Dark (TV series)

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Dark
Dark logo.png
Genre
Created by
Written by
  • Jantje Friese
  • Ronny Schalk
  • Marc O. Seng
  • Martin Behnke
  • Daphne Ferraro
Directed byBaran bo Odar
Starring
Theme music composerApparat
Opening theme"Goodbye" by Apparat (featuring Soap&Skin)[4]
ComposerBen Frost
Country of originGermany
Original languages
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producers
  • Justyna Müsch
  • Jantje Friese
  • Quirin Berg
  • Max Wiedemann
  • Baran bo Odar
Production locationGermany
CinematographyNikolaus Summerer[5]
Running time44–73 minutes
Production companyWiedemann & Berg Television
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (Ultra HD)
Original release1 December 2017 (2017-12-01) –
27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

Dark is a German science fiction thriller television series co-created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese.[5][6][7] It ran for three seasons from 2017 to 2020. The story follows characters from the fictional village of Winden, Germany, as they pursue the truth in the aftermath of a child's disappearance. They follow connections between four estranged families to unravel a sinister time travel conspiracy which spans several generations. The series explores the existential implications of time and its effect on human nature. It features an ensemble cast including Louis Hofmann, Julika Jenkins, Andreas Pietschmann, Maja Schöne, Lisa Vicari, Lisa Kreuzer, Dietrich Hollinderbäumer, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel, Mark Waschke, and Oliver Masucci.

Dark debuted on 1 December 2017 on Netflix; it is the service's first German-language original series. The second season was released on 21 June 2019,[8][9] while the third and final season was released on 27 June 2020.[10][11]

Dark received critical acclaim, with praise for its tone, visuals, acting, casting, musical score, and the ambition and complexity of its narrative. The series' ending also received critical praise, with many calling it a "satisfying" conclusion. In 2021, BBC ranked the series as the 58th greatest TV series of the 21st Century.[12]

Overview[edit]

Children start vanishing from the German town of Winden,[13] bringing to light the fractured relationships, double lives, and the dark pasts of four families living there, and unfurling a mystery that spans four generations.

The first season begins in 2019, but later grows to include 1986 and 1953 via time travel, when members of the show's central families become aware of a wormhole in the cave system beneath the local nuclear power plant. During the first season, secrets are revealed concerning the Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann families, and their lives begin crumbling as their ties are exposed. The conspiracy involves the missing children and the history 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 are set in 2053 and 1921. The second season introduces Sic Mundus Creatus Est, a major faction in the ongoing battle for the ultimate fate of the people of Winden and the world. The season counts down towards the apocalypse.

The third season follows the four families across time in the wake of the apocalypse in 2020. It introduces a parallel world tethered to the first. The third season continues the 1954, 1987, 2020 and 2053 storylines in the first world, while also adding a new 1888 storyline and 2019 and 2052 in the second world, as the factions further their own desires for each world. The season also showcases the main events between all of these years, continuing the events of the season while also serving as backstory for the events of the first two seasons.

Cast and characters[edit]

The first season takes place primarily in 2019 but expands to include stories set in 1986, 1953, and – in the final scene of the first season – 2052, with several characters 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 storyline into 2053, and adding a fifth storyline, set in 1921. The third season introduces a storyline based in 1888 and a parallel reality featuring alternate versions of many main characters.

Main characters[edit]

