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I miss the days when the most complicated show or film I had ever seen was Inception. I swear back then, a dream within a dream within a dream seemed like an impossible concept. Fast forward to today, and I thought would be the height of complex Tv, would be Black Mirror or Westworld.
And then, I found Dark.
Dark is a Netflix German Tv series that takes place in the small town of Winden, Germany. When two young boys from the town go missing, an investigation exposes the double lives and fractured relationships that exist among four families throughout time.
Through three incredible seasons, the sci-fi drama creates a complicated puzzle filled with twists and turns. And as we get answers, the show slowly unveils how every member of the four families has a connection to the town’s troubled history. Be it in the past, present, or future.
Now I’m not a fan of time travel in cinema. I feel most Movies and Tv shows use the concept as a plot device for their protagonist to succeed. And after seeing the same thing repeatedly, it can get tiring.
However, if there were ever a proper way to depict time travel on TV, Netflix’s Dark would be that way.
Dark’s story is easily the strongest aspect of the entire series. While the investigation into the missing children kicks off the show, it quickly devolves into an exciting drama filled with lies, manipulation, and time travel.
The show’s real protagonist is Jonas Khanwald. And he is the unfortunate soul that suffers through a majority of the show’s events.
When we first meet Jonas, he is in therapy trying to recover from the trauma of his father’s suicide. However, Jonas’s life only gets more complicated once he discovers and uses the time portal in Winden Caves.
What follows is a mind-blowing story that cuts across through time while showing how the four families are unknowingly connected and trapped in an endless cycle of pain and suffering.
Concepts And Theories
While Dark might seem supernatural at first, we quickly learn that everything that happens on the show is based on scientific theory. And the show takes the time to break down each concept so the audience can keep up.
They are no ghouls, demons, or spirits on this show. So please do not let the creepy nature of the series discourage you from seeing it. (If you are looking for ghouls, demons, and spirits, this post might be helpful).
One of the most important concepts of the series is the Bootstrap Paradox. A classic example of this theory sees a scientist wake up to find a manual detailing how to build a time machine.
After spending years building the machine, the scientist then travels back in time to leave the manual for his past self, so he too can create the device.
And so the loop repeats itself over and over again until no one can tell what came first. The time machine? Or The manual?
As the series progresses, it becomes obvious that many of the show’s characters only exist because of this paradox. And thus we’re left asking the same question, Which came first? The Characters? Or Their predecessors?
One of the best aspects of The Dark Tv series is how it handles time travel.
As the show progresses, we discover that the four main families of Winden are trapped inside an endless time loop.
But when most of the show’s characters learn that time travel exists, they impulsively travel back in time, to change certain events in their favor.
However, to their horror, these characters soon realize that in most cases, they cause the events they’re trying to stop. And if they hadn’t interfered with time in the first place, then none of the chaos in Winden would have happened.
Every character in Dark is just a puzzle piece that unknowingly falls in place. And this is one of several reasons the time loop never ends.
Attention to Details
One other fantastic aspect of Dark is its insane attention to detail. As the series hops between time periods, it subtly uses certain features to tell the audience what period in time it’s showing.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the show’s time travel, we get to see most of the cast at various points in their lives.
We see them as children, as parents, and even as senior citizens. However, to help the audience connect the present-day characters to their past selves, the show gives each person a unique feature.
Whether it’s a unique dressing or a birthmark or the position of a scar, there is always a way to tell who is who across the show’s timeline.
Things get even more interesting when the show introduces the alternate world in the third season.
This world comes with an alternate version of the entire cast. And also include their past, present, and future selves. But Dark being the brilliant show that it is, finds an excellent way to help the audience differentiate between characters from the first world and the characters’ alternate world.
Dark is a masterpiece sci-fi Drama that lives up to its title. The show gets time traveling right, without sacrificing any bit of its suspense or drama. Even though the show can be a bit confusing, I still feel Dark is a Must-Watch for everyone. And I wish I could tell you more about the series without ruining the experience.
- Amazing Characters
- Amazing Story
- Excellent Acting
- Good Soundtrack
- A Bit Confusing to Follow
If you have already seen the show and are looking for an explanation, then you check out our Dark TV Series Timeline explained. There we break down the show’s events in chronological order to help fans get a better understanding.