Dark (TV series)

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Dark
DarkNetflixPoster.jpg
Genre
Created by
StarringSee below
Theme music composerApparat
Opening theme"Goodbye" by Apparat (featuring Soap&Skin)[1]
Composer(s)Ben Frost
Country of originGermany
Original language(s)German
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Baran bo Odar
  • Jantje Friese
  • Quirin Berg
  • Max Wiedemann
  • Justyna Müsch
Production location(s)Germany
CinematographyNikolaus Summerer[2]
Running time45–61 minutes
Production company(s)Wiedemann & Berg Television
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (Ultra HD)
Original release1 December 2017 (2017-12-01) –
present
External links
Website

Dark is a German science fiction thriller web television series co-created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese.[2][3][4] Set in the fictional town of Winden, Germany, Dark concerns the aftermath of a child's disappearance which exposes the secrets of, and hidden connections among, four estranged families as they slowly unravel a sinister time travel conspiracy which spans three generations. Throughout the series, Dark explores the existential implications of time and its effects upon human nature.

Dark is the first German-language Netflix original series; it debuted on Netflix's streaming service on 1 December 2017. The first season received mostly positive reviews from critics, who made initial comparisons to another Netflix series, Stranger Things.[5][6][7]

Netflix recommissioned Dark for a second season, which was released on 21 June 2019 to critical acclaim.[8][9] The series was subsequently recommissioned for a third and final season.[10] Filming began in late June 2019.

Premise[edit]

Children start disappearing from the fictional[11] German town of Winden, bringing to light the fractured relationships, double lives, and dark past of four families living there, and revealing a mystery that spans four generations. The series follows Jonas Kahnwald, a teenager struggling to cope with his father's suicide; police officer Ulrich Nielsen, whose brother disappeared 33 years earlier; and police chief Charlotte Doppler.

The story begins in 2019, but spreads to include story-lines in 1986 and 1953 via time travel, as certain characters of the show's core families grow aware of the existence of a wormhole in the cave system beneath the local nuclear power plant, which is under the management of the influential Tiedemann family. During season 1, secrets begin to be revealed concerning the Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann families, and their lives start to crumble as the ties become evident between the missing children and the histories of the town and its citizens.

The second season continues the intertwining families' attempts to reunite with their missing loved ones, several months after the first season finale, in 2020, 1987 and 1954, respectively. Additional story-lines set in 2053 and 1921 add new aspects to the mysteries, and the secret Sic Mundus fellowship, a major force in an underlying battle for the ultimate fate of the people of Winden, is explored, as the season counts down towards the apocalypse – a supposed destruction of Winden and death of many of its citizens.

Cast and characters[edit]

The first season primarily takes place in 2019 but expands to include stories set in 1986, 1953, and – in the final scene of the season – 2052, with several characters being portrayed at various ages by multiple actors.

The second season takes place several months after the first, depicting the initial stories in 2020, 1987, and 1954, respectively, while continuing the future-set story-line into 2053, and adding a fifth story-line, set in 1921.

Main characters[edit]

