One of the best sci-fi thrillers on Netflix, ‘Dark’, as the title suggests, is intensely dark with its twists and turns and mind-bending and utterly complex narrative. A glimpse of what the viewers would see is right in the first episode that opens with a quote by Albert Einstein, setting the tone for the series. The quote is:
‘The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.’
Set in the German town of Winden, the series revolves around four families; Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler and Tiedemann – all interconnected by a dark past and complicated relationships. Though the series comes across as merely about a town blighted by secrets, lies and the disappearance of children, but soon transforms into time travel that connects different periods in history that are 33 years apart.
The story begins with the disappearances of two children, Erin and Mikkel, in the same way as 33 years back when Ulrich Nielson’s (Oliver Masucci) brother Madds went missing. While the town is upset about the situation, the nuclear power plant in Winden that has the potential of radioactive materials to travel through time is on the verge of an impending apocalypse and no matter how much one wants to travel back to alter the present, they always end up destroying themselves in an atomic explosion.
Adjacent to the power plant lies a mysterious cave system in the forest that contains a wormhole titled ‘Sic Mundus Creatus Est’, also used to travel through time. But the radioactive material and the caves are not the only way to travel back. There’s an actual ticking time machine that enables you to travel back and forth in 33-year increments. The machine was built by the scientist-clockmaker H. G. Tannhaus (Christian Steyer) who also authors a book on the theoretical framework for time travel called ‘A Journey Through Time’. The time travel dates back to the 1880s and travels to the 2050s in the future.