“Dark” the new Netflix thriller premieres on December 1st, with all episodes streaming on that date. It’s created by Boran bo Odar, a Swiss writer/director, and Jantje Friese, a German writer/producer who has teamed up previously to create “Who am I No System is Safe” A German film about hackers and their attempts to get the world’s attention. (Tip of the cap to IMDB) This show has a considerable amount of buzz and in a lot of places is being referred to as Netflix’s German Stranger Things. All the ingredients are there for that, to be sure: a group of kids naively going about their lives, periodic eighties references, and a haunting soundtrack. That was my gut instinct as well, but upon a deeper dive into the two trailers that Netflix has released (Dark Official Trailer) I am leaning much more to this being a German time-twisting, noir, murder mystery inspired by Stephen King’s It. That sounds creepy and exciting no? Ja.
The biggest plot element that the trailers hit on is that the show revolves around time. Not necessarily time-travel but it does appear that the show will take place in three different time periods: 1953, 1986 and 2019. The full trailer mentions how “this” keeps happening every 33 years, whatever “this” is. It’s not made explicit in the trailer that there will be time travel, but the appearance of a chair with a metal halo that blocks its occupant’s vision suggests that time-travel could be a big part of the series. Add that to the show’s tagline, “The question is not where, the question is not who, the question is not how, but when.” And you’ve got a recipe for something new and exciting from Netflix.
Readers who have made it through Stephen King’s It will remember the non-linear nature and use of divergent timelines used to weave that story together; The recurring symptom of decay in It, being the mysterious and unexplained deaths of the town’s children. Dark’s trailers open in a very similar way, the teaser’s start centers on missing child posters and the full trailer begins with a newscaster reporting on the mysterious disappearance of a 15-year-old boy from the small German town of Winden (Pronounced Vindin). Dark could take us from a time-traveling serial killer to a town that is experiencing horrendous crimes every 33 years to even something as similarly nefarious as what was under the pipes in Derry, Maine: based on that creepy hole in a hillside that the trailer flashes back to five or six times.
Here’s hoping Dark doesn’t try to be all of those things at once but something focused and entirely its own. Dark is subtitled in English and all of the characters speak German. This is one of a handful of foreign language series that Netflix has launched and Dark has the potential to cash in on the success of other supernatural thrillers, and be their biggest foreign-language hit. If you like Stranger Things and the literary version of It, Dark is definitely worth a watch. All episodes begin streaming on Netflix Friday, December 1st. Be sure to check back for TGON’s review of the series.