Character Year Description Actor Season
Jonas Kahnwald 2019/2020 A high school student struggling with his father's suicide Louis Hofmann 1–2
?→2019/2020 A time traveller, also known as "The Stranger" Andreas Pietschmann 1–2
?→1921 The leader of Sic Mundus, also known as "Adam" Dietrich Hollinderbäumer 2
Mikkel Nielsen/Michael Kahnwald 2019→1986/1987 Ulrich and Katharina's youngest child Daan Lennard Liebrenz (de) 1–2
2019 Jonas' father, an artist whose suicide opens the series Sebastian Rudolph (de) 1–2
Hannah Kahnwald 1986/1987 Hannah Krüger, a shy young girl Ella Lee (de) 1–2
2019/2020→1954 Jonas' mother and Michael's wife, a massage therapist Maja Schöne (de) 1–2
Ines Kahnwald 1953 A young girl Lena Urzendowsky (de) 1
1986/1987 Michael's adoptive mother, a nurse Anne Ratte-Polle (de) 1–2
2019 Jonas' estranged grandmother Angela Winkler 1
Sebastian Krüger 1986 Hannah's blue-collar father Denis Schmidt 1
Daniel Kahnwald 1953/1954 Ines' father, the Winden chief of police Florian Panzner 1–2
Martha Nielsen 2019/2020 Ulrich and Katharina's middle child, Bartosz's girlfriend and Jonas' love interest Lisa Vicari (de) 1–2
Magnus Nielsen 2019/2020 Ulrich and Katharina's oldest child Moritz Jahn 1–2
?→1921 A member of Sic Mundus Wolfram Koch (de) 2
Ulrich Nielsen 1986 A high school student struggling after his brother's disappearance Ludger Bökelmann 1
2019→1953/1954 Katharina's husband; Magnus, Martha and Mikkel's father; a police officer Oliver Masucci 1–2
1987 Patient in a psychiatric ward, known as "The Inspector". Winfried Glatzeder 2
Katharina Nielsen 1986/1987 Ulrich's girlfriend, a high school student Nele Trebs (de) 1–2
2019/2020 Ulrich's wife; Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel's mother; a high school principal Jördis Triebel 1–2
Mads Nielsen 1986 Ulrich's younger brother who has disappeared Valentin Oppermann 1
Tronte Nielsen 1953/1954 Agnes' son, newly arrived in Winden Joshio Marlon 1–2
1986 Jana's husband; Ulrich and Mads' father; a journalist Felix Kramer (de) 1
2019 Jana's husband; Ulrich's father; Magnus, Martha and Mikkel's grandfather Walter Kreye 1–2
Jana Nielsen 1953 A young girl Rike Sindler 1
1986 Tronte's wife; Ulrich and Mads' mother Anne Lebinsky 1
2019 Tronte's wife; Ulrich's mother; Magnus, Martha and Mikkel's grandmother Tatja Seibt (de) 1–2
Agnes Nielsen 1921 Noah's younger sister Helena Pieske (de) 2
1953/1954 Tronte's mother, newly returned to Winden Antje Traue 1–2
Franziska Doppler 2019/2020 Jonas, Magnus and Martha's classmate Gina Stiebitz (de) 1–2
?→1921 A member of Sic Mundus Carina Wiese 2
Elisabeth Doppler 2019/2020 Franziska's deaf younger sister Carlotta von Falkenhayn (de) 1–2
2053 Leader of the survivors of the Winden apocalypse Sandra Borgmann (de) 2
Peter Doppler 2019/2020 Franziska and Elisabeth's father, Jonas' psychologist Stephan Kampwirth 1–2
Charlotte Doppler 1986 A young woman raised by her guardian, H.G. Tannhaus Stephanie Amarell (de) 1
2019/2020 Peter's wife; Franziska and Elisabeth's mother; Winden chief of police Karoline Eichhorn 1–2
Helge Doppler 1953/1954 Bernd and Greta's son Tom Philipp 1–2
1986/1987 Peter's father, a power plant guard Peter Schneider 1–2
2019→1986 Patient in a psychiatric ward Hermann Beyer (de) 1
Bernd Doppler 1953 Greta's husband, Helge's father, founder of the power plant Anatole Taubman 1
1986/1987 Helge's father, former director of the power plant Michael Mendl 1–2
Greta Doppler 1953/1954 Bernd's wife, Helge's mother Cordelia Wege (de) 1–2
H.G. Tannhaus 1953/1954 A clock-maker Arnd Klawitter 1–2
1986/1987 Charlotte's guardian, a clock-maker and author Christian Steyer (de) 1–2
Bartosz Tiedemann 2019/2020 Regina and Aleksander's son, Jonas' best friend and Martha's boyfriend Paul Lux (de) 1–2
Regina Tiedemann 1986/1987 Claudia's daughter Lydia Makrides 1–2
2019/2020 Aleksander's wife, Bartosz' mother, a hotel manager Deborah Kaufmann (de) 1–2
Aleksander Tiedemann 1986/1987 A mysterious young man, born as Boris Niewald but adopting the identity of Aleksander Köhler Béla Gabor Lenz (de) 1–2
2019/2020 Regina's husband (having taken her family name in marriage), Bartosz' father, and director of the power plant Peter Benedict (de) 1–2
Claudia Tiedemann 1953/1954 Egon and Doris' daughter, Helge's tutor Gwendolyn Göbel 1–2
1986/1987→2020 Regina's mother, director of the power plant Julika Jenkins 1–2
2019/2020→1954 A time traveller opposing Sic Mundus Lisa Kreuzer 1–2
Egon Tiedemann 1953/1954 Claudia's father, a police officer Sebastian Hülk (de) 1–2
1986/1987 Claudia's father, a police chief inspector approaching retirement Christian Pätzold (de) 1–2
Doris Tiedemann 1953/1954 Claudia's mother and Egon's wife Luise Heyer 1–2
Noah 1921→2020 Agnes' older brother, an acolyte of Sic Mundus Max Schimmelpfennig (de) 2
1953→1921 A priest and member of Sic Mundus Mark Waschke 1–2