Character Life stage Description Actor Season
1 2 3
Jonas Kahnwald Child A young boy Jonas Gerzabek Does not appear Guest
Teen A high school student struggling with his father's suicide. Martha's love interest. Louis Hofmann Main
Adult A time traveller, known as "the Stranger" Andreas Pietschmann Main
Elder The leader of Sic Mundus, known as "Adam" Dietrich Hollinderbäumer Does not appear Main
Hannah Kahnwald Teen Hannah Krüger, daughter of Sebastian Krüger, a secretive young girl Ella Lee Main Guest
Adult Jonas' mother and Michael's wife, a massage therapist; Silja Tiedemann's mother Maja Schöne Main
Ines Kahnwald Teen A young girl Lena Urzendowsky Recurring Does not appear Guest
Adult Michael's adoptive mother, a nurse Anne Ratte-Polle Main Guest
Elder Jonas' estranged grandmother Angela Winkler Main Does not appear
Daniel Kahnwald Adult Ines' father, the Winden chief of police Florian Panzner Main Guest
Martha Nielsen Child A young girl Luna Arwen Krüger Does not appear Guest
Teen Ulrich and Katharina's middle Child, Bartosz's girlfriend and Jonas' love interest Lisa Vicari Main
Adult A survivor of the Apocalypse in an alternate reality, a member of Erit Lux, known as "female stranger" Nina Kronjäger Does not appear Main
Elder The leader of Erit Lux, known as "Eva" Barbara Nüsse Does not appear Main
Magnus Nielsen Teen Ulrich and Katharina's oldest Child, Franziska's boyfriend Moritz Jahn Main
Adult A member of Sic Mundus Wolfram Koch Does not appear Recurring Main
Mikkel Nielsen Child Ulrich and Katharina's youngest child, who goes missing in 2019 and emerges in 1986 Daan Lennard Liebrenz Main
Adult Hannah's husband and Jonas' father, called Michael Kahnwald, an artist who commits suicide Sebastian Rudolph Main Guest
Ulrich Nielsen Teen A high school student struggling after his brother's disappearance Ludger Bökelmann Main Does not appear Guest
Adult Katharina's husband; Magnus, Martha and Mikkel's father; a police officer Oliver Masucci Main
Elder Patient in a psychiatric ward, known as "The Inspector" Winfried Glatzeder Does not appear Main Recurring
Katharina Nielsen Teen Ulrich's girlfriend, a high school student Nele Trebs Main Guest Recurring
Adult Ulrich's wife; Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel's mother; a high school principal Jördis Triebel Main
Tronte Nielsen Teen Agnes and The Unknown's son,[14] newly arrived in Winden Joshio Marlon Recurring Guest
Adult Jana's husband; Ulrich and Mads' father; a journalist Felix Kramer Main Does not appear Guest
Elder Jana's husband; Ulrich's father; Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel's grandfather Walter Kreye Main Guest Recurring
Jana Nielsen Teen A young girl Rike Sindler Recurring Does not appear Guest
Adult Tronte's wife; Ulrich and Mads' mother Anne Lebinsky Main Does not appear Guest
Elder Tronte's wife; Ulrich's mother; Magnus, Martha and Mikkel's grandmother Tatja Seibt Main Guest Does not appear
Helene Albers Child A young pregnant girl Mariella Aumann Does not appear Guest
Adult Katharina's abusive mother; a psychiatric nurse Katharina Spiering Does not appear Guest Main
Agnes Nielsen Child Bartosz and Silja's daughter; Noah's younger sister Helena Pieske Does not appear Guest Does not appear
Adult Tronte's mother, newly returned to Winden Antje Traue Main Recurring
Franziska Doppler Teen Peter and Charlotte's daughter, Elisabeth's older sister, Magnus Nielsen's love interest Gina Alice Stiebitz Main
Adult A member of Sic Mundus Carina Wiese Does not appear Main
Elisabeth Doppler Child Peter and Charlotte's deaf daughter, Franziska's younger sister Carlotta von Falkenhayn Main
Adult Charlotte's mother, leader of the survivors of the Winden apocalypse Sandra Borgmann Does not appear Main
Peter Doppler Teen Helge's son who travelled to Winden after his mother's death Pablo Striebeck Does not appear Guest
Adult Charlotte's husband; Franziska and Elisabeth's father; Jonas' psychologist Stephan Kampwirth Main
Charlotte Doppler Teen An orphaned girl raised by her guardian, H.G. Tannhaus Stephanie Amarell Main Does not appear Guest
Adult Peter's wife; Franziska and Elisabeth's mother; Winden chief of police Karoline Eichhorn Main
Helge Doppler Child Bernd and Greta's son Tom Philipp Main Recurring
Adult Peter's father, a power plant guard Peter Schneider Main Recurring Guest
Elder Patient in a psychiatric ward Hermann Beyer Main Does not appear Main
Bernd Doppler Adult Greta's husband; Helge's father, founder of the power plant Anatole Taubman Main Does not appear Guest
Elder Helge's father, former director of the power plant Michael Mendl Recurring Guest
Greta Doppler Adult Bernd's wife, Helge's mother Cordelia Wege Main Recurring Guest
H.G. Tannhaus Adult A clock-maker Arnd Klawitter Main Guest Recurring
Elder Charlotte's guardian, a clockmaker, lecturer in theoretical physics, and the author of A Journey Through Time Christian Steyer Main Guest Main
Bartosz Tiedemann Teen Regina and Aleksander's son, Jonas' best friend and Martha's boyfriend Paul Lux Main
Adult Noah and Agnes's father; a member of Sic Mundus Roman Knižka Does not appear Guest Recurring
Regina Tiedemann Teen Claudia and Bernd's daughter Lydia Maria Makrides Main Guest
Adult Aleksander's wife, Bartosz's mother, a hotel manager Deborah Kaufmann Main
Aleksander Tiedemann (Boris Niewald, later Aleksander Köhler) Teen A young man from Gießen, born as Boris Niewald, assuming the identity of a victim (Aleksander Köhler) of a bank run that he was involved in Béla Gabor Lenz Guest
Adult Regina's husband, Bartosz's father, and director of the power plant Peter Benedict Main
Claudia Tiedemann Child Egon and Doris' daughter, Helge's tutor Gwendolyn Göbel Main Guest
Adult Regina's mother, director of the power plant Julika Jenkins Main
Elder Jonas and Noah's mentor; a time traveller Lisa Kreuzer Recurring Main Recurring
Egon Tiedemann Adult Doris' husband; Claudia and Silja's father, a police officer Sebastian Hülk Main Recurring
Elder Claudia and Silja's father, a police chief inspector approaching retirement Christian Pätzold Main Recurring
Doris Tiedemann Adult Claudia's mother and Egon's wife Luise Heyer Main Guest
Noah (Hanno Tauber) Child Bartosz and Silja's son Till Patz Does not appear Guest
Teen Bartosz's son. Agnes' older brother, an acolyte of Sic Mundus Max Schimmelpfennig Does not appear Main
Adult Charlotte's biological father; a priest and member of Sic Mundus Mark Waschke Main
Silja Tiedemann Child Hannah and Egon's daughter, Jonas and Claudia's half-sister Aurora Dervisi Does not appear Guest
Teen Elisabeth's interpreter, known as "girl from the future" Lea van Acken Guest Main
Adult Noah and Agnes's mother Lissy Pernthaler Does not appear Guest
The Unknown Child Jonas and Martha's son; a member of Erit Lux, believed to be the origin of the disruptions in time. The three Unknowns operate together to ensure the apocalypse occurs in both Adam and Eva's worlds. Claude Heinrich Does not appear Main
Adult Jakob Diehl Does not appear Main
Elder Hans Diehl Does not appear Main
W. Clausen Adult A police inspector called to Winden to investigate the missing persons of 2019. Brother of the real Aleksander Köhler, whose identity was assumed by Boris Niewald, now Aleksander Tiedemann. Sylvester Groth Does not appear Main Does not appear

