In 2020, Netflix premiered “Into The Night,” the first Netflix original series, and it was a great success. The show, based on the novel The Old Axolotl by Jacek Dukaj, was executed quite well, boasting a breakneck pace that helped deliver a great sense of urgency and also a great cast of characters. The characters, while all of them archetypical, were easy to care about, and each of their stories delivered exciting situations.
Now, Yakamoz S-245 plans to do just the same. The production moves from Belgium to Turkey this time, but that may be the only difference; the rest of the premise remains the same, as a terrifying solar flare changes the nature of the Earth, rendering sunlight completely lethal to life. A group of survivors must race against the light in order to survive. Oh, and yes, this time the race is won not by a plane but by a submarine.
The stars Kivanc Tatlitug, Ozge Ozpirincci, Ertan Saban, Meric Aral, and Ece Cesmioglu. It consists of 7 episodes of around 45 minutes in length, and as a spin-off of Into the Night, the events in that show overlap with the ones in Yakamoz S-245. It might be one of the coolest aspects of watching both shows together. There is a sort of coordination between the two shows. A will to actually pull off a sort of cinematic universe involving this apocalyptic event. If Yakamoz S-245 does well, we might even see more stories involving this horrible event in other countries or continents.
The name Yakamoz S-245 refers, of course, to the submarine that will become the home and savior of our group of survivors. This setting makes for some truly exciting sequences involving a lot of tension and claustrophobia. It isn’t easy to film inside such a small space, but the filmmakers manage to make things dynamic enough to not become stale. Also, while the setting is one of the main scenarios where the story takes place, it isn’t the only one. Just like in Into the Night, the submarine passengers get to dry land quite often in order to look for supplies and other survivors.
If there’s something that Yakamoz S-245 lacks in contrast with Into the Night, it’s that sense of urgency. The first episode, for example, introduces all our main characters. From the get-go, it is quite interesting to get to know all the characters. They all have their personalities and goals from the get go, but it makes the show start at a very slow pace, when Into the Night started with a bang and never let that pace go down. Yakamoz S-245 prefers to go quite into the depths of the ocean. It might not be as exciting as Into the Night, but Yakamoz S-245 does have a great buildup, and it is very easy to binge-watch the whole thing in just one sitting.
While entertaining, the show does have very prominent issues, especially on the narrative side of things. If you have already seen Into the Night, then Yakamoz S-245 becomes more of an exercise in repetition. We have seen this before aboard a plane, and we know exactly how the personalities will clash, how the events will transpire, and how obstacles will appear in the way of our survivors. At times, it feels more like a remake than a proper spin-off. This sameness really hurts the show’s ability to have spectacular moments. Of course, this only affects the part of the audience that has already seen Into the Night, but the issue remains there.
Production values are also an issue. The filmmakers try to do as much as they can with what they have, but in terms of direction, visual composition, sound, color grading, and so much more, Yakamoz S-245 feels a bit on the cheap side. Into The Night looked so much better, I guess it was just so much easier to make a fake plane set than a fake submarine plane.
Despite these issues in the narrative and presentation, the show remains entertaining and thrilling, especially for those who have not seen Into The Night. You can even watch this one and then go back to Into The Night to get a wider context of the situation at hand.
All the actors do a fine job, but Ozpirincci is certainly the standout, which is funny, because Into the Night also had the main female role as the standout. Now, we can only hope that Yakamoz S-245 is successful enough to warrant another season and maybe even a crossover with the Into The Night side of the story. Yakamoz S-245 can provide you with thrills as well as a cool, mysterious show.