German detective series ‘1899’ celebrates its world premiere in Toronto

Toronto (AP) – A ship on the high seas that has been missing for four months and now drifts ghostly on the sea without passengers: the first two episodes of the series “1899”, the new project by Jantje Friese (screenplay) and Baran bo Odar (director), promises mysterious events, mysterious characters and disturbing symbolism.

This is the mix with which the duo has already achieved worldwide success with the “Dark” series. And also at the world premiere of “1899” at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) the filmmakers were celebrated by the public on Tuesday evening (local time). “To be honest, we’re pretty nervous, even though we have three seasons of ‘Dark’ behind us. It feels very fresh to us. It’s our baby,” Odar said in Toronto.

The first two episodes of the eight-part series aired, which developed strong traction after just a few minutes. A motley group of passengers with diverse nationalities, personal histories, and troubled pasts board an emigrant ship bound for New York from Europe in the late 19th century. All hope, for their own reasons, to slide towards freedom.

But when the crew discovers the ship Prometheus, which has been missing for four months, on the high seas, the voyage takes an unexpected and dark turn – and everything embarks on a nightmarish mystery. Where did the Prometheus go? Where are all the passengers on the boat? And what about pyramid symbols?

Haunted by the painful past

With their mix of oppressive, dark imagery and mysterious signs, Friese and Odar tread familiar waters. “We always try to tell a multi-layered story and create lots of character-related objects and symbols,” Friese said. The main character of the mysterious duo’s new game board is Andreas Pietschmann as the captain of the ship, whose dark secrets are revealed in realistic nightmares. “I danced inside when the call came for us to work together again,” said Pietschmann, who previously starred in “Dark.”

With the passenger Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham), haunted by her own painful past, he tries to unravel the mystery of Prometheus. “Maura is multi-layered and full of contradictions, which is what makes her so compelling,” says Beecham.

The international cast includes actors from Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Hong Kong. The actors speak in their mother tongue. “We feel like citizens of the world and we wanted to bring that feeling back and work with people around the world,” Friese said. This message is just as important to both of them in real life as the intricate entanglements on screen.

The mystery thriller series “1899” is expected to be available on Netflix in late 2022.

Doran Sandoval

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