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Lea van Acken as Silja, an apocalypse survivor and right hand to Elisabeth in 2052–2053 (season 1–2)
  • Nils Brunkhorst (de) as the high school's science teacher in 2019 (season 1)
  • Lena Dörrie (de) as Clara Schrage, a nurse attending to Helge Doppler in 2019 (season 1)
  • Tara Fischer (de) as a friend of Katharina in 1986–1987 (season 1–2)
  • Sylvester Groth as Clausen, a police investigator arriving in Winden to lead a missing person task force in 2020 (season 2)
  • Leopold Hornung (de) as Torben Wöller, a junior police officer in 2019–2020, Benni/Bernadette's brother (season 1–2)
  • Tom Jahn (de) as Jürgen Obendorf, Erik Obendorf's father in 2019–2020 (season 1–2)
  • Anna König (de) as Edda Heimann, a pathologist in 2019 (season 1)
  • Vico Mücke as Yasin Friese, Elisabeth Doppler's friend in 2019 (season 1)
  • Henning Peker (de) as Udo Meier, a pathologist in 1953–1954 (season 1–2)
  • Barbara Philipp (de) as Selma Ahrens, a caseworker in 1986 (season 1)
  • Paul Radom as Erik Obendorf, a teenage drug dealer gone missing in 2019 (season 1)
  • Anton Rubtsov (de) as Benni/Bernadette, a transgender prostitute in 2019–2020, Torben's sister (season 1–2)
  • Anna Schönberg as Donata Kraus, a nurse and Ines Kahnwald's co-worker in 1986 (season 1)
  • Andreas Schröders (de) as a power plant worker in 2020 (season 2)
  • Mieke Schymura (de) as Justyna Jankowski, a junior police officer in 2019–2020 (season 1–2)
  • Lea Willkowsky as Jasmin Trewen, Claudia Tiedemann's secretary in 1986–1987 (season 1–2)
  • Roland Wolf (de) as a police officer and co-worker of Egon Tiedemann in 1953–1954 (season 1–2)

Family tree[edit]

a family tree of many of the characters
The Doppler, Nielsen, Kahnwald and Tiedemann Families

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1101 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
2821 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Secrets"
"Geheimnisse"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Baran bo Odar1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In June 2019, 43-year-old Michael Kahnwald commits suicide, but his mother Ines hides his suicide letter before anyone else notices it. On 4 November, after months of treatment at a psychiatric facility, Michael's teenage son Jonas returns to school and reunites with his best friend Bartosz Tiedemann, who is now dating Jonas' love interest, Martha. Erik Obendorf, the high school's main supplier of marijuana, has been missing for two weeks, and police officer Ulrich Nielsen – the father of Martha and her brothers, teenager Magnus and pre-teen Mikkel – has been assigned the investigation, which struggles to uncover any clues. Meanwhile, Ulrich is cheating on his wife, high school principal Katharina, with Jonas' mother Hannah. While searching for Erik's stash of drugs in a cave not far from the town's soon-to-be-closed-down nuclear power plant, Jonas, Bartosz and the three Nielsen children are frightened by strange sounds and their flickering flashlights, and Mikkel disappears as they flee the cave. The next day, the body of a young boy is discovered, but it is not Mikkel. At an unknown location, a hooded figure straps Erik to a chair, while clamping a mechanism around his head.
22"Lies"
"Lügen"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
Mikkel's disappearance brings back memories from 1986 when Ulrich's younger brother Mads vanished, and Ulrich starts believing that the disappearances of Erik, Mikkel, and the body of the third boy are related. While searching the caves, he finds a locked door leading to the nearby nuclear power plant, and although Ulrich's request to enter the power plant is refused by its director Aleksander Tiedemann, Bartosz's father, he is still able to clear the father of Erik Obendorf, a power plant driver, from his list of suspects. Police chief Charlotte Doppler is informed that the dead boy, dressed in a 1980s outfit, died only 16 hours earlier, and that his ears were destroyed by extreme pressure. Later, as lights start flickering and birds fall dead from the sky, Charlotte grows even more concerned. Meanwhile, an unkempt stranger checks into the hotel owned by Bartosz's mother Regina. Ulrich's mother Jana lies to Ulrich, claiming that her husband Tronte was with her the night of Mikkel's disappearance, while knowing he had left their house. At dawn, a disoriented Mikkel wakes up in the cave and runs home, only to discover what date he now lives in: 5 November 1986.
33"Past and Present"
"Gestern und Heute"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In 1986, four weeks after the disappearance of Mads Nielsen, a desperate Mikkel is taken in by police officer Egon Tiedemann, who suspects he has been beaten by the teenage Ulrich. Mikkel is brought to the hospital by nurse Ines Kahnwald, who gains his trust. At the nuclear plant, newly elected director Claudia Tiedemann, Egon's daughter and Regina's mother, clashes with her predecessor Bernd Doppler, who informs her of secret barrels hidden in the nearby caves. Bernd's son, guard Helge, gives Claudia a book: Eine Reise durch die Zeit (A Journey Through Time) by H. G. Tannhaus. Meanwhile, as the town's electricity is flickering, a teenage Charlotte starts investigating the deaths of multiple birds, while shy young Hannah has an unrequited crush on Ulrich, and Regina is being bullied and engages in self-harm. A flock of sheep is found dead from cardiac arrest with their eardrums ruptured, and, in an undisclosed location, a man surrounded by clocks tinkers with a brass machine. Mikkel sneaks away from the hospital and returns to the caves; after injuring himself, he calls for help. In 2019, Ulrich, also having returned to the caves, hears his faint calls, but they are unable to see each other.
44"Double Lives"
"Doppelleben"
Baran bo OdarMartin Behnke & Jantje Friese1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In 2019, Jonas finds maps and notes about the caves in his family's garage, while Charlotte tries to find a connection between the disappeared boys and the dead birds, which – just like the dead boy – are found to have burst eardrums. The birds also show similar symptoms to birds found after the Chernobyl disaster, and Charlotte suspects connections to the Winden events of 1986. Meanwhile, her marriage to psychologist Peter is crumbling since he was discovered to be having an affair with a transgender prostitute, and she finds evidence that Peter was out driving the night of Mikkel's disappearance, despite him claiming otherwise. Their oldest daughter, Franziska, confides in Magnus Nielsen that she plans to leave Winden due to her parents' wrecked marriage, and they end up having sex. Franziska's younger sister, the deaf Elisabeth, goes missing after school, but eventually returns home, explaining that she met a mysterious man, Noah, who gave her a watch once belonging to Charlotte. Meanwhile, Peter's father Helge, who is suffering from dementia, is found roaming the forest, claiming that he "must stop Noah". The next morning, a hooded figure approaches Elisabeth's friend, Yasin, and tells him that Noah has sent him.
55"Truths"
"Wahrheiten"
Baran bo OdarMartin Behnke & Jantje Friese1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

