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AncalagonTheBlack

Dark: Netflix's Time-Bending German Mystery Series

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This looks really interesting.It came out today,so, a weekend binge then. :D

 

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The series sees the lives of four families thrown into turmoil following the disappearance of two young children in a German town, an event which - through means that won't be spoiled here - propels them across varying periods of time. Dark is the kind of series that is willing to show an adult in the 80s sharing screen time with younger versions of the same characters they will go on to meet in the future. Dishing out Nordic noir-style grit with Lost-sized cliffhangers, Dark is a Rubik's cube of mystery masterfully combining two genres - one of which is pure and simple time travel.

Stranger Things this is not.

“We didn’t do the pop cultural reference thing,” Friese says when discussing their approach to the show's sci-fi elements. "We really just delved more into the scientific aspect of it - read a lot about Einstein, Hawking… The important thing is the question of free will versus determinism because when you play with time travel you have to decide which side you’re on - you can either change things in the past or you can’t. Setting up the rules was the one important thing."

 

 

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7 episodes in and its on track to being my favourite show of the year - excellently plotted, amazingly well shot and a plot that twists and turns. It also doesn't rush and lets things unfold as necessary eg you have to wait until episode 3 to see any strong similarity with stranger things.

It reminds me more of "Lost" and "the missing" with a touch of "twin peaks".

The soundtrack is great and always glad when Apparat gets some exposure with the title song.

One of the best things about Netflix is their willingness to highlight creative talents from non-english speaking counties and this delivers in spades.

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1 minute ago, red snow said:

7 episodes in and its on track to being my favourite show of the year - excellently plotted, amazingly well shot and a plot that twists and turns. It also doesn't rush and lets things unfold as necessary eg you have to wait until episode 3 to see any strong similarity with stranger things.

It reminds me more of "Lost" and "the missing" with a touch of "twin peaks".

The soundtrack is great and always glad when Apparat gets some exposure with the title song.

One of the best things about Netflix is their willingness to highlight creative talents from non-english speaking counties and this delivers in spades.

:agree:

 This show had me hooked the first episode. It's one of those rare series I could probably binge. I am tempted to watch just another episode every evening. I'm halfway through and it keeps getting better. Great atmosphere, gripping premise, wonderful cast of characters. I keep getting surprised by the twists and love the central premise.

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Are you guys watching with German audio and subs (for non-German speakers) or English dub? 

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5 hours ago, Hello World said:

Are you guys watching with German audio and subs (for non-German speakers) or English dub? 

German audio/English subs of course.The dubbed version sounds ridiculous.Avoid.

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Just finished it. Loved it. Last time I binged a show with this enthusiasm was season 1 of "Stranger things" (not the second one). Lots of influences but it comes out of it very distinct. It's not shy to keep the viewer in the "dark" but happy to throw us a bone every now and then. I enjoyed how elements made more sense towards the end and how what seemed out of place comments like "you're the bad man" etc.

I also liked how it kept me happy with the twists - if it was something I'd worked out i was happy with the confirmation (instead of thinking it was obvious/too easy) and the genuine surprises made me happy in the sense they never felt like cheats.

It wasn't as dark as some reviews made out - especially compared to a lot of TV these days. Although episode 9 did shock me when

Ulrich bludgens (poor) kid ulrich apparently to death with a stone. That was dark - especially considering Ulrich was arguably the lead.joint lead with Jonas

The last few episodes had me concerned that nothing was going to be wrapped up and while some aspects were it's clear they intend another season (or more) for the epic story they have planned. When it became clear that was the goal I became less worried about the ending being rushed. Still this will be "sense8" gutting if it doesn't get to continue the story.

Look forward to discussing theories about the season when more of us are finished. Does anyone think

Noah is older Bartosz, right? They look alike and it explains how Noah could predict everything that was going to happen to Bartosz as a way of convincing his younger self to trust him.

and another question

the "journey through time" book is itself a paradox, right? Ulrich left the book with the clockmaker before he wrote it. And the clockmaker didn't seem that clued in - so is suspect he read the book and then published it meaning the ideas in the book were never actually written.

I really hope fans of sci-fi give this show a chance and are not put off by subtitles as they are missing out otherwise.

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It was excellent. Probably in my top 5 shows of the year. Each time I felt I had an answer, another question arose. That was very fun teasing. I'll admit some reveals were a bit predictable, but the hows and whys were never really answered.

5 hours ago, red snow said:

 

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Noah is older Bartosz, right? They look alike and it explains how Noah could predict everything that was going to happen to Bartosz as a way of convincing his younger self to trust him.