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Jennipher Antoni as Ulla Obendorf, Erik Obendorf's mother in 2019 (season 1)
  • Nils Brunkhorst as the high school's science teacher in 2019 (seasons 1, 3)
  • Lena Dörrie as Clara Schrage, a nurse attending to Helge Doppler in 2019 (season 1)
  • Tara Fischer as a friend of Katharina in 1986–1987 (seasons 1–3)
  • Leopold Hornung as Torben Wöller, a junior police officer in 2019–2020, Benni/Bernadette's brother (seasons 1–3)
  • Tom Jahn as Jürgen Obendorf, Erik Obendorf's father in 2019–2020 (seasons 1–3)
  • Anna König as Edda Heimann, a pathologist in 2019 (seasons 1, 3)
  • Vico Mücke as Yasin Friese, Elisabeth Doppler's friend in 2019 (season 1)
  • Henning Peker as Udo Meier, a pathologist in 1953–1954 (seasons 1–2)
  • Barbara Philipp 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 as Benni/Bernadette, a transgender prostitute in 2019–2020, Torben's sister (seasons 1–3)
  • Sammy Scheuritzel as Kilian Obendorf, Erik Obendorf's brother and Martha and Bartosz's classmate in 2019's alternative world (seasons 1, 3)
  • Anna Schönberg as Donata Kraus, a nurse and Ines Kahnwald's co-worker in 1986 (season 1)
  • Andreas Schröders as a power plant worker in 2020 (season 2)
  • Mieke Schymura as Justyna Jankowski, a junior police officer in 2019–2020 (seasons 1–3)
  • Axel Werner as Gustav Tannhaus, H.G. Tannhaus' grandfather and an industrialist fascinated with time travel (season 3)
  • Lea Willkowsky as Jasmin Trewen, Claudia Tiedemann's secretary in 1986–1987 (seasons 1–3)
  • Roland Wolf as a police officer and co-worker of Egon Tiedemann in 1953–1954 (seasons 1–2)

Family tree[edit]

Season 1 family tree
a family tree of many of the characters
The Doppler, Nielsen, Kahnwald and Tiedemann Families
Season 2 family tree
a family tree of many of the characters
The Doppler, Nielsen, Kahnwald and Tiedemann Families
Season 3 family tree
a family tree of many of the characters
Families from Jonas' world

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
1101 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
2821 June 2019 (2019-06-21)
3827 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Secrets"
"Geheimnisse"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In June 2019, 43-year-old Michael Kahnwald commits suicide. His mother Ines hides his suicide letter before anyone else notices it. On 4 November, after nearly two 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's 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's 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, the three Nielsen children, and Franziska Doppler 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 able to clear Erik Obendorf's father, 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 Mads'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 that the date is 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 found by police chief Egon Tiedemann, who suspects he has been beaten by the teenage Ulrich. Mikkel is brought to the hospital by Ines, then a nurse, 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 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, shy young Hannah has unrequited feelings for 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 escapes from the hospital and returns to the caves; after breaking his leg, he calls for help.


In 2019, Ulrich, also having returned to the caves, hears his faint calls, but they cannot 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 her husband Peter is crumbling since he was discovered to be having an affair with a transgender sex worker named Bernadette, 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. Franziska's deaf younger sister, 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 visited in the hospital by a priest: Noah. After having discovered Ulrich and Katharina's affair, 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 also Noah. 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. There he stayed and grew up, raised by Ines, eventually marrying Hannah and fathering Jonas. Thus Mikkel Nielsen became Michael Kahnwald.
66"Sic Mundus Creatus Est" (transl. Thus the World Was Created)Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)
In 2019, Mikkel's family struggles not to turn against each other, Regina discovers 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 resenting 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; in it are 14-year-old Hannah and her father Sebastian, offering Jonas a ride in the rain, warning him about contaminated rain from the recent Chernobyl disaster.
77"Crossroads"
"Kreuzwege"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng1 December 2017 (2017-12-01)

In 1986, Helge, who was working at the plant the night Mads disappeared, is questioned by Egon about his whereabouts. The Stranger explains to Jonas that Mikkel is indeed his father and warns him that taking Mikkel back home to 2019 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.


In 2019, the police are finally allowed to enter the power plant, and in the caves Charlotte finds a door that is welded shut. 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. 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.
88"What you sow, you will 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 (Ines' father) 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 disclaims 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 believes 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 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 the original 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 released without charges, 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. She lies to Katharina that Ulrich wanted to leave his family. Regina discovers the Stranger's research, and Jonas breaks things off with Martha. Bartosz is approached by an elderly 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)

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


In 2019, Charlotte uncovers 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, 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 awakens in a post-apocalyptic Winden in 2052.[15] He is accosted by a gang of bandits and knocked out by an armed woman.