In 1986, Mikkel is in the hospital after breaking his leg in the cave, and is visited by a priest: Noah. After having witnessed Ulrich and Katharina having sex, Hannah falsely tells the police that she saw Ulrich rape Katharina, and Ulrich is arrested.


In 2019, with Yasin also vanished, panic is starting to spread, and Charlotte accuses Peter of being involved in the boys' disappearances. Hannah wants to resume her affair with Ulrich, but he angrily refuses. At the hotel, the Stranger tells Regina to deliver a package to Jonas while he is away for a few days, and at Michael's grave, the Stranger approaches Jonas, telling him that his father once saved his life. Bartosz meets Erik Obendorf's drug supplier, who is shown to be the same priest who visited Mikkel 33 years earlier. Later, Jonas receives the Stranger's package, containing a light, a Geiger counter, and Michael's suicide letter. In the letter Jonas' father explains that on 4 November 2019, he travelled back to 1986, where he stayed and grew up, raised by Ines, eventually marrying Hannah and fathering Jonas. Thus Mikkel Nielsen became Michael Kahnwald.
66"The World is Created"
"Sic Mundus Creatus Est"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In 2019, Mikkel's family struggles not to turn against each other, Regina finds out that she has breast cancer, and Ulrich learns that his father was having an affair with Claudia at the time of Mads' disappearance. After learning that Regina was the last one to see Mads in 1986, Ulrich confronts her, and while she admits to detesting him for bullying her during their childhood, she also makes him see that Hannah was the one framing him for rape. Visiting the morgue, Ulrich finally realises that the dead boy is Mads, not aged since 33 years ago. Meanwhile, Jonas fails to tell his mother about the suicide letter but enters the caves armed with his father's notes and the equipment from the package sent by the Stranger. Within the caves, he finds a door with a Latin phrase, Sic mundus creatus est ("Thus the world was created"), and after crawling through to the other side, he notices flyers put up for the missing Mads Nielsen. A van drives by and stops: it's 14-year-old Hannah and her father Sebastian, offering him a ride in the rain, warning him about acid rain from the recent Chernobyl disaster.
77"Crossroads"
"Kreuzwege"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

In 2019, the police are finally allowed to enter the power plant, and Charlotte finds a welded shut door in the caves. Meanwhile, Ulrich finds Egon's 1986 notes, making Helge a suspect, and visits him at the nursing home. Frightened, Helge claims to be able to change the past and future. Ulrich is suspended from work and Katharina confronts him about his affair. Charlotte discovers that the cave system goes beneath an old cabin owned by Helge, and later she receives a voice message from Ulrich, stating that Helge is the kidnapper, but that the question is not how he is doing it, but when. Late at night, Helge leaves the nursing home, followed by Ulrich, who brings a book from Helge's room: Eine Reise durch die Zeit by H.G. Tannhaus.


In 1986, Helge, who was working at the plant the night Mads disappeared, is questioned by Egon about his whereabouts. The Stranger warns Jonas that taking Mikkel back home will result in Jonas never being born. Katharina unsuccessfully attempts to convince Egon that Ulrich never raped her, and Helge and Noah prepare to move Yasin's dead body from a bunker behind Helge's cabin.
88"As You Sow, so You Shall Reap"
"Was man sät, das wird man ernten"
Baran bo OdarMartin Behnke & Jantje Friese1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

In 1953, birds begin to die, and the unidentified bodies of Erik and Yasin are discovered. Police chief Daniel Kahnwald and officer Egon Tiedemann are puzzled by the boys' odd outfits. Ulrich arrives from 2019 and meets several locals, including newcomer Agnes Nielsen and her son Tronte, who are about to rent a room in the Tiedemann house, and a watchmaker named H.G. Tannhaus, who declines knowledge of the book found in Helge's 2019 home. Through the young Ines and Jana, Ulrich learns of the two bodies, and when introduced to the 9-year-old Helge, he realises killing him will save the lives of the boys. He bludgeons Helge, and leaves him for dead in the bunker. Later, Tannhaus finds Ulrich's smartphone.


