Very complex, intricate, with many details and intertwining storylines that can confuse an inexperienced movie fan, the mystical adventure detective series has an important advantage: it has a great ending. She puts everything in its place, answers the questions that have arisen. Yes, so much so that I want to review all 8 episodes again, taking into account the knowledge: oh, that’s who, it turns out, is the “mishandled Cossack” here! But back to the plot, the development of the plot, the climax, then smoothly move on to the finale.
From nowhere to nowhere
Capital of England, seaport. One and a half thousand Londoners board the Cerberus in order to reach the shores of America without any problems in 2 weeks. The vast majority are poor, even poor citizens, they are fleeing unemployment, unresolved domestic and other problems, in search of shelter. In the New World, according to rumors, there are jobs in factories and farms and cheap rental housing. Among the motley audience, a preoccupied mother with three children – Krester, Tova and Ada – is noticeable.
Gentlemen travel first class; unlike the poor, they have no financial difficulties. But there are enough worries. Holy Father Ramiro quarrels with his brother Angel, who is far from Christianity, violates God’s commandments, and is prone to debauchery. Madame Wilson is pandering, gossiping, knows everything about everyone. Newlyweds Clemens and Lucien behave as if they have been married for two decades and are fed up with their other half. The lieutenant had a shameful act in the past: he slandered his colleague Jerome, accused him of desertion and sent him under arrest to certain death. Another flirtatious lady Len Yi entered the liner in the status of an unexposed criminal: she poisoned her rival with a potion with the tacit consent of her mother. Almost everyone is trying to forget their dark past, to escape from it to the ends of the Earth.
Against this bleak background, the doctor Maura Franklin stands out sharply – an active, intelligent, courageous, kind-hearted British woman. Without hesitation, she descends to the lower deck, where there are mattresses instead of beds and a pile of dirty linen laid out by the washerwomen, from where the smell of burnt coal from the stoker does not disappear. She wants to help a sick woman in labor. And she surprises with her recklessness not only wealthy passengers, but also the captain himself, who remarks to her: “It’s not customary to do this here. Stay on your floor.” The first clue for the viewer: Mora is a person of a different era, culture, views, upbringing. Personality.
For her, segregation, the division of people into castes, races, wallets, refusal to help the needy, persecution of a child, religious fanaticism, terror, forced psychiatry and much more, which became the norm at the turn of the century, are unacceptable. at the time of the birth of capitalism. She does not understand the strange, illogical behavior of the participants in the trip: they rush about, make a lot of mistakes and rash decisions, act paradoxically. Some blame the team for the failures, others bully the weak, others are ready to die, inspired by crazy ideas. Uneducated, downtrodden, rude, hostile to any individual who is not like them, these misguided men and women look for the root causes of their troubles in fictional objects of hatred and fear.
The ship abruptly changes course: it received an SOS signal from the crew of the Prometheus of the same shipping company. For 4 months nothing was heard about him: he simply disappeared from the radio. The inhabitants of the holds, that is, the premises below the waterline, loudly protest and demand to continue moving to the bitter end. They bought tickets to their destination with such difficulty, and then a 180-degree turn! This will not happen! A riot is brewing, they want to remove the captain. A boat was launched into the water. The sortie of a small detachment of volunteers yielded almost nothing: there were neither dead nor alive on the ship, with the exception of a little boy hiding in a closet. He holds a black pyramid in his hands and is stubbornly silent.
Room 1011, in which the doctor has settled, hides a secret: under the bed there is a portal to exit to another world. The foundling knows about him and hides in a deep mine, when an angry mob searches for the victim along all the corridors and cabins. The guy is clearly not from 1899, he is too “advanced” and knows much more than illiterate travelers. For example, he can stop a flying bullet with one movement of his hand and train Alfred the cricket. Another hint: a stack of photographs lying on the table. The pictures were taken much later, at least a century later: the image is quite clear, the format of paper prints is typical for photo labs. These are technologies of the 21st century, but not the end of the 18th. So what really happened there?
Brief version of events
2099 A scientist-historian flies on a special “thinking starship”, at the speed of light, into the distant past, 200 years ago. We need to find out where the 1423 passengers and crew members of the multi-deck Prometheus have gone. At the same time, study and describe everything you see: the behavior of those in distress, the philosophy, motives and values of various social groups, including marginal ones. To make the dive as close to reality as possible, a legend was invented for the business traveler.
