The first season of ‘1899‘, the new series of Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese (creators of ‘Dark‘), premieres this week on Netflix bringing back his peculiar style of convoluted mysteries, intertwined plots and cliffhangers to remove the hiccups.
The German series’Dark‘ became a worldwide phenomenon after its premiere in 2017 thanks to its temporal paradoxes, its intriguing characters that slipped through different timelines and interacting with each other like a puzzle, and its parallels with series as successful as ‘stranger things‘. Many of us need to follow one of the elaborate sketches that emerged on the net so as not to get lost in the temporal and familiar tangle between its characters, worthy of starring in that famous song from “I am my grandfather“.
However, and once seen the first episodes of ‘1899‘, it seems that on this occasion the German filmmakers have been inspired by another of the most intriguing and popular series in recent culture, ‘Lost‘the series created in 2004 by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof.
‘1899’ takes us aboard the Kerberos, an ocean liner that sails across the sea towards America with around 1500 passengers of all nationalities and social classes. A kind of tower of Babel spoken in several languages (English, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish…) in which there is room for a compatriot of ours like Miguel Bernardeu (‘Elite‘). Everything was going as normal until they received the sign of a similar ship that disappeared without a trace 4 months ago doing the same route, the Prometheus… And up to here we can read. We are not going to reveal anything about the plot or the mysteries of ‘1899’, but we can help you establish its tone by comparing it with one of the best series ever from television: ‘Lost’.
As in the polar bears and hatches on a lost island show, the protagonists are passengers on a voyage across the ocean who are stranded helpless in the middle of it. And not only that, but they have to face inexplicable and often surreal mysteries that will challenge your perception of what is real and what is not. Mysticism and symbology will play a very important role throughout both series, with a priori hidden messages and details that end up being relevant as the plot progresses. But it is that, in addition, the rhythm in growing of the puzzles is overwhelming. For every mystery they try to solve, half a dozen more open.. Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese demonstrated at the netflix series ‘Dark’ that, in a more or less satisfactory way according to the perception of each one, at least they know how to close all the unknowns created, not like in the JJ Abrams show. We have faith that in ‘1899’ they will continue on the same path.
However, the biggest parallels between ‘Dark’ and ‘Lost’ are the flashbacks of his characters. A priori they seem like ordinary people in search of a better life, with their routine worries, but nothing is further from reality. Each chapter delves into the personal story of one of these passengers, revealing a past full of lies, betrayals and death.. A hidden past that each and every one of them tries to keep in the shadows, while the strange events aboard the Kerberos seem to be somehow related to them. As if they had been chosen, or destined, to end up in that experience together..
We will have to wait for November 17 on Netflix to find out if ‘1899’ resolves any of our doubts or if, on the contrary, it leaves us with some cliffhanger Crazy that it makes us pull our hair out until its second season (Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese have a three-part arc planned). We bet on the second.