In 1986, the Stranger meets with an elderly Tannhaus, who shares his theory of time travel through wormholes. The Stranger confirms his theories and states that such a wormhole, allowing people to travel 33 years into the past or into the future, exists in Winden. He asks Tannhaus to fix a broken brass device of his, so he can destroy the wormhole. Tannhaus later brings out a newer version of the device, studying them side by side.
99"Everything is Now"
"Alles ist Jetzt"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

In 1986, Ulrich is freed from rape accusations, and Hannah secretly discovers that a newly arrived young man, who calls himself Aleksander Köhler, is living under a false identity. Claudia encounters her dog Gretchen, who disappeared in 1953, alive and well by the caves, and starts to read Tannhaus' book. When Bernd admits that the hidden barrels contain byproducts of a small meltdown, Claudia hires Aleksander to secretly weld shut the door to them. In an argument with Helge (revealing that the abducted boys died from Noah's attempt to create a time machine) Noah states his mission to free humanity, likening himself to the Biblical Noah.


In 2019, Hannah uses her knowledge of Aleksander's past to blackmail him into destroying Ulrich's life, while Regina discovers the Stranger's research. Bartosz is approached by Claudia, his supposedly dead grandmother. Later, Bartosz meets with Noah and agrees to join him.


In 1953, Helge has been reported missing, and Noah – appearing the same age as in 1986 and 2019 – offers pastoral support to Helge's mother, Greta. Ulrich is arrested and confesses to murdering Helge. The Claudia of 2019 enters Tannhaus' shop with blueprints for the brass machine, asking him to build it for her.
1010"Alpha and Omega"
"Alpha und Omega"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

During the night of Mikkel's disappearance, Peter is visiting the solitude of Helge's cabin when Mads' body suddenly appears. He calls Tronte to the cabin, and Claudia arrives, telling them to move the corpse.


In 1986, Noah and Helge kidnap Jonas, who has returned to bring Mikkel back to 2019. Also having returned to 1986, the elderly Helge is later killed while attempting to stop his younger self by driving a car into him. Jonas wakes in the bunker, accompanied by the Stranger, who reveals himself to be the adult Jonas and leaves to destroy the wormhole by using the brass machine, which Tannhaus has completed from the broken version brought by the adult Jonas and Ulrich's smartphone.


In 2019, Charlotte finds a 1953 article on Helge's kidnapping, including a photo of Ulrich. Noah tells Bartosz that Claudia is their main adversary, and that the adult Jonas, unwittingly, is about to create the wormhole.


In 1953, 9-year-old Helge regains consciousness as the wormhole appears, connecting him to Jonas in 1986. As they reach out to each other, Helge is transported to 1986, while Jonas awakes in a post-apocalyptic Winden of 2052,[12] getting knocked out by an armed girl.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Beginnings and Endings"
"Anfänge und Enden"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Daphne Ferraro21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1921, outside Winden, two men are building a passage into the cave that would later be used as the portal. One of them, a young Noah, kills the other with a pick-axe on suspicions that he "lost [his] faith". The younger Noah is guided by his older self, a member of a group of time travellers called Sic Mundus, led by the disfigured and mysterious Adam, who tells the older Noah to retrieve the missing pages of Claudia's diary in preparation for an "apocalypse" that will occur on 27 June 2020.


On 21 June 2020, six days before the apocalypse, things in Winden have grown tense. An investigator, Clausen, arrives to assist Charlotte and the police force into their investigations in the disappearances, which now include Helge, Jonas and Ulrich. Katharina searches the cave for answers. Martha breaks up with Bartosz, who is now working with Noah. The adult Jonas from the future makes his identity known to his mother, Hannah. Aleksander has his men move a truck of radioactive waste into the power plant.


In 2053, the teenage Jonas is still stuck in post-apocalyptic Winden, having learned of the impending apocalypse. He plans to stop it, but is under strict watch by the adult Elisabeth, who survived the apocalypse and now leads a group of survivors. She forbids anyone to enter the power plant, now known as the Dead Zone, under penalty of death. Jonas enters the Dead Zone, ignoring her rules, and finds a large, floating amorphous sphere inside the particle reactor.
122"Dark Matter"
"Dunkle Materie"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1987, Mikkel struggles living his new life as Michael with Ines as his guardian. The old Claudia visits her younger self to inform her about time travel, giving her coordinates of a time machine buried in her backyard. Egon is now retired and suffering from advanced cancer, and doubts his actions regarding the dead children's bodies in 1953. He interviews Helge and goes to the local psychiatric facility to visit an old Ulrich, who spent 34 years in captivity after being mistakenly accused of murder. Ulrich rebuffs Egon for his naivety.


