Time travel paradoxes. Alternate realities. Young love. Angry Germans. References to Back to the Future and obscure 80s pop. Subtitles. Intrigue and suspense. This modern day sci-fi thriller has it all! At first I was put off by the language barrier and having to keep up with the reading comprehension and analysis (German to English to Spanish and back to English) but it was worth it. Those not inclined to taking this path can change the language to a dubbing in their preferred tongue. Either way, I highly recommend you give it a shot if not to glean some insight into Deutschland’s customs and culture.
Reaching it’s climax and end during 2020’s Season 3, I caught the show at the perfect time to binge, avoiding the awkward wait between release dates and the spoilers, of which are many out there. The show’s first episodes were reminiscent of Stranger Things with a hint of Back to the Future – later the writers threw in H. G. Wells lore into the mix for good measure. By Season 2 the action picks up, and you start to need a big wall or white board to track all the clues and genealogical parentage of everyone involved in solving the mystery of the fictional town’s – Winden – disappearances and events.
The coolest part for me was listening to all the 80s and 90s references, as well as seeing how the creators viewed the future and past of these time traveling characters. Their story arcs remain believable and endearing to the viewers even though some major predetermination paradox rules are being broken or bent to make the conclusion of the narrative fulfilling and magical. A bit like Harry Potter but with moody and angst-y German teenagers.
The science used as a reference is there to give some credibility and frame to the mechanisms that allow people to move through different time lines and dimensions freely and without much disruption of the past, present or future. It all comes together neatly, with very few loose ends, and enough fan service and foreshadowing to please creative and logical minds alike.
Trigger Warning: There’s sex, references to adult language and violence (including physical assaults on children) and torture. It’s definitely a show for adults or older teens, and should be watched by children only if supervised.
Watch Dark only on Netflix, online on your favorite devices.