She is the daughter of shipowner Henry Singleton, a medical physiologist by profession who studies the human brain and the subconscious. After the funeral of her mother, who died of mental illness, she came under pressure from a tough and domineering father. An unthinkable experiment was carried out on her in the walls of a psychiatric clinic, as a result of which all memories were erased. The doctor’s wife forgot she was married that she and Daniel have a 6-year-old son, Eliot. The test subject is watched with interest by provocateur father Henry, who has set up a simulation and owns a code to stop it or reset it. In pursuit of the researcher, reinforcements were sent: web versions of the husband and son who once lived. They must support the project. Also, sea captain Eik, who lost his family in a fire, will act as an ally.
A new ship has been built, a flight is scheduled, tickets are being sold. And then a series of unpredictable and tragic incidents begins: a storm, a failure of navigation equipment, a conspiracy, a shift of the team, numerous deaths. A considerable part of the rebels shows the worst qualities of nature: malice, envy, betrayal, cruelty, greed, cowardice. And the guest from the future faces a much more serious task: to survive in this meat grinder and save her adopted (or maybe her own, she does not remember) son. She has already completed the main task, establishing that a collective suicide was committed on the “floating ghost”. Something like what the cult did in Jonestown in 1978. Then, on one October day, following the will of the pastor, 909 parishioners committed suicide.
Mission accomplished, session ended. The heroine reads a note from her brother Kieren and goes to drink coffee. Her colleagues went on an expedition along other routes: patching up the hole in the Titanic, rescuing the Chelyuskinites from ice captivity, freeing Nelson Mandela from the dungeons, preventing another world war and all subsequent bloody clashes. In the run-up to the 22nd century, this is unfashionable and irrelevant. The planet lives peacefully, prosperously and happily. 99% of the population is engaged in science.
Why Moira created a simulation, why Henry locked her in an illusion, and what does the “myth of the cave” have to do with it
British neurologist Moira Franklin (Emily Beecham) traveled to America on the steamship Cerberus to find her missing brother Kiaran. Moira believes he may have been on the missing Prometheus. Before the trip, Moira received a letter from her brother, which convinced her to take up the search. Similar letters were received by other passengers and crew members of the Cerberus.
Along the way, “Cerberus” stumbles upon the same “Prometheus”. Only one silent boy (Flyn Edwards) remained aboard the ghost ship. Together with the boy – later it turns out that his name is Elliot – the mysterious Daniel Solas (Aneurin Barnard) gets on board, who knows what happened to the Prometheus.
Captain Eik Larsen (Andreas Peachman) decides to tow the Prometheus to Europe. He wants to find out why he was sent a letter from his dead wife and daughters. And Eyck is convinced that the company that owns Cerberus and Prometheus is hiding something. Many of the passengers and crew members of the Cerberus begin to riot because they do not want to return to Europe. And while passions boil on board, a mystical force teleports the Cerberus away from the Prometheus.
Moira and Eik begin to investigate the strangeness that is happening on the Cerberus. They discover that hatches are hidden throughout the ship, leading to places with the memories of everyone on board. The ship turns out to be a simulation that Moira’s father Henry Singleton (Anton Lesser) uses to study the human brain. The scene with the “cemetery” of abandoned ships revealed that there were many simulations. Henry took up research after the death of his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease.
Henry ran the simulations from his office, which was located in a gloomy location with a pyramid. At the same time, his shelter also turned out to be a simulation. Say hello to Christopher Nolan’s Inception with his “sleep within a dream.” Henry and his assistant used old phones – in the spirit of the 80s and 90s. At the same time, they had tablets – they didn’t look the most sophisticated. In his simulation, Henry is probably stuck in 1999, since he’s on a steamer and spaceship in 1899 and 2099.
The Cerberus simulation turned out to be the most successful, with the participants far advanced in the program. So, in Prometheus, Elliot remained locked in a closet. And in Cerberus, Moira pulled the boy out of there, and the quest continued.
However, Henry was not the architect of the simulation. It was designed by Moira and Daniel, who happened to be her husband. The couple turned this case in order to save their seriously ill son, Elliot. Or perhaps the boy died, and before his death, Moira and Daniel gave him a new life, virtual. In the simulation of the ship, Moira just thought she had lost her baby.
