly upended…and the mystifying chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.