Season 1 of German drama Dark started out as a compelling but fairly straightforward missing persons story. Children had been disappearing from a (fictional) small town called Winden where there are dense forests, hidden caves and a nuclear power plant which the locals keep comparing to Chernobyl. But soon the narrative broadened its scope massively to embrace time travel, a cult-like religious sect, portals into parallel dimensions, and an impending apocalypse.

Maintains its mood of impending doom rather brilliantly.

Now with Season 2 it’s as if showrunners Baran

bo Odar and Jantje Friese have taken inspiration from thematically similar Netflix shows such as The OA and Stranger Things and made everything even weirder. In the first series the action jumped between the present day, 1953 and 1986, exploring how similar abductions of teens seemed to have occurred at regular intervals throughout Winden history. This time there are also leaps into the near future to keep track of, while in comes a terse investigator (Sylvester Groth) to try to work out what the hell is going on.

Despite those surface similarities to other high-concept sci-fi/fantasy mysteries (and you can throw in Twin Peaks, too), Dark most definitely has a grimly serious tone all its own. The teenage characters are mostly deeply angst-ridden, spending their time moping about in the woods getting angry with each other. Their parents are either seriously ill, addicts and/or suicidal, and there’s a genuinely creepy evil priest and his terrifying scar-faced boss at the centre of all the nasty business. But if you can take the morose vibe, the series is beautifully filmed in grey/green hues, and maintains its mood of impending doom rather brilliantly.

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