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, a young Noah and another man are building the passage that will become the portal. Noah kills his companion on suspicions that he "lost faith". The younger Noah is guided by his older self, a member of a society of time travellers called Sic Mundus led by the disfigured and mysterious Adam. Adam tells adult Noah to retrieve 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 help Winden's police investigate 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 reveals his identity to Hannah. Aleksander has a truck of radioactive waste moved into the power plant.


In 2053, the teenage Jonas is stuck in post-apocalyptic Winden. He is monitored by the now adult Elisabeth, who survived the apocalypse and now leads a group of survivors. She forbids entry to the power plant under penalty of death. Jonas enters the Dead Zone nonetheless and finds a large, floating amorphous black blob inside.
122"Dark Matter"
"Dunkle Materie"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Ronny Schalk21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1987, Mikkel struggles to adapt to life with Ines. Old Claudia visits her younger self, giving her coordinates of a time machine buried in her backyard. Egon has retired and begun to doubt his actions regarding the dead children's bodies in 1953. He interviews Helge and goes to the local psychiatric facility to visit an elderly Ulrich, who has spent 34 years incarcerated. Ulrich rebuffs Egon for his naivety.


In 2020, Clausen and Charlotte interview Regina, who is slowly dying from cancer. She discusses the Stranger who left his belongings at her hotel, which included pages from Tannhaus' book. The newfound evidence makes Charlotte, who was raised by Tannhaus, question her origins. Adult Jonas informs Hannah about time travel and takes her to 1987, where they see Mikkel in Ines' house.


In 2053, Jonas learns via recordings by Claudia about the "God Particle", the blob in the reactor usable as a portal for time travel. He is caught by Elisabeth stealing fuel for the portal. She begins to hang him publicly, but relents and imprisons him instead. Elisabeth's interpreter Silja, curious, frees Jonas. They enter the Dead Zone and access the God Particle. Jonas heads inside, leaving Silja behind.
133"Ghosts"
"Gespenster"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng21 June 2019 (2019-06-21)

In 1954, a young and disfigured Helge returns 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. Claudia delivers Tannhaus' book to him, then apologizes to her father's younger self, to his confusion. Claudia encounters Noah in the forest, who kills her. Noah retrieves the missing pages and is dismayed by his findings. He lies to Adam about finding the pages. Egon unsuccessfully interviews Helge and visits a catatonic 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 Travelers"
"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 then tries to return to 2020 through the portal, but is stuck because the portal has yet to be built. Noah 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 visits Winden's public library, where she discovers a report on Egon's death; she then travels back to 1987. 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. Katharina searches the school archives for the class photo of 1987 and identifies Mikkel, confirming Jonas' claims.


In 2053, Silja walks into the power plant, 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 speaks with Jonas, who is dismayed by the callous person he is to become. Adam shows Jonas 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. Ulrich escapes the psychiatric ward to visit Mikkel at the Kahnwald house. After a conversation, Mikkel realises that the old man is actually his father. Ulrich tries to take Mikkel to the cave but is apprehended by the police.


In 2020, Katharina attempts to explain to Magnus and Martha what she discovered but is rebuffed for her distant behaviour. Katharina then approaches Hannah for help understanding time travel. Adult Jonas goes to the Doppler 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 in the wake of Peter's affair; Aleksander fears his past will catch up to him. After witnessing his 2019 self leaving the lake, 2020 Jonas shares a kiss 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. However, Michael states that he is not considering suicide and reveals that Jonas was the one who led Mikkel into the portal in the first place. After reading his suicide note, Michael suggests Jonas is really there to inform Michael of what he must do. The elderly Claudia arrives at the house and convinces them that Michael must die and Mikkel must travel to the past so Jonas can be conceived.


In 1921, two members of Sic Mundus—older 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. They theorize that she kidnapped Helge, but Helge says "he" told her about Claudia, the White Devil. Hannah travels to 1954 and asks to see Ulrich at the asylum. Ulrich promises he will leave Katharina for her if she helps him get out, but she does not believe him and coldly walks away.


In 1987, Claudia tries to prevent the death of her father. Egon deduces that she knows about time travel and is selfishly using the caves for her own gain. They struggle for the telephone and he falls and hits his head. As he dies, Egon tells her she is the White Devil. 2020 Jonas arrives and tells Claudia they still may be able to change the events.


In 2020, Martha meets adult Jonas. Clausen confronts Aleksander about his background and informs him that in 1986 his own brother disappeared and that his name was 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)

In 1921, Noah tries to kill Adam for lying to him, but his gun fails to fire. Adam says he cannot be killed because that is "not his fate". He then explains that Elisabeth will become young Noah's wife and therefore Charlotte's mother, after which Agnes appears and kills Noah.


In 2020, young Jonas explains to Claudia that her elder self taught him how to save the world, whereas Adam wants to destroy it. Charlotte learns of the radioactive waste buried in the power plant; she believes that Clausen entering the area will provoke the apocalypse. Young Jonas and Martha reunite but are interrupted by Adam, who shoots Martha. In the power plant, Clausen opens the radioactive waste drums containing rocks soiled with dark matter.


In 2053, Elisabeth activates the machine, simultaneously as Magnus and Franziska do so in 1921. Katharina enters the cave and opens the gate, opening a portal linking Elisabeth to Charlotte in 2020. As Winden is razed by the apocalypse, adult Jonas takes Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska to 1888, while young Jonas meets another version of Martha who says she is not from another time, but from another world.

