Dark, probably the most complex and confusing tales of time travel ever to be created in the world's entertainment history.
In its abstract sense, this show tried to work with two of the most abstract themes of physics, Time and Reality; the quantum entanglement/loop or in layman's terms, the grandfather paradox.
The shows season 3, episode 7, opens like this.
What is reality? Is it genuinely singular in its nature, or do several parallel realities exist simultaneously?
To answer this question, One of the most renowned physicists, Erwin Schroedinger, proposed a thought experiment that is famously known as The Schroedinger's Cat experiment.
Now, let's imagine a Steel Box that is in no way impenetrable by any of the environmental variables it's sitting along with, no light going inside or no light coming out. In this box, there is a living cat, a minimal residue of some radioactive atoms, and a Geiger counter that triggers a hammer to fall on a vial of poison. At the exact moment when the molecule disintegrates, releasing its radioactivity, the Geiger counter reacts to it. And it, in turn, triggers the hammer to fall on the vial of poison, and the cat dies.
However, the wave functions of quantum mechanics are a little more complicated than that. The atoms in the box are, at the same time, disintegrated or completely intact in a superposed position. So, until we, the observers, observe the state the particle is in and thus the cat, we can never know for sure if the cat is dead or alive. Causing the existence of two probabilities at any given moment. Meaning, in the bizarre world microcosmos, anything can be dead or alive until observed.
And that is what the world of Dark is, a big Schrodinger's steel box that hosts the characters themselves in it instead of cats.
Now, to try and write a synopsis or character analysis of this series would be a complete superfluous idiocracy. Those of you who have seen the series should get what im talking about. But, I can give you a simple idea about the universe of Dark behaves.
In this fictional world, time travel behaves very weirdly. I traveler can jump through time in 33-year portions. The writers are big fans of the word "Triquetra," a trinity of anything that can not exist without the others. A symbol of infinity that moves in three directions instead of two.
While traveling through the caves of Winden or by using the time machines introduced in Dark, you can go to the past or future in 33, 66, 99, or 132 years in any direction. And there exists a total of three realities among which one is destroyed, and the other two are bound to have an apocalypse.
The first one is the original world, where a scientist, H.G Tannahaus, in his attempt to create a time machine destroys the whole origin universe.
Second, being the prime world, which is created after the destruction of the origin world. In this reality, time travel can be done through a cave formed by a malfunction in a nuclear energy facility. The mouth of the cave has a door with an engraving "Sic Mundus." This door opens every 33 years—the world of Adam Aka Jonas, who wants to destroy the time loop by erasing his existence.
A world where Martha is killed by Adam, Jonas's former self, and thus creating the actual "loop."
Third, being the mirror world where Martha is alive, but Jonas is dead. Now. Martha's older self, AKA Eva, sends her in the prime world to rescue Jonas at the very moment just before the apocalypse. But this event also triggers the creation of Eva herself.
At the very moment of the apocalypse, One chooses to save Jonas, and the other doesn't. That Martha, who saves Jonas, is later killed by Older Jonas Aka Adam. And the other one who doesn't is taken in by another guy named Berthosz and thus the creation of Eva herself. And in this timeline, Jonas, who Martha doesn't save, hides in the basement of his building and later becomes Adam. The curious case of the infinitely growing snake eating its tail for eternity. Confusing much?
The town of winden, the place that hosts this cave, is stuck in such a messy quantum entanglement that almost all of the characters are related and somehow cause the birth of others, literally and physically.
A total of 22 characters and four families are stuck in this loop. All of them have at least once met with their own three versions scattered in time. And all of them than exist in two realities making the tally of actual characters in the show somewhere around 70. A total of 23 characters, including Tannahaus and another 70 versions of them!! If you start watching the show without focus and a proper tally of the characters, by season two, you'll be lost like Tom Hanks In Castaway.
Now im lost while writing this piece; I can't remember what I had in mind when I started writing, LOL.
So, if you want to start now, remember to make lots of lattes, an infinite amount of popcorn, and a diary to keep track of where and when and whos who. Otherwise, you'll end up with a headache as I have right now.