Sunday, November 20, 2022

1899: Episode 1


1. The Ship
1899. Four months after the disappearance of the Prometheus, sister ship Kerberos sails the Atlantic with European immigrants en route to New York. Neurologist Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham) is haunted by nightmarish visions. She volunteers to help out a young Dane, Krester (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), in the lower deck whose pregnant sister Tove (Clara Rosager) is having contractions. Captain Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann) receives a coded message, coordinates, presumably from the lost ship and changes course to find it. The first class passengers are not happy, among them Spanish siblings Ángel (Miguel Bernardeau) and his brother Ramiro (José Pimentão) who’s pretending to be a priest. Polish stoker Olek (Maciej Musiał) and French stowaway Jérôme (Yann Gael) are obliged to accompany Eyk, Maura, and Ramiro as they approach the missing ship. They find a survivor, a mute boy who hands over a pyramid to Maura. Unbeknownst to them, another survivor swims towards their ship and enters room 1013.


Anyone who has seen Dark should know what to expect given that this is from the same writers. The pilot is engaging enough as an anchor but won’t really suffice for us to deduce the level of philosophical mindfuckery that awaits us. For us mere mortals, all we can do is spot hints and oddities here and there. What I like about this show, though, is the smattering of languages everywhere. For example, you don’t even have to be fluent but just be able to recognize that the geisha and her companion were speaking Cantonese instead of Japanese when they first appeared. It gives you a headstart in anticipating their subplot before they spell it out for the audience later on in the episode. The number 1011 is prominent but I have no talent in numerology so that clue is useless to me. The abundance of pyramids suggests the involvement of something occult, while the Silent Hill-esque change in the imagery of ship interiors just adds more to the mystery. My initial guess? Aliens. Bermuda Triangle. Or everything is just Maura’s hallucination.


“What is lost shall be found.”

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