It's 2093, and a team of scientists aboard an advanced ship called the Nightflyer embarks on a journey to find other life forms. Their mission brings them to the edge of the solar system, but a horror already on their ship will take them to the edge of insanity.
At the core of the failure is just basic common sense, or maybe the lack of explanation on why that common sense doesn't apply. If this ship is HUMANITY'S last hope why would they pick a cursed ship, with a bunch of mental patients with severe trauma running it? Nothing makes any remote sense, and it devolves from there.
Described as George R.R. Martin's attempt to show that SF and horror can mix, it didn't come off as well as the Alien series for example. There were too many thematic distractions, such as a possible alien invasion, a dying earth, telepaths, human consciousness stored in a computer, etc. Add in the fact that every leading character is dealing with a major trauma of some kind and it's just too many balls in the air to keep track of.