Moira was inspired to create the simulation by the “myth of the cave”. This is an allegory invented by Plato, according to which people believe that the senses allow them to know reality. In fact, their world is a cave, an illusion that hides the truth about the world. People can judge the real reality only by the shadows in the cave. The cave is a simulation in the spirit of endless ships that seem real to passengers.
Moira erased Elliot’s memory and placed his mind in a simulation to spend time with the boy there. Other people were eventually involved in the simulation, including Moira’s father. Henry decided to answer Moira in the same way – he erased her memory, forcing him to go through simulations and thereby help him in studying the dark depths of human consciousness. Initially, the simulation was Elliot’s children’s room, but Henry took advantage of his daughter’s technology and created an entire world.
Daniel and Elliot tried to help Moira remember real life, so that she would then find the key she had hidden, with which she could get out of the simulation. By the way, the details about Elliot’s illness in season 1 of “1899” were not disclosed, but, most likely, he cannot live outside the simulation.
Pyramid, key, beetle, black substance and syringes – what is it
The pyramid and the key served as codes that could be used to either restart the simulation or get out of it. So there were pyramid symbols all over the ship—even behind Elliot’s ear.
The beetle served as a key to open any doors in the simulation. The beetle reminds Moira of her son and the boy’s desire to explore the world. In the past, Elliot wanted to put the beetle in a box, but Moira convinced her son to keep the beetle free.
At some point, a black substance began to spread throughout the ship, poisoning people in the simulation. This is a virus code that Elliot injected into the simulation to prevent Henry from restarting it.
Syringes with white and black liquid restore and erase memory. In the spirit of the red and blue pills from The Matrix.
Where did Moira end up in the final and what does her brother Kiaran want?
In episode 8, Henry obtained a pyramid and a key with which he hoped to restart the simulation. However, Daniel programmed other items for new keys – a ring and a toy pyramid. With the help of these items, Moira got out of the simulation and into the real world (sort of).
Moira and other participants in the experiment were on board the spacecraft all this time. There she learned that she was participating in some kind of rescue mission. And the process is led by Moira’s brother, Kiaran, who at the end of the series greeted his sister in “reality”.
The season 1 finale confirmed that the action takes place in the future – in 2099. Apparently, most of the inhabitants of the Earth for some reason left the planet. Maybe the Earth has become uninhabitable due to a lack of resources. The post-apocalyptic wasteland with the pyramid, where Henry was and where the house of Moira and Daniel was located, turned out to be an illusion. However, this place could be a reflection of what became of the Earth in the real world.
Perhaps Moira’s brother wanted to study the human brain, find out how the inhabitants of the Earth can survive in extreme conditions, and thereby find the key to saving the planet. Henry is disappointed in people – he believes that they do not act according to their minds, but according to emotional impulses. His son Kiaran’s relationship to humanity has not been revealed, but maybe he wants to give humanity another chance. Or just likes to play with human destinies.
How the season 1 finale turned the events of 1899 and whether the spaceship was a simulation
Passengers and crew members of the Cerberus are indeed on board the ship – but the space one. They live not in 1899, but in 2099. This plot twist makes you rethink the stories of all the characters.
The flashback scenes revealed grim details about the past of some of the passengers and crew of the Cerberus. However, all this could be an invention of Kiaran, who wanted to put the participants in the experiment in stressful situations. Or the real fates of the characters were similar to what their “avatars” experienced.
Lucien (Jonas Blocke) and Jerome (Yann Gael) were at war in flashbacks – in reality it could have been a war in a post-apocalyptic future or some other non-war conflict. Lin Yi (Isabella Wei) accidentally poisoned her sister and got on board the Cerberus instead of her – under the same circumstances, she could become a member of the space operation.
Most likely, all participants in the experiment really have a gloomy past. Suddenly they are generally forcibly kept in the simulation. Not just because the ships are called “Cerberus” and “Prometheus”. Cerberus is a three-headed dog guarding the gates of the realm of the dead. The Guardian keeps the dead from escaping the underworld. Prometheus is a titan who stole fire and gave it to people, for which Zeus punished him with eternal torment.
