Dark season 3: A game-changing, twisty finale to Netflix’s hidden gem of a sci-fi show

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Dark debuted quietly enough on Netflix in 2017 without too much fanfare but quickly racked up views. The American streaming platform swiftly renewed the series, which became its most-watched non-English series at the time. This was later bested by the likes of Narcos and then Money Heist.

Dark garnered comparisons to Stranger Things thanks to its missing children storyline, an Eighties setting, a quiet town with secrets and some seriously creepy characters.

However, the show took a very different tact to its American counterpart with its multiple timelines and a time travel element.

Needless to say, Dark – part crime drama, part sci-fi, part philosophical debate – is a very different beast to the world created by the Duffer Brothers.

Penned by partners and couple Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the pair have developed an expansive and rich story. They were first approached by Netflix to create a television show, leading them to pitch Dark.

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The interlacing and interweaving storylines have led to endless Reddit threads and the like as viewers try to pick apart the various plot strands.

In some ways, season three is simply a continuation of what has come before. The level of detail and complexity demands the full attention of its viewers – something only possible in the era of Netflix and streaming platforms.

A show like Dark would have been unimaginable in the days of just linear television.

This is groundbreaking television at its best. The viewing experience is a fully immersive one, pulling you under and keeping you there until the very last scene.

The first two seasons felt watertight with the battle between free will and determinism raging fiercely.

Season three takes things in a different direction which fans may not have been expecting and not as strong as its forebears. It’s a conclusion which doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Much of the loose ends are neatly tied up and the story is completed well. But there are some questions and some of the writing doesn’t feel as concrete as the first two instalments.

But there’s no denying, the journey to this point is compelling, terrifying and heartbreaking all at once.

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The huge cast which easily rivals Game of Thrones gives some brilliant final turns.

Louis Hofmann and Lisa Vicari are most deserving of praise as star-crossed teen lovers and time travellers Jonas Kahnwald and Martha Nielsen respectively.

Viewers have been rooting for Jonas from the start, even when his prolonged silences became infuriating.

He has guided viewers on this journey and fans have felt every intense beat of it with him.

Vicari, too, is given much more in this season and comes into her own. She serves as a strong equivalent to Hofmann’s Jonas as she embarks down her own path of self-discovery.

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But kudos to the cast for managing to play different versions of the same character in both different timelines and worlds and maintaining the cohesion of the elaborate narrative.

The other big thing which makes Dark one of Netflix’s hidden gems is the production values. The unique aesthetic works just as much as the actors to signpost the story.

Previous seasons saw a subtle change in the colour palette with sepia tones in the Fifties, while the Eighties was characterised with pops of bright, bold colours. The third outing is no different in its representations of various settings.

Dark is very much a filmic television series with gorgeous cinematography to match the high levels of storytelling going on here.

This is a cerebral watch demanding your full attention with a strong payoff.

Dark seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now

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