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'1899' Begins on Netflix: Can Successor 'Dark' Convince?

‘1899’ Begins on Netflix: Can Successor ‘Dark’ Convince?

Updated 11/11/2022 1:16 PM

  • “1899,” the new series from “Dark” creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, will premiere on Netflix on November 17.
  • After the global success of the German mystery drama, expectations for the follow-up to the series were huge.
  • Does ‘1899’ live up to the hype?
This criticism represents the view of Christian Stowe. How our editors deal with opinions in texts.

Launches November 17th Netflix ‘1899’, the new series from makers of ‘Darkness’ Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar. After the global success of the German mystery drama, expectations for the follow-up to the series were huge.

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The year 1899 was the year of departure – into a new century and into a new world. Many people from all over Europe made their way across the Atlantic to the United States to live the American dream of social progress and wealth there.

Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar put together their new series in these turbulent times. The focus is on the migrant ship Kerberos, which crosses the Atlantic on its way from London to New York. There are 1,500 people of different nationalities on board, some of whom enjoy the luxury of first class, while poverty reigns in the lower decks.

The crew surrounding Captain Eck Larsen (Andreas Bechmann, better known from “Dark”) keeps the steamer on course, constantly thrusting coals into a fire in the engine room under hellish conditions.

1899: What happened to the sister ship “Prometheus”?

The series introduces some of the participants in the first episode. They all seem unhappy, struggling for their own destinies, which seem to be connected in some way. However, daily life on the high seas quickly comes to an end when Kerberos receives a radio message from her sister Prometheus, who has been missing for four months.

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Captain Larsen changes course to search for the long-lost ship in the vastness of the ocean. When Prometheus is finally found, the ship appears to have been abandoned and underrated for decades. And that’s not the scariest thing that awaits the group about Captain Larsen who has just boarded the plane.

Screenwriter Janji Freeze: A series like “Puzzle”

Not much more should be revealed at this point, as any more word on the series’ plot, which begins November 17 on Netflix, would be too much. Similar to “Dark”, the story of “1899” is complex, surprising, full of twists and secrets and should be enjoyed spoiler-free.

Simplified and straightforward: It’s an eight-part puzzle show that unfolds before the viewer like an intriguing jigsaw puzzle. We’re playing with ideas and expectations again. And what’s very important to us: ‘1899’ tells a story through and through the international story and is also a comprehensive international show in the pipeline. ‘,” says screenwriter Ganteji Friese, summarizing the series’ approach.

The cast speaks their mother tongue

In fact, the confusion of languages ​​on board “Kerberos” is a special feature of this series. People from different countries on board, the actors and actresses are all chosen according to their nationalities and speak their mother tongue, ensuring great authenticity in the original.

English, German, Spanish, French, Polish, Danish, Portuguese, Norwegian and Cantonese can be heard, but thanks to the translation, there is no problem to follow the dialogue.

“1899” should not be “Dark” second.

With the first German series on Netflix “Dark”, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar were a huge hit between 2017 and 2020. The mixture of science fiction and mystery, told in three seasons, inspired a global fan base and turned the adorable couple into international shooting stars. Expectations are correspondingly high, but “1899” still does not depend on the proven recipe for success.

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“We don’t want to repeat ourselves. So far we’ve been able to do that. That’s why we were right from the start with ‘1899’: we don’t want to do ‘Dark’ again. ‘Dark’ was a semi-sad series. On the other hand, the movie “1899 has an insanely high tempo,” director Baran Bo Odar explains.

Despite all the differences, the handwriting of the series’ creators is clearly recognizable. It’s about mysterious symbols and machines, the atmosphere is constantly dark, the soundtrack is atmospheric, and the characters are complex. And that’s why “1899” will delight fans just as much as “Dark.” In many areas, the new series has become even better.

“1899” was the first European series to be filmed in LED size

The production, again planned for three seasons, looks more ambitious, larger, and more complex than its predecessor. This is also due to the fact that the mystery series was the first ever European production to be filmed in a so-called LED size in virtual production at Studio Babelsberg.

The actors played in front of huge screens through which the landscape, the vastness of the ocean and also the interior of the ship could be seen digitally. This guarantees a special appearance, which can also be admired, for example, in the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian”.

And so, in a way, not only the immigrants took off in a new world on “Kerberos”, but also series makers Jantje Friese and Baran Bo Odar. It will be interesting to see where the trip will take us.

Sources used:

  • Preview of the first six episodes of “1899”
  • Quotes from press material for Netflix
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