Movies & Television

Dark: Netflix's Most Underrated Sci-Fi Series

By Bea

If you haven’t heard of Netflix Dark, you are in for a wild ride. The show is visually appealing, cleverly written, and beautifully told. It dabbles in themes such as time-travel, good versus evil, and human nature. In fact, it is one of the best shows I’ve seen on Netflix, but every time I try to talk about it with a friend, they’ve never heard of it. So why is it that this show doesn’t get the recognition it deserves?

Why is Dark so underrated?

The beginning of the series may be a bit reminiscent of the more popular Stranger Things due to the disappearance of a young boy which is why many might dismiss the show as a copycat. However, Dark is so much darker and complex than the teen series. Within the first few minutes of the first episode, viewers will realize that Dark was really made with an adult audience in mind. The first episode itself already divulges on suicide, sex, and murder (of children to be specific).

Another reason why it’s not as mainstream is because it doesn’t try to be. The show speaks for itself without having to rely on marketing and ads for positive reviews. In fact, Dark has a slightly higher average rating of 95.33% on Rotten Tomatoes compared to Stranger Things which has a 93.33% average rating.

Dark is also Netflix’s first German original series with an entire German cast. With a cast not well-known by mainstream media, viewers may not quickly have the interest to invest the time and effort in watching it. However, a few episodes in, viewers will surely get hooked by this show.

Dark In a Nutshell

It is nearly impossible to sum up the plot of this show. Watching it twice may still not be enough to fully grasp its story. I don’t think I have fully grasped it either. However, this is what makes it a great show as well. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It makes you think hard and makes you question everything you know about the world. Having said that, here’s a jab at giving you a glimpse into the convoluted world of Netflix Dark.

Dark is a German Netflix series that takes place in the fictional small town of Winden. The premise of the show starts with the disappearance of an 11-year old boy named Mikkel Nielsen. As people from the town uncover the truth of his disappearance, they also discover the town’s very deep and earth-shattering secrets. The show revolves around four families: the Kahnwalds, the Nielsens, the Tiedemanns, and the Dopplers. Each family is intricately connected by their own personal secrets both from the past and present.

First Season

The first season starts with Mikkel’s disappearance during a night out in the woods with his older brother Magnus, his older sister, Martha, Magnus’ girlfriend, Franziska Doppler, Martha’s boyfriend, Bartosz Tiedemann, and their friend Jonas Kahnwald, who is also the show’s main character. It is later on discovered that the cave where Mikkel disappeared from is connected to the town’s nuclear power plant. The power plant caused a massive nuclear explosion back in 1986, and left a mysterious hole in the cave. This wormhole allows those who go through it to go 33 years back and 33 years forward in time.

Viewers find out that in 2019, Mikkel went through the wormhole and went back in time to the year 1986. He never makes it back to 2019, and grows up to be Michael Kahnwald, Jonas’ father who committed suicide in 2019. The former wrote a suicide note for Jonas, who receives it from a mysterious stranger. The stranger turns out to be Jonas from 33 years into the future. The end of the season focuses on Jonas attempting to destroy the wormhole, but only ends up sealing it. Jonas then finds himself trapped in a post-apocalyptic 2020.

Second Season

The second season of Netflix Dark begins with Jonas trapped in the year 2020. The future shows several of the main characters dead due to an explosion from the nuclear plant in 2019. This explosion left Winden’s townspeople in ruins. In spite of warnings from the people to avoid the power plant, Jonas enters and discovers that the wormhole still exists. He enters the wormhole, and ends up in 1921 where he meets Adam, the brains behind Sic Mundus or ‘the travelers’. Jonas discovers that Sic Mundus is a secret society of time travelers that was founded way back in the 19th century. In an unexpected turn of events, Adam reveals his true identity to Jonas. Viewers are left dumbfounded knowing that Adam is in fact Jonas from another time.

At the end of the season, Adam and Jonas travel to 2019 just as the apocalypse is about to happen. As time runs out, Jonas witnesses Martha’s death. While Jonas holds onto Martha’s body, a second Martha appears. Assuming she’s from another time, Jonas asks the second Martha when she is from. She reveals that she’s not from another time. Rather, she is from another world.

Third Season

The final season of Netflix Dark makes things even more confusing with the addition of alternate universes. The alternate universe where second Martha is from reveals that Mikkel never traveled back to 1986. This means that Jonas does not exist in this universe. However, the time loop still very much exists. Instead of having an Adam, this universe has Eve, who is second Martha from another time. The series ends by piecing together each event (from each universe and time) and revealing how everything really began. To know how the series ends, go and check this show out!

Want to discover more sci-fi movies on Netflix? Here are the best sci-fi movies (2017 edition)!

Interested in other foreign shows on Netflix? Check this out!

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