Writer's Corner - Baran bo Odar

Dominic Hancock discusses the work of writer Baran bo Odar.

Dominic Hancock
22nd October 2019
Dark. Credit: IMDb
There can be no doubt that modern television is dominated by the influence of British and American production companies, methodically creating shows which keep us enthralled not only by their storylines but also by their forms of artistic expression.

This then calls into question the role of the foreign television show and its ability to make a name for itself in an otherwise conquered space. Nevertheless, such writers as Swiss born Baran bo Odar, with the assistance of Netflix, attempt to prove foreign television as an art form which still has significance on the small screen.

Having trained at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich, Odar began gaining a level of notoriety through directing and writing such projects as Sleepless, starring Jamie Foxx, and German titles Who am I and The Silence. Each of these films helped to lift Odar to an elevated status of recognition on the silver screen. However, it is his contribution as both creator and writer of the hit Netflix series Dark that I believe truly puts him in a position that is worthy of recognition. Dark is based in the isolated German village of Winden, which is haunted by the disappearances of several young children deep within the surrounding woods.

"Odar proceeds to use this dramatic setting to revolutionise the viewers preconceptions of the science fiction genre"

Odar proceeds to use this dramatic setting to revolutionise the viewers preconceptions of the science fiction genre. He does this through the introduction of a revised version of time travel, suggesting that the disappearing children escape and live fruitful lives in another time, some thirty to sixty years in the past. As supposed to this plot device becoming the shows downfall however, it introduces a new format into the genre, placing past, present and future on the same causal loop, instead of one after the other. This further illustrates how impactful the actions of a character can be by immediately seeing the consequences play out in the next scene.

Upon first inspection, this show appears to have the designs of a simple drama. Missing children, clueless police and a complex and secretive community. Nevertheless, Odar’s introduction of a complex plotline, a diverse range of characters, and such science fiction plot devices as the doctored notion of time travel, makes Dark one of the most enthralling shows available, and reflects Bara bo Odar’s right to become a household name, not only in Europe but across the world.

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