 

  Hide contents

the "journey through time" book is itself a paradox, right? Ulrich left the book with the clockmaker before he wrote it. And the clockmaker didn't seem that clued in - so is suspect he read the book and then published it meaning the ideas in the book were never actually written.

 

I really hope fans of sci-fi give this show a chance and are not put off by subtitles as they are missing out otherwise.

Spoiler

I felt Noah may have been an embodiment of chaos itself, with Bartosz and Jonas possibly representing opposites in a dualist sense. I'm not sure how Noah would know about Bartosz, but then again, I never really saw him as human.

Spoiler

Yeah there were an awful lot of "what came first?" questions thrown into the series. That was probably the best part of it for me. I originally thought the scientist got his brilliant machine from Ulrich's phone only to learn he later got it from Claudia's design.  And trying to figure out who is who and how they are related was a real treat. I loved the bouts of confusion and revelation that were thrown at the viewer.

I really hope this gets a few more seasons.

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13 hours ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

German audio/English subs of course.The dubbed version sounds ridiculous.Avoid.

People who watch foreign shows with English dubs are fucking savages. 

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54 minutes ago, briantw said:

People who watch foreign shows with English dubs are fucking savages. 

It's easier to get away with it in animation but I find it too much of a disconnect with real people.

There's plenty of good reasons to use dubs eg watching with kids (not this show, obviously) and having vision problems which would require massive fonts (tough call that over a poor dub).

I'm guessing the dub will at least be decent but it's the aforementioned disconnect that bugs me. I can also speak mediocre German so this show allows me to "study" at the same time :)

 

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3 hours ago, Astromech said:

It was excellent. Probably in my top 5 shows of the year. Each time I felt I had an answer, another question arose. That was very fun teasing. I'll admit some reveals were a bit predictable, but the hows and whys were never really answered.

  Reveal hidden contents

I felt Noah may have been an embodiment of chaos itself, with Bartosz and Jonas possibly representing opposites in a dualist sense. I'm not sure how Noah would know about Bartosz, but then again, I never really saw him as human.

  Reveal hidden contents

Yeah there were an awful lot of "what came first?" questions thrown into the series. That was probably the best part of it for me. I originally thought the scientist got his brilliant machine from Ulrich's phone only to learn he later got it from Claudia's design.  And trying to figure out who is who and how they are related was a real treat. I loved the bouts of confusion and revelation that were thrown at the viewer.

I really hope this gets a few more seasons.

The ending was predictable in the sense there was no way

it wasn't going to expand to 2052 or 1920. in was just a case of which came first/was used for the season cliffhanger. Although it's disappoiting it's destroyed the trinity symbolism. Unless a new loop has started they need to justify why the other extremes aren't involved.

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6 minutes ago, red snow said:

It's easier to get away with it in animation but I find it too much of a disconnect with real people.

There's plenty of good reasons to use dubs eg watching with kids (not this show, obviously) and having vision problems which would require massive fonts (tough call that over a poor dub).

I'm guessing the dub will at least be decent but it's the aforementioned disconnect that bugs me. I can also speak mediocre German so this show allows me to "study" at the same time :)

Well, yeah with kids or people with vision issues I can see it, but with regular people...fucking savages.

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Recently, I can hardly watch anything and give it my full attention, especially on my laptop where I'm watching this. I constantly look at other tabs and minimize to do other stuff. Yeah, any dub, even on anime, sounds terrible to me but sometimes it's better than missing some dialogue.

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7 hours ago, red snow said:

The ending was predictable in the sense there was no way

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it wasn't going to expand to 2052 or 1920. in was just a case of which came first/was used for the season cliffhanger. Although it's disappoiting it's destroyed the trinity symbolism. Unless a new loop has started they need to justify why the other extremes aren't involved.

 

Spoiler

I'm usually not a fan of time loops, but this one was not your typical repetitive time loop. Very well done. So did Old Jonas create a new time loop when he created the new black hole? That is what I assumed after seeing the destruction of the power plant.

 

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Can't wait to watch this show! I decided to buy a new TV (LG OLED) this summer but wanted to wait til black friday to make the switch, and I decided to stop watching anything on Netflix until I had my new tv. Just finished Stranger Things 2, yesterday I started The Punisher. Once it's done, it's gonna be either Dark or Mindhunter, but I'm leaning more into Dark ^_^

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4 hours ago, Astromech said:
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I'm usually not a fan of time loops, but this one was not your typical repetitive time loop. Very well done. So did Old Jonas create a new time loop when he created the new black hole? That is what I assumed after seeing the destruction of the power plant.

