We’re residing in time for followers of puzzle field TV reveals. Between the Yellowjackets aircraft crash, Severance’s creepy-ass workplace, and the large gap in Outer Vary, there’s tons to occupy your fan principle group chats. Becoming a member of that ever-growing checklist is 1899 on Netflix — and it’s a doozy. The eight-episode-long collection packs a frankly astonishing variety of mysteries and twists into its runtime, making it a super binge. I’m nonetheless not completely certain what, if something, all of it means, however I had a blast making an attempt to suit the items collectively.
1899 involves us from Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, the identical inventive workforce behind one other Netflix thriller, the German collection Darkish. 1899 is a multilingual affair. It takes place on a passenger ship throughout (clearly) the yr 1899, and the vessel is carrying a bunch touring from Europe to the US. There’s a newlywed French couple (Mathilde Ollivier and Jonas Bloquet), a brooding German captain (Andreas Pietschmann), a Spanish priest and his spoiled brother (José Pimentão and Miguel Bernardeau), a Chinese language mom and daughter (Gabby Wong and Isabella Wei), Polish and English coal shovelers, and a decrease deck full of poor Danish passengers, amongst many others. It’s an ensemble affair, however on the middle of all of it is Maura (Emily Beecham), an English lady who research medication however can’t truly follow as a result of she’s a girl.
As is widespread in these sorts of tales, the characters don’t have a lot in widespread at first, other than the truth that they’re working away from one thing — they usually’re all hiding an necessary secret. As in the early days of Misplaced, every episode opens with a flashback to a particular character, supplying you with a little bit of perception into who they’re and why they’re on the ship. That may be sufficient drama, however 1899 isn’t content material to be a personality research. Issues get downright unusual fairly shortly.
The mysteries really feel par for the course for a narrative a couple of bunch of individuals caught on a ship. However then the ship comes into contact with the Prometheus, an almost equivalent boat that mysteriously sunk 4 months prior. There are potential ghost sightings and a fog so thick it might make Stephen King proud. There are characters with misplaced recollections, unclear motivations, and ultimately, even a mutiny as individuals die and angers flare. However these early reveals change into tame compared to the true actuality of 1899.
That takes some time, nonetheless. It’s actually not till the ultimate jiffy that the dimensions of the present turns into evident. Earlier than that, you’re handled to far too many clues and mysteries to rely. Critically, this can be a present you’ll need to pay very shut consideration to, partly since you gained’t need to miss necessary particulars but additionally as a result of the dialogue is in a number of languages. The digital camera likes to linger over clues, ensuring you discover the variety of a room cabin or the textual content in a handwritten letter.
The enjoyable of the present is much less within the final reveal and extra in following the entire small and unusual particulars that get you to that time. It gained’t be lengthy earlier than you’re recognizing triangles and pyramids all over the place. It’s actually exhausting to say an excessive amount of with out spoiling issues, however I can affirm that, regardless of being a puzzle field narrative connoisseur, I nonetheless discovered myself incessantly unable to determine the place the present was headed, which was refreshing. Simply once I thought I had a grasp on issues, some weird new wrinkle was launched.
There are a couple of oddities. The present has a really unusual tendency to finish every episode with a traditional rock tune, which feels completely misplaced amidst its in any other case harsh industrial rating. And the characters actually like to monologue in entrance of people that do not know what they’re saying due to the language variations. These monologues aren’t essentially unhealthy, however it’s exhausting to imagine the opposite passengers would sit round nodding alongside after they don’t perceive a single phrase. I also needs to warn that it’s a fairly grim story, all gray and gloom, with little or no humor and one notably disturbing depiction of sexual violence.
For thriller followers, although, it’s the perfect type of present: one which, even in case you aren’t glad by the ending, is a blast to speak about. I’ve been DMing everybody I do know, telling them to look at, simply so I’ve individuals to swap theories with (particularly now that Twitter is, let’s say, preoccupied). There are few higher distractions than asking your pals why one of many crew members’ face gained’t heal or determining why there are shimmering bugs on a ghost ship.
1899 is streaming now on Netflix.