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1899 review – this painfully slow sci-fi show is absolutely agonising

The horror-mystery from the creators of German hit Dark follows the steamship Cerberus on a voyage beset by bizarre happenings. It’s dour, obtuse and oppressive – enjoy! Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar may not be household names, but they are arguably two of the most influential figures in streaming. Their sci-fi series Dark was Netflix’s first German-language original and proved a hit with audiences and critics across the globe, paving the way for Squid Game, Lupin, All Of Us Are Dead and a more global outlook to programming. Two years after the finale of their time-travelling, parallel universe-incorporating conspiracy drama – and a brilliantly clever conclusion that somehow solved the grandfather paradox – the Dark team return. Their new series, 1899, is another horror-mystery puzzle box with a sci-fi edge. In this case, the setting is a grand steamship crossing the Atlantic, where class keeps various segments of the passengers from interacting. 1899 is set 13 years before the Titanic came afoul of an iceberg, but the parallels are clear, with roaring engine rooms and a preternaturally still ocean that the characters attribute to it “sensing death”. Continue reading...

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