 

I considered a new time loop too but I think they could be getting themselves into a bit of a mess if they admit there are other elements to the loop that haven't yet crossed over. I guess Jonas and possibly Noah suggest there have always been at least 4 time periods tied together but it doesn't seem like the future one is tying in quite as much with events otherwise eg everyone so far we've seen enter the cave has exited between 1953-2019. One way to solve that is to have it be a new loop but it seems it would still have to involve 2019. My worry then though would be a lot of material would be abandoned in the time frames we already have. My hunch is that the cyclical nature of the SF in the show means that Jonas can't create a new loop - he can just ensure it was always there so even if his actions are the things that allows future +33 times, they should have still been present from the very beginning. The fact Jonas is from the future (although we can't rule out the possibility he aged in the past for example) would suggest said dimension has always been available

One thing I hope the show maintains a focus on are the interactions between characters as one element I was constantly asking myself were regarding these interactions eg

will Mikkel get to spend any additional time with his son in the past? This would be nice as it would give them a chance to bond more. I sort of want to know how Mikkel as an adult got along with Ulrich/his had being the same age - but we probably won't see that. Do characters ever think "that kid looks remarkably like the one I knew 33 years ago" and all the variations of that. I think we got a little bit of that with the old policeman in the sense he always suspected teenager Ulrich because of the inkling/memory of the adult Ulrich he encountered.

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11 hours ago, briantw said:

Well, yeah with kids or people with vision issues I can see it, but with regular people...fucking savages.

I'm sort of with you, deep down. I just wind up feeling guilty that unlike pretty much everyone else on the planet (who doesn't have english as their native tongue) can automatically watch TV in another language without the need for subs or dubs.

3 hours ago, The Unborn said:

Can't wait to watch this show! I decided to buy a new TV (LG OLED) this summer but wanted to wait til black friday to make the switch, and I decided to stop watching anything on Netflix until I had my new tv. Just finished Stranger Things 2, yesterday I started The Punisher. Once it's done, it's gonna be either Dark or Mindhunter, but I'm leaning more into Dark ^_^

Watch this first. It actually looks stunning in most places - you're new TV will love the scanning shots of cyclist/cars and power cables within forests.

 

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We also loved this... I watch in dubs because i'm n impatient asshole who would zone-out otherwise... its kind of like watching a Godzilla  movie.... only with an amazingly written story... and a really terrific ending, and a set-up for next season... 

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

 

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I considered a new time loop too but I think they could be getting themselves into a bit of a mess if they admit there are other elements to the loop that haven't yet crossed over. I guess Jonas and possibly Noah suggest there have always been at least 4 time periods tied together but it doesn't seem like the future one is tying in quite as much with events otherwise eg everyone so far we've seen enter the cave has exited between 1953-2019. One way to solve that is to have it be a new loop but it seems it would still have to involve 2019. My worry then though would be a lot of material would be abandoned in the time frames we already have. My hunch is that the cyclical nature of the SF in the show means that Jonas can't create a new loop - he can just ensure it was always there so even if his actions are the things that allows future +33 times, they should have still been present from the very beginning. The fact Jonas is from the future (although we can't rule out the possibility he aged in the past for example) would suggest said dimension has always been available

 

One thing I hope the show maintains a focus on are the interactions between characters as one element I was constantly asking myself were regarding these interactions eg

  Hide contents

will Mikkel get to spend any additional time with his son in the past? This would be nice as it would give them a chance to bond more. I sort of want to know how Mikkel as an adult got along with Ulrich/his had being the same age - but we probably won't see that. Do characters ever think "that kid looks remarkably like the one I knew 33 years ago" and all the variations of that. I think we got a little bit of that with the old policeman in the sense he always suspected teenager Ulrich because of the inkling/memory of the adult Ulrich he encountered.

 

Spoiler

Another idea I had while brainstorming is the ending not being a fourth time period, but rather an alternate period, one affected by events in the series. Maybe an alternate 2019 brought about by some character's actions causing another incident at the nuclear power plant. Besides the flying drone, that setting only seemed to be dystopian. We constantly were told and saw how the future was affecting the past in the series, but maybe the ending/cliffhanger was an instance of the past again affecting the future. Either way, I can see how this series could become extremely confusing very quickly. Off the rails. I hope it stays a little tighter.

