July 16, 2024

‘1899’ Begins on Netflix: Can the ‘Dark’ Sequel Convince?

‘1899’ Begins on Netflix: Can the ‘Dark’ Sequel Convince?

Updated 11/11/2022 1:16 PM

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

It launches November 17th Netflix “1899”, the new series from the makers of “Darkness” Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar. After the worldwide success of the German mystery drama, expectations for a follow-up to the series were huge.

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1899 was a year of launch – 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 out the American dream of social advancement and wealth there.

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

The crew around Captain Eik Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann, aka “Dark”) keeps the steamer on course, as coal is continually pushed into the 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, and are struggling with their destinies, which seem to be connected in some way. However, daily life on the high seas quickly ends 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 the Prometheus is finally found, the ship appears to have been abandoned and desolate for decades. And this is not the most terrifying thing that awaits the group around Captain Larsen who has boarded the plane.

Screenwriter Janji Fariz: A series like “Enigma”

Shouldn’t more be revealed at this point, any further word on the plot of the series, which premieres November 17th on Netflix, would be too much. Similar to Dark, the story of 1899 is surprisingly complex and full of twists and secrets and should be enjoyed spoiler-free.

“Simplified and straightforward: it is an eight-part puzzle show that unfolds before the viewer like an intriguing jigsaw puzzle. We play with ideas and expectations again. What is very important to us: ‘1899’ tells a story through and through the international story and is also a comprehensive international show in the making. Screenwriter Jantji Friese says, sums up the series’ approach.

The cast speaks their native language

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

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

“1899” should not be “Dark” second.

With the first German series on Netflix “Dark”, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar enjoyed great success between 2017 and 2020. The mixture of sci-fi and mystery, told in three seasons, has inspired a global fan base and turned the adorable couple into international shooting stars. Expectations are correspondingly high, but “1899” still doesn’t count on a proven recipe for success.

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

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

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

The production, which is again planned for three seasons, feels more ambitious, bigger 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 shot in so-called LED size on Studio Babelsberg’s virtual production stage.

The actors played in front of huge screens through which the scenery, the vastness of the ocean, and also the interior of the ship could be seen digitally. This guarantees a special look, as can 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 the creators of the series Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar. It will be interesting to see where the journey takes us.

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Sources used:

  • Preview of the first six episodes of “1899”
  • Quotes from a Netflix press article

Starting November 17, the “1899” series from the makers of “Dark” Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar will premiere on Netflix. Then it becomes clear if the new mystery drama will also be a global hit. Anyway, the opening credits make you want to watch the series and get goosebumps. Eliot Sumner sings a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, led by composer Ben Frost, who also created the soundtrack for “Dark”.