Criticism of 1899, the new thriller from the creators of Dark that fans of Lost will love


Jantje Friese y Baran bo Odar, the creators of the Netflix series Dark return with 1899, a dense, hair-raising and absorbing mystery/thriller about two ships, Kerberos and Prometheus. Although this series is essentially a supernatural thriller, it is also a gripping ensemble drama featuring a great cast of international performers bringing to life more than a dozen enticing stories that draw you in and keep you on your toes. Though darker and more downright weird than Lost, 1899 is the spiritual cousin of that iconic series and will appeal to that fandom, or anyone who wants to go on a hell of a ride.

Set in 1899, the first episode, “The Ship,” goes to great lengths to establish the important story frame and broad cast of characters. We learn about the world of the steamboat through Dr. Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham), who is brilliant but troubled. Her countenance fits well with Captain Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann), world-weary and in charge of the massive ship that transports immigrants and wealthy passengers alike from England to New York within a week. We got to meet a dozen specific passengers, from the austere and deeply religious Danish family traveling economy class to the Geisha and her mother, the Spanish brothers and even a stowaway. What quickly becomes clear is that regardless of economic and cultural boundaries, all these people are running from something. They are consciously heading towards new beginnings and want to leave their past far behind.

Unfortunately for them, their trip is cut short when the Kerberos receives a telegraphic message repeating coordinates some seven hours away. Four months ago, her sister ship, Prometheus, disappeared without a trace, with no remains or bodies to find. Despite his crew’s superstitious protests, Captain Larsen feels compelled to investigate and see if they can find any survivors. Of course, that decision opens up a proverbial Pandora’s box of strange occurrences that puts everyone on the brink of the unknown.

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Although Netflix has withheld most of the plot points and revelations from the first few episodes that were provided to critics, we can say that almost every major character in the ensemble gets an episode to flesh out their past stories that report who they are on Kerberos. There are also some unexpected connections between the passengers and a common theme that runs through all of their stories and matches the overall tone and vibe of the series. And despite the period costume (which is magnificently imposing and sinister), the individual character histories are written in a way that makes them very easy to understand and touches on a wide range of topics, from religious fanaticism to class differences. ; the errors that come with cultural assumptions; complicated sexuality; mental illnesses; and maybe even time travel. Friese, Bo Odar and their team of international writers keep all the stories interesting while being culturally authentic and avoiding clichés. And all the actors are on point, imbuing their characters with a sense of rupture that’s compelling to watch.

1899 is brimming with plot, atmosphere, ever-evolving mysteries and ominous darkness., but the writers and actors hook you into their personal stories. And as the creative team continues to add layer upon layer of atmosphere and bizarre circumstances to the mix, you’ll find yourself fully engaged to see where the journey ends.

1899 could be one of the most mysterious series, or pyramid of mystery, of all time. With its compelling cast of international characters and their unfolding personal stories, haunting production design, and brilliant cliffhangers, we challenge you not to keep putting out one episode after another. Creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar have assembled a group of highly talented actors who draw you into their dark stories and cheer you on despite their flaws and demons.

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