The end of Merlin means I had to pick out a new show. Quite frankly, that can be rough when nothing springs to mind right away. Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be the day I set longer-running shows up, with Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays being for shows that rotate in and out. But what to look at? I briefly considered going with Adventure Time of all things, but that had 283 episodes.
That would take a good long time.
Ultimately, I looked over my Netflix watchlist and just picked something. So, here we are with Dark.
What is Dark? Good question. I am not sure I have an answer just yet. The shorthand seems to be it’s a German version of Stranger Things. I can see that.
Like Stranger Things, Dark is set in a small fictional town. On the outskirts is a nuclear power plant no one knows much about. The plot involves weird science, and a handful of families that know about whatever dangerous thing is happening. And there’s a generational thing involved.
Beyond that, at this point, the only thing I know for certain just from casual osmosis is the show involves time travel.
By the by, Netflix dubbed the show into English. The voices don’t quite match the actors in certain respects but it is a little helpful. I suspect if I had to stop to read subtitles, I might miss something.
Because this looks like the sort of show I really need to pay attention to. Sure, it could be German Stranger Things, but it could just as easily become German Lost. Plus, adding “German” to the description, and with the series title being what it is, you just know this isn’t going to be a pleasant trip to 80s nostalgia.
Or maybe it will be. Somehow I doubt Germany in the 80s was quite the same as America, and that’s assuming Winden is in what once was West Germany.
Here’s what I can say: the story involves four families: the Dopplers, Nielsens, Kahnwalds, and the Tiedemanns. Many characters make indirect reference to time travel in one form or another. It might be a teenage girl saying something about deja vu, her kid brother saying the important question for a magic trick is when something happened and not how, and an old man insisting something happened before and will happen again.
So, really, it’s right there.
As for plot, the show opens after the disappearance of Erik Obendorf, high school drug dealer. Husband and father Michael Kahnwald hangs himself, leaving a note for his mother not to open until after a certain time a few months in the future. She does not share this information with her grandson or daughter-in-law. Local policeman Ulrich Nielsen is looking into it when he isn’t screwing around with Michael’s widow Hannah. Plus, the local nuclear plant is going to be shut down by the German government.
We do learn at episode’s end that Erik isn’t dead. He’s just…somewhere else.
But a show like this needs some weird. So, what weird thing is going to happen? OK, well, on a search for Erik’s lost stash, some teenagers wander off to the cave near the plant that supposedly was where he stuck his stash. Which teens? Jonas Kahnwald, Michael’s son. His best friend Bartosz Tiedemann is there with his new girlfriend Martha Nielsen. Jonas has a thing for her. Martha brought both of her brothers, Magnus and Mikkel. Mikkel is still a kid. And into the mess pops Franziska Doppler. No one invited her.
But then something happens at the cave. Some weird lights and sounds come out, the teens all scatter, and Mikkel disappears.
That’s about the time Michael’s mother opens the suicide note.
Is it weird enough? Not yet. The police find the body of a young boy the next day. It isn’t Mikkel. Who is this kid? Where did Mikkel go?
I’m gonna have trouble following this one. I can tell already.