Web Series Review : Dark – The Question Isn’t Where But When

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With time revolving around the trinity of a 33-year long loop of 1953, 1985, and 2019, Dark becomes a deeply philosophical conundrum trying to compare different paradigms of the contemporary world stimulating both scientific temper and rationality in the minds of the viewers.

Netflix recently announced the release date of the third season of the German TV series ‘Dark’ and launched its trailer too. The scheduled date is 27th June 2020. What makes the viewers more impatient about this series is their love for time travel and science fiction. In the span of two seasons, the grim series brings out the best in German television. The series progresses at an intentional gentle pace wherein piece by piece, an unsettling truth is brought to light. This labyrinth of sorts when solved, reveals a horrifying bigger picture.

The story sets in the fictional town of Winden where a missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations. Each episode kicks off with a narration that deals with some sort of theoretical physics. The second season opens quoting Nietzche and his philosophy permeates the very structuring of the show. “How do we know what is right and what is wrong? What is good and what is evil?” These questions are an obvious reference to Nietzche’s ‘Beyond Good and Evil’. Sic Mundus or ‘The Travellers’ is an impious group of time-travelers who have convinced themselves, by visiting their past selves, that notions of God are a farce and that God is Time itself. Time is always with you, you carry it in you, and it carries you. It is as if every 33 years, the same old wounds are reopened with every new generation and Winden is cursed to eternally living out the same set of events.

Human desire is also portrayed in various constructs. On the one hand, it is sinful and adulterous lust that drives a stake through familial relations. On the other, it is the irrepressible desire to be reunited. It is hard to distinguish which side is morally right and which is wrong. It is even harder to distinguish the beginning from the end or the end from the beginning. We believe that even one change in the past can change or alter our future but this show somehow builds a status quo where any change in the future can also affect the existence of a person both in the present and in the past.

Every person and every action in the series plays a pivotal role in shaping the past, the present, and the eventual apocalyptic future. Its main characters include Jonas Kahnwald, a gloomy teenager reeling from his father’s suicide, Ulrich Nielsen, a strong police officer having an affair with Jonas’s mother and Nielsen’s wife, Katharina, who is the principal of the local school. Dark isn’t just about a murder that comes with a disturbing tinge of some supernatural power. It’s about a community of people, all with their own problems and all linked in different ways-both in the present and in the past. It’s about what links past and present and how easily people drop the promise and premises of youth and become old and tired.

What left the audience really stunning was the last scene of season 2. Viewers already believed in the concept of different worlds in different time periods showcasing the past and the future. They already became familiar with the existence and application of time travel but when Martha-girlfriend of the protagonist Jonas was shot by Adam-the head of the Sic Mundus, another Martha appeared before Jonas apparently of the same age and took him away somewhere just before the apocalypse. Now, this points out to the existence of even an alternate dimension which many theoretical physicists call the ‘Parallel Dimension’. Since the Martha that rescued Jonas was of the same age and of a different world, many critics expect that season 3 would revolve around this aspect of parallel dimension too. The only query is how would they travel across different dimensions? Will it be again through a ‘Wormhole’ similar to the one in caves or anything else?

Season 3 is the last season of the Dark series. The trailer was quite ambiguous and people could not draw much from that. The only thing that is revealed is that it is certainly the end of the cycle or as some say it is just the beginning. The ‘tik-tok’ sound of the clock in the latter part is evident that there might be a battle against God i.e Time. This season will surely unravel many more mysteries and secrets. Dark is thus, a multi-generational saga set whose obscure timeline of the narrative turns time into an abstract and never-ending loop.

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