The stories of some of the study participants were not fully revealed – for sure they will be told in a possible season 2. For example, it is still not clear why Olek’s (Maciej Musial) memory simulation – the snowy location where Lin saw the photo with the Statue of Liberty – had blood.
The season 1 finale “1899” hinted that something bad happened on Earth, since so many people went into space. Unless, of course, this is an ordinary study, which, due to the supposedly distraught brother of Moira, did not go according to plan. However, it should be understood that the space scene could also be an imitation. Suddenly, 1899 is actually our 2020s, and the events of the show are scenarios of possible futures that Moira is exploring.
The spaceship may indeed be another simulation. This is hinted at by the name of the ship “Prometheus” and a sign with the phrase about coffee – a symbol of wakefulness – which was also in the books on the ship.
What year does 1899 take place?
Although the title of the show suggests that the events take place in 1899, this is only partly true. In the simulation loop they’re on Kerberos, it might be the 19th century, but when Maura returns to reality, it’s actually 2099!
When she wakes up, she finds herself strapped to the wall of a spaceship with a device above her head. Apparently, this is how people can enter the simulation, sort of like the Avatar program in the movie Avatar . She looks around and sees the others she met on Kerberos, including Ake, strapped in and supposedly experiencing an alternate, fake reality.
Maura walks and looks out the window as the frame zooms out and we see they are all on a spaceship in space. She goes to the computer, and when it turns on, it shows the year, the number of passengers, and the name of the spaceship: Prometheus. She then receives a message from her brother, who tells her, “Welcome to reality.” The song “Starman” by David Bowie starts playing, which will be the perfect end to an amazing show.
Series 1899: Ending, who is the creator of the simulation?
One of the biggest twists in the events of 1899 is the discovery that everything that happened to the passengers of the Kerberos is not real. This is actually a simulation, which means that all the conflicts, deaths, losses, and perhaps even the memories that the passengers experienced happened only in their imagination. Because the whole nature of events is so confusing, naturally everyone wonders who created this simulation. And most importantly, why did they do it?
At first, Maura’s father, Henry Singleton, seems to be behind everything. We first meet him in the second episode, where he is shown watching the rest of the passengers. Maura also mentions him, saying that it was his company that bought the ships and he used them and the passengers in some kind of convoluted experiment. She believes that because her brother found out about their father’s nefarious plans, Henry did something to him and deleted Maura’s memories. However, in the end, this is just one layer of a very complex mystery.
The creator first mentioned by the boy is not Henry, but Maura . Back in the real world, she lived with her husband Daniel and their son Elliot. They were doing well until Elliot got sick and there was no cure for his illness. Maura couldn’t bear the thought of losing her son, so she found a way to be with him forever. She created a simulation in which the three of them could live a happy and healthy family. Although Daniel did not like his wife’s refusal to accept the reality of their son’s situation, he still decided to go through with her plan.
For their first simulation, Daniel and Maura created a playroom for Elliot. When this proved successful, they decided to build larger worlds that could feel exactly like the real thing. Gradually, the scale of Maura’s simulation grew, and the situation began to spiral out of control. At some point, Henry joined the project, but he had other intentions.
As Maura mentions to Eyck, Henry loved his wife more than his children. His wife fell victim to Alzheimer’s, which slowly erased her memories until she forgot everyone she had ever loved. Her death hit Henry hard, and instead of turning to his children for comfort, he decided to devote himself to learning the mysteries of the brain. Maura’s project to create entire worlds from a simulation seemed like a great idea to explore. So, once in it, he decided to take control.
Everything also worked in Henry’s favor, because Maura chose to forget some things from her past. Trying to make her remember, Danielle tells her that she wanted to forget the pain, so she erased the memory of her own son. This is what Henry takes advantage of and creates another simulation, the one with the ships, as an experiment. However, he soon discovers that he, too, has fallen into the trap of the simulation, and Maura is the only one who knows the way out .
Waking up from the simulation requires a lock and key. The little pyramid that Elliot has is the lock, and Maura has the key. Because Maura has lost her memory, she also doesn’t remember where she kept the key. Hoping to awaken her memory and make her remember the location of the key, Henry runs the same simulation in a loop. Maura thus becomes a passenger on a ship bound for New York in 1899 from Europe. Henry keeps an eye on her, hoping that he can get an idea of where or what the clue might be.