In 2020, five days before the apocalypse, Clausen and Charlotte interview Regina, who is suffering from breast cancer. She discusses the Stranger who was at her hotel during the disappearances, and left his belongings, which included pages from Tannhaus' book. The newfound evidence makes Charlotte, who was raised by Tannhaus, question her origins. The adult Jonas informs Hannah about time travel and takes her to 1987, where they find Mikkel in Ines' house.


In 2053, Jonas learns via recordings by Claudia about the "God Particle", the sphere in the reactor that can be used as a portal for time travel. He steals fuel for the portal but is caught by the adult Elisabeth, who initially hangs him in public, but spares him and jails him instead. Silja, Elisabeth's interpreter, doubts Elisabeth's stance and frees Jonas. They go to the Dead Zone, where they successfully access the God Particle. Jonas heads inside, leaving Silja alone.
133"Ghosts"
"Gespenster"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1954, a young and disfigured Helge returns after being missing for seven months, but refuses to talk to anyone but Noah, with whom he spent the last seven months in 1987 building a new time machine. Doris cheats on her husband, Egon, with Agnes. The elderly Claudia later meets with Agnes, a former member of Sic Mundus. Agnes meets with Noah, her brother, and tells him the location of the missing pages in hopes of rejoining Sic Mundus. Claudia visits her father's younger self and apologises to him, to his confusion. Claudia encounters Noah in the forest, who kills her. Noah retrieves the missing pages and is dismayed by his findings. Egon unsuccessfully interviews Helge and visits an unresponsive Ulrich in jail.


In 1987, Egon visits the older Ulrich at the asylum. Ulrich tells Egon his identity, which reminds Egon of claims Mikkel made when he first appeared in 1986. After interviewing Ines, Egon shows older Ulrich a photo of Mikkel. Ulrich attacks Egon and is restrained. Claudia visits Helge and then uses the time machine she found to travel to 2020; she cries upon seeing a dying Regina at her home.
144"The Travellers"
"Die Reisenden"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Martin Behnke21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

An injured Jonas finds himself in Winden at the year 1921, where he is nursed by the inhabitants. He has a brief encounter with the younger Noah and his sister Agnes. He then tries to head back to 2020 through the portal, only to find himself stuck because the portal had yet to be built. The younger Noah takes Jonas to the church, where he meets the older Noah, who escorts him to meet Adam, who reveals himself to be an elderly Jonas.


In 2020, adult Jonas and Hannah meet Charlotte and Peter at the bunker and they discuss the existence of time travel, which they also reveal to a sceptical Katharina. The 1987 version of Claudia time travels to 2020 and heads to the public library, where she discovers Egon's death; she then travels back to 1987. A suspicious Clausen interviews Aleksander, who reveals his original surname – Köhler – before he married Regina. Martha, Magnus, Franziska and Elisabeth visit the cave, where they find Bartosz carrying the time machine. The kids take the time machine and leave Bartosz tied up in the cave.


In 2053, Silja walks outside the Dead Zone, where she is confronted by the adult Elisabeth at gunpoint. They have a heated conversation in which Elisabeth admits her knowledge of the God Particle.
155"Lost and Found"
"Vom Suchen und Finden"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1921, Adam discusses his philosophy with Jonas, who is dismayed by the callous person he is to become. Adam tells Jonas about a "loophole" that will change the past, and shows him a God Particle that will take him to any time he wants. Jonas decides to go to the day before Michael kills himself to convince him not to do it.


In 1987, Claudia invites Egon to move in with her in hopes of preventing his impending death. The imprisoned Ulrich escapes the psychiatric ward to visit Mikkel at the Kahnwald house. After a conversation, Mikkel realizes that the old man is actually his father. Ulrich tries to take Mikkel to the cave, but is apprehended by the police. Ines recovers Mikkel and Ulrich returns to the ward.


In 2020, Katharina attempts to explain to Magnus and Martha what she discovered, but is rebuffed by her children for her distant behaviour. Katharina then approaches Hannah for help understanding time travel. Adult Jonas leaves Martha a necklace at the Nielsen's house and goes to the Doppler's house to help Charlotte, who explains that Tannhaus is not her real grandfather and that she never learned her parents' identities. Magnus, Martha, Franziska and Elisabeth return to the caves, where Bartosz explains the time machine before taking them to 1987. Noah visits Charlotte at Tannhaus's workshop, revealing to her that she is his daughter.
166"An Endless Cycle"
"Ein unendlicher Kreis"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Martin Behnke21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

Jonas travels back to 20 June 2019 to stop Michael from killing himself. Jonas' 2019 self goes to the beach with Martha, Bartosz and Magnus; Michael has a tense encounter with his child self; Charlotte and Peter struggle with communication in the wake of Peter's affair; Aleksander fears that his past will catch up to him. After witnessing his 2019 self leaving the lake, 2020 Jonas shares an intimate moment with Martha. 2019 Jonas and Hannah arrive at the Nielsen family home on Ulrich and Katharina's anniversary, where Jonas has sex with Martha and Ulrich starts his affair with Hannah. 2020 Jonas reconciles with his father as he tries to convince him to not kill himself, except Michael claims he's not considering suicide and reveals that Jonas was the one who led young Mikkel into the portal in the first place. After reading his suicide note, Michael suggests that perhaps the real reason Jonas is there is to inform Michael of what he must do and what he must write. The elderly Claudia arrives at the house and convinces Jonas and Michael that Michael must travel to the past as a child and die in 2019 as an adult to let Jonas be conceived, as his role in the cycle is greater than he believes.