Season 3 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
191"Deja-vu"Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 1987, the "Unknown"—a time traveler appearing as his child, adult, and elder selves at the same time—burns down the Sic Mundus church, and later assassinates Bernd Doppler in his home, stealing the keys to the nuclear power plant.


Amidst the apocalypse in 2020, Jonas and the "other" Martha travel to a parallel world where Jonas was never born; Martha then disappears. As of November 2019 in this alternate dimension, Katharina and Ulrich are divorced; Hannah is married to and pregnant by Ulrich, who is having an affair with Charlotte; Franziska is deaf instead of Elisabeth; and Regina is deceased. Jonas later meets an elderly Martha, who tells him that even though he does not exist in this world, it will nonetheless fall apart again and again. Alternate-dimension Martha travels back to 21 September 1888 to meet adult Jonas, who has spent the past months building a device to activate the God Particle. Martha informs him she has come to find the origin of events in each of their worlds.
202"The Survivors"
"Die Überlebenden"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 1888, Franziska, Magnus, Bartosz, and adult Jonas learn about the second world from alternate-dimension Martha. The elderly Gustav Tannhaus – H.G. Tannhaus' grandfather – promises Jonas he can create a paradise. Bartosz shows Martha a secret lodge where Gustav's father Heinrich attempted to build a time machine to prevent his wife's death. Martha reveals to Bartosz that Jonas is Adam.


In 1987, adult Katharina visits Ulrich in the psychiatric ward and promises to liberate him. Tronte's marriage with Jana is strained following Mads' disappearance and Tronte's affair with Claudia. Tronte visits Regina, whom he believes is his child, and decides to stop investigating Claudia's disappearance. The Unknown breaks into the power plant and murders Claudia's secretary.


In September 2020, three months after the apocalypse, an ailing Regina is visited by the elderly Tronte, who reluctantly smothers her to death. Peter and Elisabeth learn that a perimeter wall will be built around Winden. They encounter the teenage Noah, who promises to protect Elisabeth.


In alternate-dimension 2019, the elderly Martha shows Jonas the full Winden family tree. She tells him that in her world, the apocalypse will happen in just three days.
213"Adam and Eva"
"Adam und Eva"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 1888, the Unknown murders Gustav Tannhaus. Bartosz clashes with Jonas, enraged that he did not disclose that he is Adam. Jonas attempts to activate the particle, but the power fails. Martha uses the distraction to travel to 2053, where she is revealed to be taking orders from Adam.


In alternate 2019, the elderly Martha tells Jonas that she is "Eva" — Adam's counterpart in this world — and that her connection with Jonas ties the two worlds in an inseparable "knot". Eva claims that whereas she wants to save both worlds, Adam wants to destroy them, and that if Jonas wants Martha to live he must guide the Martha of Eva's world to become Eva herself. Later, the Unknown is shown to be working for Eva and delivers her the keys to the power plant's control system. Elsewhere in Eva's world, Ulrich informs the police about an unidentified child's body bearing Mads Nielsen's ID card. Helge confesses to the police that he killed Mads. Hannah learns of Ulrich's affair and blackmails Aleksander to ruin Charlotte's life. Jonas takes alternate Martha through the wormhole in the cave. The two emerge in a future desert landscape and are approached by an adult Martha.
224"The Origin"
"Der Ursprung"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 1954, young Tronte meets the Unknown, who implies he is Tronte's father. Egon is having an affair with Hannah; she becomes pregnant and tells Egon, who gives her money for an abortion. While waiting, Hannah meets a young Helene Albers — Katharina's future mother. Hannah ultimately reconsiders and leaves. Jana begins to fall for Tronte, while Tronte loses his virginity to Claudia. Doris learns from the Unknown that Egon is having an affair; she decides to divorce him. The Unknown coerces Winden's mayor into approving the power plant.


In 2052 in the post-apocalyptic Eva's world, the adult Martha tells Jonas and young Martha they can prevent the apocalypse if they can stop the opening of the barrels in the power plant. After they leave, Noah of Eva's world appears and remarks that the Winden family lineage is an infinite circle. Martha and Jonas return to 2019 and have passionate sex.


Adam has moved Sic Mundus' base of operations to 2053. Agnes says she knows the true origin of the cycle and later enters the God Particle. Adam reveals to Martha that she is pregnant, and that her child with Jonas—the Unknown—is the origin of the family tree.
235"Life and Death"
"Leben und Tod"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 1987, Katharina tries to rob Helene, who works at the psychiatric facility, to obtain her keycard. Helene bludgeons Katharina to death with a rock and drowns her body in the lake. H.G. Tannhaus reveals to the teenage Charlotte that she was given to him by two mysterious women shortly after his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter were killed in a car accident.


In 2020, Peter continues to look for Charlotte and Franziska, despite Elisabeth believing they are dead. Returning to their trailer, they encounter an intruder who murders Peter before being killed by Elisabeth. She goes to the cave and is comforted by Noah. Meanwhile, Claudia is met by her doppelgänger from Eva's world, who assigns her to save both worlds and gives her the journal for the first time.


In 2019 in Eva's world, Jonas leads Martha to the power plant to prevent the apocalypse. After she injures her face in a similar manner to a scar on Eva's face, he realizes they are merely perpetuating the cycle of events in her world. He and Martha go to confront Eva. She tells Jonas he has served his purpose, after which another teenage Martha emerges and shoots Jonas dead.
246"Light and Shadow"
"Licht und Schatten"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese & Marc O. Seng27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In 2020, Claudia and Jonas — apparently still alive — go to the abandoned power plant and find the God Particle in a dormant state. Claudia persuades Jonas to help her restore it.