Spoiler

Yeah, I think it was a good idea to not have them interact too much in the different time periods. Mikkel would have to know way more than what was shown of him in 1986. He seemed to be utterly clueless when he was at the school.  It also amazed me how terrible some of the characters actually were. Ulrich's bludgeoning of Helge, Hannah's extremely vindictive behavior towards Ulrich and Katharina, etc. I can't really remember my opinion of a character actually improving through the series. Well, maybe Helge once he tried to stop his past self.

Spoiler

I'm interested in seeing more of Noah's pawns in possible future seasons. Claudia's story is ripe for this, as is Aleksander/Boris and Trontje. I'm also wondering who is Helge's father and whether it was Egon's wife leaving him that caused him to start drinking. There is just a ton of potential to tap for this series. Not to mention all of the philosophical, metaphysical and scientific possibilities.

 

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1 hour ago, Martini Sigil said:

We also loved this... I watch in dubs because i'm n impatient asshole who would zone-out otherwise... its kind of like watching a Godzilla  movie.... only with an amazingly written story... and a really terrific ending, and a set-up for next season... 

The dub can't be too intrusive if people are still enjoying it. At the end of the day that's what matters. I wouldn't want this show failing just because people don't want to read subtitles!

I'm looking forward for websites popping up explaining who all the cast are in terms of their connections. While the occasional in show recaps were good I have to confess I sometimes didn't have a clue who everyone was all the time(s). eg

Regina Tiedeman's mum looked like the same actress

I wonder if anyone from the 12 monkeys thread is watching this? It should be right up their street.

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8 minutes ago, Astromech said:
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Another idea I had while brainstorming is the ending not being a fourth time period, but rather an alternate period, one affected by events in the series. Maybe an alternate 2019 brought about by some character's actions causing another incident at the nuclear power plant. Besides the flying drone, that setting only seemed to be dystopian. We constantly were told and saw how the future was affecting the past in the series, but maybe the ending/cliffhanger was an instance of the past again affecting the future. Either way, I can see how this series could become extremely confusing very quickly. Off the rails. I hope it stays a little tighter.

  Hide contents

Yeah, I think it was a good idea to not have them interact too much in the different time periods. Mikkel would have to know way more than what was shown of him in 1986. He seemed to be utterly clueless when he was at the school.  It also amazed me how terrible some of the characters actually were. Ulrich's bludgeoning of Helge, Hannah's extremely vindictive behavior towards Ulrich and Katharina, etc. I can't really remember my opinion of a character actually improving through the series. Well, maybe Helge once he tried to stop his past self.

  Hide contents

I'm interested in seeing more of Noah's pawns in possible future seasons. Claudia's story is ripe for this, as is Aleksander/Boris and Trontje. I'm also wondering who is Helge's father and whether it was Egon's wife leaving him that caused him to start drinking. There is just a ton of potential to tap for this series. Not to mention all of the philosophical, metaphysical and scientific possibilities.

 

On the ending

alt future could be in play but that shakes the story almost moreso than that of a fourth +33. Although given the set up of Noah maintaining time and Claudia trying to alter it - maybe it would serve to see some element of change occur.

As for characters being unsympathetic

most of them seemed to go down darker paths, I agree. Mikkel and Jonas seemed to remain ok. Mikkel was frustrating (yet also incredibly economic gap-filling storytelling) in how does he reach the point where he knows he has to kill himself? Does Jonas play a part in this? Or is it simply the fear that his son may never come to exist if he doesn't? I still feel we need Father and son to cross over at some point to reinforce why Mikkel decides this. As for Hannah it's sort of cool she appears to be carving her own vindictive path but was she really so unaware of Mikkel being out of time as her husband? She did mention how she felt as though she'd never known him but that could almost be after he told her the truth (or someone else did).I also recall how the show made a specific point about mirroring (with the cliched school class on it) and how we often saw very similar events playing out in the different time periods (often in sync) although in Martha's case it didn't entirely line up her lying about the rape at the same "time" as her lying about the nature of the affair.

As for your last spoiler tag

Helge's real father is a deliberate tease and I wonder whether his handicap has something to do with potentially being his own father or something weird like that? Also, how did he survive the bludgeoning at the hands of Ulrich? Maybe he's too important for the time line/loop to allow to die? Quick question - what exactly did his crashing into himself prevent? I do think there's something about certain characters that makes them special eg Jonas is a person conceived out of time which maybe allows him to perceive/alter time in ways regular folks can't. And along the same lines - has anyone survived the eye burning/ear popping time-machine? I sort of feel as if there must have been someone who's survived this - or will. Certainly a crafty way of hiding a murder by dumping the body in the wrong time.

 

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