Netflix’s 1899 is one of the most mind-numbing experiences you can get from a series as it follows up on Dark, which was by the same people that created 1899. In that regard, it is easy to expect that the series will follow a storyline with a lot of mysteries and twists. Then again, we didn’t expect that one of the biggest mysteries behind 1899 is in relation to its actual timeline, as this was something that came as a surprise near the end. So, what year is 1899 really set?
1899 initially begins with the characters on board a steamship that’s bound for New York from Europe. The people on the ship are excited about getting to America to escape their own pasts in the Old World. But as the series progressed, it was revealed that it was all a simulation that was taking place in 2099.
We were already expecting that there was going to be a series of different twists and turns in 1899, but we were caught off-guard when we saw that the series was actually futuristic instead of a historical one. There were already a few hints regarding the setting of 1899, but no one expected it to be in 2099. That said, let’s look at what we know about 1899 and its year of setting.
When Does 1899 Take Place?
The newest series by Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, who both worked on the sleeper Netflix hit called Dark, is 1899. As such, those who saw Dark would be aware of the fact that there were twists and turns that were quite mind-numbing in that series. And when 1899 was announced, the initial thought was that this series was also going to have the same kind of twists and turns that were present in Dark.
Of course, while 1899 is a series unique on its own and isn’t connected to Dark, it was already able to allow people to speculate what the series was about based on the initial plot. Basically, the title of the series already allows people to think that this series was set in 1899. And that made sense because the events in the series actually fit the title and the setting.
1899 begins with Maura and a group of diverse people who are onboard a steamship called the Kerberos, which was bound for New York from Europe. This voyage was set against the backdrop of a similar steamship called the Prometheus, which had gone missing four months ago while following the same route that the Kerberos took.
The different passengers onboard the Kerberos all have their own reasons for wanting to go to America, as it was made clear that they were different from one another and were coming from different backgrounds in life. It was also clear that almost all of them had pasts that they wanted to leave behind in the Old World, and that was the reason why they wanted to start fresh in the New World.
All of these events seemingly happened in the year 1899 when Europe was still in the middle of a great migration from the Old World to America, as different people from different European nations all wanted to start fresh in an entirely new environment where they could leave behind whatever past lives they had.
The first big twist, however, came when they found the Prometheus, whose passengers had gone missing except for a young boy with a mysterious pyramid-shaped contraption in his hands. Things started to go weird from then on as people on the ship were dying one by one in manners that were quite mysterious. And that was when things slowly and steadily began unfolding.
1899 Real Timeline Explained
When the ship’s captain, Eyk, decided to return to Europe to tow the Prometheus there so that the shipping company that owned it could investigate what happened to it, that was when the passengers onboard the Kerberos started a mutiny. And this was all happening while Eyk and Maura were uncovering hidden secrets in the Prometheus and were steadily learning more about the boy and the mysterious pyramid that he had in his possession.
In what was one of the first big twists of what initially seemed to be a supernatural series with many different mysterious events, Maura and Eyk discovered hidden worlds within the ship itself, as it was clearly impossible for an entire ship to hold different buildings and landscapes. That was when it was clear that there was more than just one location in the world they were in, as Maura realized that this could be something that related to her father, who was the owner of the shipping company and may have been the one who messed with all of their minds.
But as both Maura and Eyk were investigating one of the hidden worlds within the ship, that was when the mysterious Daniel showed up to explain to them that he was actually Maura’s husband of 12 years and that the mysterious boy was actually their son named Elliot. He had a contraption that seemingly allowed him to travel from one place to another in the world that was hiding in the ship. And that was when he explained that this was all just a simulation that was happening from inside the minds of the characters in 1899.
Considering that this was all just a simulation, it would be logical to think that this series wasn’t exactly taking place in 1899 and was actually more futuristic. This was hinted at when Maura’s father was secretly observing everything that was happening using monitors that shouldn’t exist in 1899. Of course, the device that Daniel was using seemed to be too advanced for that timeline as well. At the very least, some fans thought that Maura’s father had technology that was more advanced than what the 19th century had to offer.
But when it was becoming clear that everything was all just a simulation and that the characters of 1899 had been trapped in an endless loop for a long time already, it was clear that this series was not taking place in 1899. Still, we weren’t ready for the mystery that steadily unfolded itself as the story went along.
Maura’s father, who wanted to escape the simulation using Elliot’s pyramid and the key that Maura possessed, was seemingly successful in that regard and injected a chemical in Maura to repeat the loop and trap her in that simulation forever. However, Daniel had changed the code of the simulation such that there was already a new pyramid and a key that would allow them to escape.
As such, when the simulation reset, Maura and Daniel found themselves in a different simulated environment. Daniel gave Maura the new pyramid, which could be operated using the wedding ring on her finger. He wanted her to escape using the pyramid so that she could stop the simulation, which was controlled by her brother in the outside world
Maura successfully escaped the simulation and found herself in a room where the other characters were sleeping in machines that allowed them to enter this simulated world. And when Maura looked outside the window, she was shocked to see that they were in space all along.
The biggest twist was that, when she looked at the console in the center of the room, it said that the year was actually 2099 and not 1899. As such, 1899 is actually set 200 years ahead of the timeline that was shown at the beginning. And that means that the 1899 setting was all part of a simulation that was actually happening in the real world that is set in 2099.
This suggests that the people of 2099 in the 1899 series were already capable of interstellar travel and that the people onboard Project Prometheus, which was the spaceship, were there to move from Earth all the way to a distant planet to escape their lives in the old world and hopefully start a new one in an entirely different planet. In that regard, the plotline is similar but takes place in an entirely different setting and time period.