In 1921, two members of Sic Mundus — elder versions of Magnus and Franziska — share concerns with Adam.
177"The White Devil"
"Der weiße Teufel"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1954, Egon learns from the coroner that Claudia, discovered shot to death, had unusual amounts of radiation exposure. He believes she could have been the one who held Helge captive, but Helge says "he" told her about Claudia, the White Devil. Hannah travels to 1954 to see the imprisoned Ulrich at the asylum. She asks him to choose her or Katharina; he insists he would leave Katharina for her if she helps him get out, but she coldly walks away. She tells Egon the man is not her husband.


In 1987, Claudia tries to prevent the death of her father. Egon wonders why Ulrich tried to get to the caves again, but Claudia insists there is nothing there. He realises she knows about time travel and is selfishingly using the caves for her own gain. They struggle for the telephone, and he falls and hits his head. The dying Egon tells her she is the White Devil. After she returns to her own home, 2020 Jonas arrives, using a key the older Claudia gave him. He tells her they still may be able to change things.


In 2019, Martha meets adult Jonas, and is shocked to learn from Katharina that he is her nephew. Clausen confronts Aleksander about his background and informs him that in 1986, his own brother disappeared: Aleksander Köhler. Clausen shows him an anonymous note explaining that the answers to his brother's disappearance could be found in Winden. Aleksander says nothing.
188"Endings and Beginnings"
"Enden und Anfänge"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Daphne Ferraro21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)
Bartosz delivers the final message from elder Claudia to Regina – a picture of them from 1986. 2020 Jonas and Claudia wander through the caves with the machine, and Jonas explains to Claudia that her elder self taught him how to save the world, whereas Adam wants to destroy it. Wöller tells Charlotte that he helped Aleksander bury the radioactive waste in concrete, and she believes that Clausen entering the area will provoke the apocalypse. Noah reveals to Adam that he found the final pages, and tries to kill Adam, but Adam shows a picture of Elisabeth, who becomes the wife of Noah, and therefore Charlotte's mother. Magnus, Franziska and Agnes then pacify Noah, and Agnes shoots Noah. 2020 Jonas and Claudia turn on the machine in the caves, connecting the past and future. Young Noah visits Elder Jonas in his house, giving him a letter from Martha. 2020 Jonas and Martha reunite, but is interrupted by Adam who shoots Martha. In the reactor, Clausen forces the opening of the waste drums, which contain only rocks. In 2053, Elisabeth turns on the machine, simultaneously as Magnus and Franziska in 1921. This causes the generation of the dark matter from the waste in 2020. The dark matter vanishes, but as Katharina enters the cave and opens the Sic Mundus door, the dark matter creates a portal connecting Elisabeth to the power plant, where she meets Charlotte, and triggers the apocalypse. 2020 Jonas meets another version of Martha, who turns on an alternate time machine, and says she is not from another time, but another world.

Production[edit]

Netflix approved the series in February 2016 for a first season consisting of ten one-hour episodes.[13][2] Principal photography started on 18 October 2016 in and around Berlin[14] (including Saarmund and Tremsdorf in Brandenburg),[citation needed] and ended in March 2017.[2] The church where Michael meets Noah was filmed at the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf in Stahnsdorf. The high school location was filmed at the Reinfelder Schule in Berlin's Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf neighborhood. The bridge and the train tracks were filmed the middle of the Grünewald forest.[15] The Winden cave entrance is not a real location, but was built as a set.[citation needed]

The series was filmed in 4K (Ultra HD) resolution.[16] It is the first German-language Netflix original series and follows a trend of internationally produced Netflix originals, including the Mexican series Club de Cuervos in 2015, the Brazilian series 3% in 2016, and the Italian series Suburra: Blood on Rome in 2017.

Principal photography for the second season began in Berlin on 28 June 2018.[17]

Release[edit]

The first season of the series was released on 1 December 2017.

