Hidden Sci-Fi Gem Everyone Missed on Netflix is Remarkably Watchable

Hidden Sci-Fi Gem Everyone Missed on Netflix is Remarkably Watchable
Image credit: Netflix

This apocalyptic thriller is highly underrated.


  • In 2020, the first original Belgian sci-fi series was released on Netflix.
  • Not many people are talking about this show today.
  • Yet it is a fascinating project for all fans of disaster movies.

The year 2020 proved to be a rather strange time for the entertainment industry. While movie theaters sat idle or closed altogether, television, both traditional broadcast and streaming, was a turning point for pop culture. We saw the final seasons of the iconic The Good Place and Schitt's Creek, The Boys on Amazon, the premiere of The Queen's Gambit and new seasons of The Crown and Sex Education on Netflix. Disney delivered the best Star Wars TV project at the time, the second season of The Mandalorian, and Apple TV+ made a splash with Mythyc Quest and, of course, Ted Lasso.

All in all, there was plenty of content to go around, and thankfully the days of isolation were not as unbearable as they could have been without so many exciting shows.

But just as a plethora of theatrical releases were overlooked against this backdrop, only to be rescued from the abyss of oblivion (or rather, be added to the streaming services) now, 4 years later, many intriguing television projects have sadly gone unnoticed. This is especially true for foreign projects: while many have enjoyed unprecedented popularity in the wake of WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, such shows have unfortunately received very little attention before.

And that's a shame, because it's completely unfair to ignore an excellent Belgian sci-fi thriller — it may not compare to other 2020 releases, but it's a worthy series that shouldn't be missed in 2024 while we wait for new shows to premiere.

Netflix's First Belgian Original Show

On May 1, 2020, the Netflix library was updated with six episodes of its first Belgian original show, Into the Night, which in turn is based on the novel The Old Axolotl by Polish writer Jacek Dukaj. However, the series, created by Jason George, is only remotely inspired by the novel, using its main motif, the destruction of humanity due to direct exposure to the sun's rays.

The show's plot will remind many of the short story Inconstant Moon, written by Larry Niven, which focuses on the last night on Earth under the influence of an unprecedented solar flare. However, many who have seen Into the Night have compared it to another television series, The Langoliers, based on Stephen King 's short story of the same name, which follows an airplane being chased by a mysterious light.

Like The Langoliers, the plot of Into the Night follows the crew of an overnight passenger flight out of Brussels. However, the flight is hijacked by a paranoid NATO soldier who is convinced that the sun's rays have become deadly to humans. His fears turn out to be true, and eventually the survivors of the plane, piloted by a wounded pilot and an ex-military helicopter pilot, must remain on the night side of the Earth while worrying about fuel, food supplies, and possible shelter.

What Viewers and Critics Are Saying About the Series

The first season proved to be one of the biggest revelations of 2020 for many. Many, critics and viewers alike, noted how well the genres of environmental apocalypse and high-stakes thriller were blended, as well as how effectively the characters' conflicts were presented. However, despite the large number of backstories and subplots, do not expect a deep script, but rather an amusing and bingeable whimsical sci-fi show. The first season received an 89% rating from critics and a 75% rating from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes.

The second season fared much worse: many people began to resent how lazy the writing had become, and with each new episode the plot hardly moved at all. As a result, Season 2 has a 63% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.