In 2052 in Eva's world, Eva explains to her teenage self that Martha's death in Adam's world is the point at which two parallel realities overlap in quantum entanglement: in one scenario, alternate Martha saves Jonas from the apocalypse; in the other, Jonas survives on his own, eventually becoming Adam.


Martha of Eva's world travels to the day of the apocalypse and contacts Bartosz; unable to reach Aleksander, they race to the power plant, but are intercepted by the adult Magnus and Franziska from Adam's world, who state that Eva lied to her. They send Martha on her mission to rescue Jonas. Bartosz encounters his adult self, sent by Eva alongside the other acolytes of Erit Lux (transl. Let There Be Light, her world's counterpart to Sic Mundus) to complete her world's cycle. The Unknowns travel to the year 1986 in both worlds to release radioactive waste at the power plant – this eventually causes the wormhole and the apocalypse. Aleksander and Charlotte open the barrels of radioactive waste at the power plant, unleashing the apocalypse in Eva's world.


In 2053 in Adam's world, Adam tries to destroy the origin by activating the God Particle at the time of both apocalypses and releasing their energy onto Martha, killing her and the child forever.
257"In Between Time"
"Zwischen der Zeit"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

In one scenario of the 2020 apocalypse, Martha from Eva's world saves Jonas from the apocalypse; in the other, she is stopped by Bartosz of Eva's world. He takes Martha back to her world to face Eva, who instructs her to kill Jonas when he arrives with the other 2019 Martha.


In 1890, Bartosz meets Silja, who was sent from 2053 by Adam. They go on to have two children together: Hanno (Noah) and Agnes (whose birth results in Silja's death). In 1911, Hannah arrives with her daughter Silja to stay with Jonas, who has begun to transform into Adam. Jonas murders Hannah and sends Silja to post-apocalyptic Winden.


Jonas and Claudia work fruitlessly to reactivate the God Particle through 2041, by which point Charlotte has been born to Noah and Elisabeth. The adult Elisabeth and Charlotte from 2053 travel to 2041 to kidnap baby Charlotte, whom they deliver to Tannhaus. Noah's search for his daughter leads to his initiation into Sic Mundus by Adam in 1920. Claudia kills her alternate self and begins posing as her for Eva, all the while collecting information about both worlds. In 2052, the elderly Claudia sends the adult Jonas on his 2019 mission to Winden.


In 2053, Adam's attempt to destroy the Origin fails to erase his existence, baffling him. He is then met by an elderly Claudia, who tells him she knows how the worlds are connected.
268"Paradise"
"Das Paradies"
Baran bo OdarJantje Friese27 June 2020 (2020-06-27)

Claudia explains to Adam how he and Eva are locked in an inextricable triquetra knot that originated outside both their worlds. Claudia directs Adam to prevent the origin in a third, original world where H.G. Tannhaus created a time machine to prevent the death of his family, inadvertently splitting his world into the worlds of Adam and Eva.


Adam takes Jonas to Eva's world, urging him to collect Martha and prevent the origin. Adam then confronts Eva and, to her shock, refuses to kill her as she remembers discovering. Recognizing that the cycle has been broken, Eva embraces Adam. Jonas and Martha travel to the origin world through the passage in the cave and successfully save Tannhaus' family, thereby erasing both worlds from existence.


The only main characters who remain in the origin world are those whose birth was not a result of time travel. Peter is in a relationship with Bernadette; Regina and Katharina are single; and Hannah is expecting a child with Bernadette's brother Torben. At a dinner party, Hannah notices a yellow raincoat in the corner of the room and experiences a brief moment of déjà vu. Asked what she will name her child, Hannah says she is not sure, but has always quite liked the name "Jonas".

Production[edit]

Netflix approved the series in February 2016 for a first season consisting of ten one-hour episodes.[16][5] Principal photography started on 18 October 2016 in and around Berlin[17] (including Saarmund and Tremsdorf in Brandenburg),[18] and ended in March 2017.[5] The church where Jonas meets Noah was filmed at the Südwestkirchhof Cemetery [de] in Stahnsdorf. The high school location was filmed at the Reinfelder Schule in Berlin's Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf neighbourhood. The bridge and the train tracks were filmed on the abandoned Wannsee-Stahnsdorf railway [de] in the middle of the Düppeler forest near Lake Wannsee.[19]

The series was filmed in 4K (Ultra HD) resolution.[20] 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, the Italian series Suburra: Blood on Rome in 2017, and the Indian series Sacred Games in 2018.

