Is 1899 on Netflix based on a true story?

Halloween might be far behind us now, but if you’re looking for something that’ll have you on the edge of your seat while you binge through the episodes, look no further than 1899 on Netflix.

The German production follows passengers aboard the ship Kerberos, traveling from Europe to America to start new lives. Talk has spread about a missing ship called the Prometheus that hasn’t been seen in four months. While we get to meet the ensemble cast, creepy happenings begin to occur and only escalate when they find the lost steamship.

1899 is a period piece, taking place in the 19th century as evidenced by the title. The story is quite detailed and sometimes shocking, which might leave people wondering if it’s based on real life or not. Here’s everything we know about the inspiration behind Netflix’s new mystery thriller.

What is 1899 on Netflix based on?

The new series from Dark creators Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar is not based on a true story. However, there are many real-life events that might have inspired the pair while coming up with the show. While speaking to Deadline last year, the duo revealed that even some recent world events helped shaped the show:

“The whole European angle was very important for us, not only story wise but also the way we were going to produce it,” says Friese. “It really had to be a European collaboration, not just cast but also crew. We felt that with the past years of Europe being on the decline, we wanted to give a counterpoint to Brexit, and to nationalism rising in different countries, to go back to that idea of Europe and Europeans working and creating together.”

As for the plot of the disappearing ship, there are several missing ship stories throughout world history, along with alleged paranormal zones in the ocean like the Bermuda Triangle. In the 19th century, there were reports of two ships that went missing in the Arctic, now dubbed the “ghost ships.” The last time the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were heard from was in 1848, and to this day they have never been found.

Friese and Odar have not confirmed whether these “ghost ships” served as inspiration for 1899 or not, but we can assume real-life stories like that one might have had an influence.

The ship names in 1899, the Kerberos and the Prometheus, both come from Greek mythology, so it’s possible Friese and Odar also took inspiration from that folklore for their show.

We’ll be curious to see what the creators will shed light on after the show is released on Netflix. Don’t miss all eight episodes of 1899 when the series debuts this Thursday, Nov. 17!

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