One thing that always gets mentioned when people talk about “Dark” is the amazing job they did with casting, and it’s true. With a storyline that follows characters over the course of their long lifetime at different ages, the casting has to be spot on so that viewers can keep track of who’s who. This is necessary because the story of “Dark” Season 1 takes place in 2019, 1986, and 1953, and if you can believe it, Seasons 2 and 3 add even more time periods.
Starting off in 2019, the investigation into the missing kids leads both Ulrich and Jonas to a series of caves in the woods where a doorway takes them to either 1986 or 1953. Jonas receives some help from an unknown man in town known as “The Stranger” (Andreas Pietschmann), while Ulrich bulldozes his way to the past looking for his son. Meanwhile, a man named Noah (Mark Waschke) reveals that there’s a battle going on for control over time, and he’s been manipulating Helge, played by Tom Philipp, Peter Schneider, and Hermann Beyer over the years, since he was a boy in 1953 to follow his orders in his drive to build his own time machine, even if it means sacrificing young boys as test subjects. In 2019, Helge is around 75 with serious memory issues and extreme scarring around his face and ear from an incident in his youth.
With one goal in mind, to get Mikkel back, Ulrich doesn’t plan too much out, which ends badly for him. Realizing how involved 1986’s Helge is in the kidnappings, Ulrich is determined to stop them from happening by killing young Helge. But instead of stopping the cycle, Ulrich just keeps it going, committing the crime that gives Helge his scar and drives him to Noah in the first place. To say the least, the plot’s confusing, but just remember that everything’s connected and history repeats itself.