Principal photography for the second season took place on location in Berlin from June 2018.[21]

Filming for the third season began in May 2019 and wrapped in December 2019.[22]

Music[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Dark: Cycle 1 (Original Music from the Netflix Series)
Soundtrack album by
Released28 June 2019 (2019-06-28)
Genre
Length40:50
Label
ProducerBen Frost

Track listing[edit]

Dark: Cycle 1 (Original Music from the Netflix Series)[23]
No.TitleLength
1."Alles ist miteinander verbunden"2:36
2."Ein Mensch – Ein Schmetterling"2:02
3."Die Hölle ist leer, alle Teufel sind hier"5:04
4."Tick tack, tick tack"2:52
5."Warum nicht Waldweg"2:12
6."Apokalypse"3:31
7."Kein DeLorean"2:52
8."Das ist nicht Mikkel"2:30
9."Eine Reise durch die Zeit"2:32
10."Ich kann die Vergangenheit ändern"2:08
11."Gott gib mir Gelassenheit"2:52
12."Wo ist Übergang"9:39
Total length:40:50

Season 2[edit]

Dark: Cycle 2 (Original Music from the Netflix Series)
Soundtrack album by
Released16 August 2019 (2019-08-16)
Genre
Length46:03
Label
ProducerBen Frost

Track listing[edit]

Dark: Cycle 2 (Original Music from the Netflix Series)[24]
No.TitleLength
1."Schwarze Materie"2:58
2."Winden 2053"2:40
3."Bootstrap"5:04
4."Alles in einer endlosen Schleife"1:57
5."Die Reisenden 1"3:11
6."Du bist ein so guter Mensch"5:02
7."Jeder bekommt was er verdient"2:24
8."Die Apokalypse muss kommen"3:06
9."Wir Haben keine Zeit mehr"4:43
10."Die Reisenden 2"2:45
11."Ich dachte, ich hätte mehr Zeit"5:32
12."Folge dem Signal"3:03
13."Der Weiße Teufel"3:38
Total length:46:03

Season 3[edit]

Dark: Cycle 3 (Music from the Netflix Original Series)
Soundtrack album by
Released24 July 2020 (2020-07-24)
Genre
Length46:57
Label
ProducerBen Frost

Track listing[edit]

Dark: Cycle 3 (Music from the Netflix Original Series)[25]
No.TitleLength
1."Origin"2:11
2."Bevor Alles Wieder Passiert"2:16
3."Ein Tropfen – Ein Ozean"2:40
4."Die Welt Geht Heute Unter"3:43
5."Nicht Deine Martha"1:37
6."Du Lebst"1:57
7."Anderer Mensch – Anderer Schmetterling"1:35
8."Wenn Alles Gelingt, Wird Sie Leben"3:25
9."Eva"4:56
10."Franziska & Magnus"3:05
11."Anderes Winden 2052"5:10
12."Leben Und Tod"2:46
13."Higgs Field"4:24
14."Ob Irgendwas Von Uns Bleibt"3:18
15."Der Letzte Zyklus"3:54
Total length:46:57

Apart from the score, numerous pre-released songs were also used throughout the series. The song "Goodbye" by Apparat in collaboration with Soap&Skin was used as the opening theme for the episodes. Songs by the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth were also heavily featured on multiple episodes; the third movement of Caroline Shaw's Partita for 8 Voices was featured prominently in season one, and Alev Lenz's "May the Angels", also featuring Roomful of Teeth, was used in the season two episode five, "Lost and Found".

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.[26][27] On 26 April 2019, a second season was announced which was released on 21 June 2019.[9]

On 26 May 2020, a third and final season was announced, which was released on 27 June 2020.[28]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Dark
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
189% (46 reviews)[29]61 (10 reviews)[30]
2100% (29 reviews)[31]82 (4 reviews)[32]
397% (33 reviews)[33]92 (4 reviews)[34]

Dark received critical acclaim and has been listed by many publications as one of the best TV shows of the years 2017, 2019, and 2020, as well as of the 2010s, 21st century, and all time. Vulture included the series in its article A Guide to TV Shows in the 2010s as one of the most notable shows of the decade.[35] BBC ranked it the 58th best TV series of the 21st century.[12] Meanwhile, BuzzFeed named it the 22nd best TV show of all time.[36]

Season 1[edit]

The first season of Dark received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many noting its similarities to the TV series Twin Peaks and another Netflix series Stranger Things. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season an approval rating of 89%, with an average rating of 7.4 out of 10, based on 46 critics. The website's critical consensus is "Dark's central mystery unfolds slowly, both tense and terrifying, culminating in a creepy, cinematic triumph of sci-fi noir."[29] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream publications, gave it a score of 61, based on ten reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[30]

Writing for The Guardian, Lanre Bakare gave Dark a rating of four out of five stars and praised the series for its tone, the complexity of its narrative, and its pacing.[37] Grading the series with a "B", Steve Greene of IndieWire wrote, "Even when Dark is clinical in its set-up of these interweaving story threads, there’s still an incredible amount of energy coursing through the show."[38] From Vox, Emily St. James gave it a score of three and a half out of five and said, "Dark is fun to try to solve — it’s a treat to tease out the many connections running among the three eras. It’s just that at a certain point, it becomes difficult to care about what’s happening, beyond simply wanting to figure out how everything is connected."[39] Ariana Romero of Refinery29 noted that the series was darker and more in-depth than Stranger Things.[40] However, there was some criticism by Reason's Glenn Garvin for a heavy-handed approach to its message, a lack of sympathetic characters, and unoriginality of certain aspects of the series.[41]

Los Angeles Times listed Dark as one of the best TV series of 2017, while Thrillist named it the 18th best TV show of the year.[42][43]

Season 2[edit]

The second season received critical acclaim. Metacritic reported a score of 82 out of 100, based on four reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."[32] At Rotten Tomatoes, season two of the series holds an approval rating of 100% based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1 out of 10, with the "Certified Fresh" status.[31] The website's critical consensus states, "Dark's sumptuous second season descends deeper into the show's meticulously-crafted mythos and cements the series as one of streaming's strongest and strangest science fiction stories."[31]