Each simulation lasts a week, the time it takes the ship to reach its destination, and each time it fails. All these cycles are stored in the archive, and for the next cycle a new ship is displayed and everything is repeated anew. As Maura is forced to forget every simulation, she and all the other passengers start from scratch and make the same mistakes over and over again.
Until Daniel shows up. It takes him a few iterations to do it, but he eventually succeeds, and if not all then at least the memory of the last simulation remains in Maura’s brain and she finally wakes up, breaking out of the prison she created. and realizes that there is more to the reality she left behind.
Revealing the true nature of the situation they are all trapped in, Henry tells Elliot about the time Maura was reading about Plato’s cave allegory. This idea is so confusing to her that she begins to doubt whether a person can really know whether his perception of the world is real or simply created by his mind. When her father tries to simplify things using the concept of God, she has even more questions. If God is the creator of their reality, and they are nothing more than dolls for him to play with, then doesn’t this rule apply to God’s reality? Who created it and who controls its reality?
It is with this thought that “1899” leaves us, the idea of a simulation within a simulation within a simulation . The ships and passengers were inside a simulation created by Henry. Henry himself was in a simulation created by Maura. If this makes her a creator, then the question arises: who created her simulation? Who is the God of her reality? Danielle responds to this when he tells Maura that outside of their simulation, her brother Kiaran has taken control of the entire project. This means that the Creator is actually Kiaran. He controls everything and plays his own game with Maura, Henry, Daniel and all the other people in different levels of the simulation.
What happened to the boy and Eik?
While Mora finally manages to leave the ship (and end up on another), the fate of the other passengers remains somewhat uncertain. The most important people to her on the whole journey turn out to be Ake and Elliot. The Captain of Kerberos plays an integral role in helping Maura make sense of what is going on around them. Elliot, on the other hand, is part of a puzzle that Maura’s own mind seems to have created for her. Where will they both be at the end of the season?
While Henry may have enjoyed running simulations and using them for his own experiments, he doesn’t like to dwell on them. After none of his usual methods work and he gets Elliot, he gives Maura a choice. In exchange for her son, she must hand over the key that will allow Henry to wake up. Daniel comes up with a plan to change the code, and in the meantime, the simulation begins to end and is moved to the archives. Here Maura is reunited with Ake, who was thrown into the archives by Daniel.
While the rest of the passengers decide to find a way to leave the ship, Mora and Eyck try to find Henry. Their search leads them to Daniel’s memories, from where they move on to the other passengers’ memories until they end up at Maura’s. Here they are confronted by Sebastian, who has known about everything all this time. When Eik attacks him, he presses a button on the remote and Eik falls to the ground. He looks like he’s unconscious, maybe even dead, but he’s not. Sebastian just turns off his simulation, which means Ake won’t wake up until the next one. He’s not dead, he’s just in a temporary coma until they wake him up to go through the same loop again.
Afterwards, Maura is taken to Henry, where she discovers that Elliot is no longer on her side. Henry showed Elliot that it was Maura who set up the simulation and lured them all into it. Now Elliot just wants to get rid of it, however his plan to wake up with his mother’s key is thwarted because Daniel changes the code in time. When the simulation is destroyed, we find Maura waking up with her memories in Elliot’s playroom. On the other hand, her son suffered the same fate as the rest of the passengers.
In his memory, Elliot discovers that his mother injected him with something that erased his memories. Like everyone else, he is also in a simulation, which means that when the simulation ends, this version of him also falls apart. Now his mind will wake up when the next simulation is activated, so he is in some kind of limbo, like Ake and all the other passengers. As for his physical form, his body is somewhere in the real world, connected to machines that connect him to simulations, keeping him away from reality. This means that, like Ake, Elliot is also in a temporary sleep.
Will there be a season 2 of the series “1899”
Jantje Friese said in an interview with Deadline that she and Baran bo Odar have plans for several seasons of 1899. According to her, the future of the series depends on the ratings of season 1.
Moira in the new series may continue the space journey – a simulation or not, we have to find out. She will try to wake the other passengers and find her brother. Perhaps he will return to the simulation of the ship or go to another illusion – for example, in search of the key to saving humanity in the mind chambers of another research participant.