A second season was announced with a short teaser on the German Facebook pages of the series and Netflix on 20 December 2017.[18][19] On 26 April 2019, it was announced that the second season would premiere on 21 June 2019.[9]

Reception[edit]

The first season received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many noting its similarity to the 1990s TV series Twin Peaks and the 2016 Netflix series Stranger Things. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave Season 1 of the series an approval rating of 88%, with an average rating of 7.14 out of 10 based on 42 critics. The site's critical consensus is, "Dark's central mystery unfolds slowly, both tense and terrifying, culminating in a creepy, cinematic triumph of sci-fi noir."[20] The series was praised for its tone, the complexity of its narrative, and its pacing.[7] Metacritic reported a score of 61 out of 100 based on 13 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21] Many claimed that it was darker and more in-depth than Stranger Things, and far more evocative of the tone of Twin Peaks.[5] However, there was some criticism of its heavy-handed approach to its message, the lack of sympathetic characters, and the unoriginality of certain aspects of the series.[6]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Season 2 of the series holds an approval rating of 100% based on 14 reviews, with a user rating of 99% based on 580 reviews.[22] Since 4 July 2019 the Series holds the first Place in IMDbs TVmeter, which makes it the worlds most popular show right now.[1] Critics referred to Season 2 as ominous and much more bizarre than the first season.[23] Critics are also now saying that the series has managed to subvert several tropes regarding the concepts of time travel.[24]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The series was nominated for the Goldene Kamera TV awards 2018 in three categories: best series; best actress: Karoline Eichhorn as Charlotte Doppler; and best actor: Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen.[25] None of these nominations resulted in awards, but Louis Hofmann received the "Best Newcomer" award in recognition (among other of his performances in several movies) of his lead role in Dark.[26] In August 2018 the series received nomination in the category Best TV Show in the Brazilian award BreakTudo Awards 2018, and actor Louis Hofmann was nominated in the category "International Actor".[27]

The series was awarded the 2018 Grimme-Preis award in the category "fiction", which singled out the following cast and crew for awards:

  1. Jantje Friese (screenplay)
  2. Baran bo Odar (director)
  3. Udo Kramer (production design)
  4. Simone Baer (casting)
  5. Angela Winkler (actress)
  6. Louis Hofmann (actor)
  7. Oliver Masucci (actor)

The actors named are awarded as "representatives for the full cast".[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Renfro, Kim (11 December 2017). "Netflix's new series 'Dark' has a terrific and unique soundtrack — here are all the best songs featured". Insider. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dark, The First Netflix Original Series Produced In Germany Commences Principal Photography". Netflix Media Center. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Netflix Drops Teaser for New German Series Dark". ComingSoon.net. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ Netflix (4 October 2017). "Dark Teaser [HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b Romero, Ariana (1 December 2017). "Is This New German Netflix Show The Next Stranger Things?". Refinery29. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b Garvin, Glenn (1 December 2017). "You Won't Be Afraid of This Dark, But You Might Be Bored". Reason. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b Bakare, Lanre (1 December 2017). "Dark review – a classy, knotty, time-travelling whodunnit for TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  8. ^ Shepherd, Jack (21 December 2017). "Dark renewed for season 2 by Netflix". The Independent. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b @@DarkNetflixDE (26 April 2019). "DARK Season 2 comes out June 21st!" (Tweet). Retrieved 26 April 2019 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Gelman, Vlada (30 May 2019). "TVLine Items: Monica Potter's New Series, Netflix's Dark to End and More". TVLine. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  11. ^ Rogers, Thomas (23 November 2017). "With 'Dark,' a German Netflix Series, Streaming Crosses a New Border". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Jonas Kahnwald". Netflix. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  13. ^ Roxborough, Scott (24 February 2016). "Netflix Confirms First German Series 'Dark' From Baran bo Odar". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  14. ^ Webb, Claire. "Where is Netflix’s new series Dark filmed? Is Winden a real place?," Radio Times (1 December 2017).
  15. ^ "WHERE WAS THE NETFLIX’S SERIES DARK FILMED? Three Locations from the series around Berlin," Fotostrasse. Accessed July 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Jacoby, Katia. "Dark". Netflix Media Center. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Netflix continues to bring new and diverse stories from Europe, Middle East and Africa to the world". Netflix Media Center. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  18. ^ "Second season on Facebook announced". DARKNetflix on Facebook. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Netflix announces second season on Facebook". Netflix on Facebook. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Dark: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Dark". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  22. ^ Dark: Season 2, retrieved 5 July 2019
  23. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (21 June 2019). "'Dark' Review: Season 2 Is Defiantly Bizarre, Twisty, and More Addictive Than Ever". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  24. ^ Gennis, Sadie (21 June 2019). "The Dark Timeline You Desperately Need for This Complicated Netflix Show". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  25. ^ Braun, Christina (5 February 2018). "Dark: 3 Nominierungen für die Goldene Kamera". Newsslash.com (in German). Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  26. ^ Attimonelli, Alexander (22 February 2018). ""Goldene Kamera Nachwuchspreis": Louis Hofmann". Goldene Kamera. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  27. ^ "Nominees announced for BreakTudo Awards 2018". CelebMix. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  28. ^ "54. Grimme-Preis 2018 Dark (Netflix)". Grimme-Preis (in German). Retrieved 14 March 2018.

External links[edit]