Critics referred to season two as ominous and much more bizarre than season one, and that the series managed to subvert several tropes regarding the concepts of time travel.[44][45] The season received a rating of four out of five stars from Jack Seale of The Guardian and Boyd Hilton of Empire, a "B+" grade from Hanh Nguyen of IndieWire, and an "amazing" score of 9 out of 10 from David Griffin of IGN.[46][47][44][48] The latter wrote in his verdict: "Dark Season 2 can hurt your brain at times, trying to piece all the time-traveling narratives together, but in the end, creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese reward your patience with some stellar WTF moments. At eight episodes in length, [it] is a tightly-woven tapestry of compelling stories and memorable performances from the entire ensemble."[48] TV Guide's Kaitlin Thomas was also favorable of the season, saying that "one of the reasons Dark is such a compelling drama isn't just because it presents time travel as something that is possible or because it grounds its story in the emotional narratives of its characters, but because it couches its sci-fi themes in conversations about free will and destiny. [...] [It] excels at building a compelling mystery, and the fact that it never loses the plot itself is a testament to the writing of the series."[49]

The season was included in many critics' year-end lists of 2019. It was ranked as the ninth and tenth best TV show of the year by Maggie Fremont of Screen Crush and John Sellers of Thrillist, respectively.[50][51] Outside the top ten, TV Guide and Complex named it the 12th and 26th best TV show of the year in their respective list.[52][53] In addition, CNET and Vogue also listed it on each unranked list.[54][55]

Season 3[edit]

The third and final season received much more critical acclaim, especially for the series' ending. It received a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 97% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 8.5 out of 10, with the "Certified Fresh" status.[33] The site's critical consensus says, "Dark's final chapter is as thrilling as it is bewildering, bringing viewers full circle without sacrificing any of the show's narrative complexities."[33] At Metacritic, the season received an average score of 92, based on four reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."[34]

The season received a rating of five out of five stars from Radio Times's Patrick Cremona and four out of five stars from The Guardian's Jack Seale, an "A-" grade from IndieWire's Steve Greene, and an "amazing" 9 out of 10 from IGN's David Griffin.[56][57][58][59] Cremona deemed it as "science fiction at its most mesmerising, its most confounding and its most exhilarating - and it all makes for a truly irresistible piece of television" and further praised the writing, cinematography, casting, and acting (particularly that of Louis Hoffman, Maja Schöne, and Lisa Vicari).[56] Griffin wrote in his verdict, "Dark's third and final season on Netflix is a memorable journey through time and space, with thrilling character shifts and fascinating paradoxes to unpack."[59] William Goodman of Complex praised the ending, saying, "Odar and Friese masterfully close by showing the symbiotic relationship between endings and beginnings. There’s no victory without sacrifice, no light without darkness, and no love without loss. The tension between each of these conflicting ideas is so interwoven, making it hard to discern where one ends and the other begins. And so Dark concludes not with a hard endpoint on a line, but by elegantly and satisfyingly circling back into itself."[60]

The season was listed by many publications as one of the best TV shows of 2020. Radio Times named it the eighth best TV show of the year, with one of the website's writers Patrick Cremona saying, "The final series was another irresistible piece of sci-fi television, equal parts mesmerising and confounding, with a sweeping scope that gave it the sense of a true epic. With its exhilarating finale, Dark has earned its place among the list of the very best original series made for the streamer."[61] Exclaim! ranked it the tenth best TV series of the year. The website's Allie Gregory wrote, "With stunning performances from Louis Hoffman, Oliver Masucci and Karoline Eichhorn (and an incredible score to boot), the apocalyptic time travel sci-fi series deftly concludes its mind-bending journey in its darkest (and Dark-est) instalment yet. [...] [It] manages to neatly tie up all of its loose ends to finally find the one true "origin," so, at last, the town of Winden can free itself from the trappings of time and fate."[62] GameSpot listed it as one of the year's ten best TV shows, with one of its writers Mike Rougeau stating, "what really impressed us about Season 3 is how it wrapped things up, even while continuing the tradition of adding yet another new dimension (so to speak) to the show's tangled timelines. It managed to weave one of the most complex, but somehow still cohesive, sci-fi stories we've ever seen."[63] Outside the top ten, Den of Geek named it the 17th best TV show of 2020.[64] Meanwhile, Thrillist ranked it at number 19 on its "40 Best TV Shows of 2020" list, with one of its writers Emma Stefansky calling the series finale "one of the most shocking and emotional conclusions to a TV show you'll see this year."[65]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The series was nominated for the Goldene Kamera TV awards 2018 in three categories: best series; best actress for Karoline Eichhorn as Charlotte Doppler; and best actor for Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen.[66] None of these nominations resulted in awards, but Louis Hofmann received the "Best Newcomer" award in recognition of his lead role in Dark as well as his performances in several films.[67]

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".[68]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Teti, Julia (19 June 2019). "Finding the Greek Drama in Netflix's dark". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  2. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (23 June 2019). "Dark: Season 2's Insane Ending and All the Burning Questions Season 3 Needs to Answer". Indiewire. Retrieved 4 February 2020. Dark is a modern-day sci-fi Greek tragedy.
  3. ^ Ruiz, Nicolás (21 December 2017). "Reseña: Dark – Cuando Netflix hace ciencia ficción en serio". Retrieved 4 February 2020. With Dark, Netflix related a complex world of time travel with the intricate symbolism of alchemy and the foundational principles of greek tragedy.
  4. ^ 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.
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