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1899 is one of the more interesting shows Netflix has released in recent years. The eight-episode season tells a vast sci-fi story filled with big themes and striking visuals.

The lofty ambition of 1899 will be familiar to audiences that watched the previous project made by the same creators, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar. The duo called on a former collaborator to appear in 1899. Still, the rest of the cast includes people they’ve never worked with before — with varying levels of acting experience. 

In ‘1899,’ a rediscovered ship leads to dangerous revelations for everyone in its orbit

1899 follows a group of passengers on a steamship known as the Kerberos, which is traveling from England to New York. The travelers can’t speak to each other — seven languages are spoken throughout the show. But they stepped onto the boat with the same urge to escape their unique circumstances across the pond. 

Soon after the Kerberos embarks, the crew is alerted to a distress signal from nearby. This leads to 1899‘s first shocking development. The signal is coming from the Prometheus, a ship that suddenly dropped off the map four months prior.

In real life, this tends to be a happy turn of events but to paraphrase a line from Nopethis is a bad miracle. The ship captain Eyk Larsen takes a small group onto the ship to help any survivors. They only find a young boy in a cupboard who hands them a black tetrahedron after being discovered. 

1899 is inspired by a disturbing photo Friede and Odar found during research and the European migrant crisis of 2015. 

The ‘1899’ creators previously made one of Netflix’s best shows

The creative duo’s first TV show was another high-concept project for Netflix. Dark, which ran for three seasons from 2017-20, centered around a group of people in the fictional German town of Winden whose search for a missing child engulfs them in a time travel conspiracy that scatters the characters across decades. 

The show treated its premise with intense consideration for every detail and paradox presented by the plot. This is to say that Dark became borderline incomprehensible as it reached its conclusion. Even as the narrative became harder to follow, the show’s distinct vision and excellent writing made it one of the best of the past decade.  

1899 is similar to Dark in that both shows have a lot of storylines to keep track of. But it won’t turn you into the Charlie Day meme from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the same way that Dark did. While the two projects are in separate universes, they share an actor. Andreas Pietschmann plays Eyk in 1899 and The Stranger in Dark. The native German has also appeared in several movies and shows in his homeland. 

The ‘1899’ cast features veteran actors and rookie performers

The Netflix vertical Tudum put together a guide on the cast of 1899. Here are all the main characters and the resumes of the actors: 

Emily Beecham plays Maura Franklin, an English “doctor.” At the time, women were allowed to study medicine, but they couldn’t practice it. Maura is desperate to get to America for reasons that become clear later in the season. Beecham is an industry veteran of 16 years who’s appeared in the 2017 indie movie Daphne, Hail, Caesar!, and Cruella

Aneurin Barnard plays Daniel, a mysterious passenger who sneaks onto the Kerberos. The Welsh actor had supporting roles in Peaky Blinders, Dunkirk, and The White Queen mini-series. 

Fflyn Edwards plays the Boy with the Tetrahedron. The 13-year-old’s part came in the series The Snow Spider

Miguel Bernardeau plays Angel, a rich Spaniard making the trek with his brother, a priest named Ramiro. He previously starred in the Netflix hit Elite and will play Zorro in an upcoming adaptation.

José Pimentão plays Ramiro. He is a star in his native Portugal thanks to hits like Valor da Vida and Al Berto. He also makes music and DJs on occasion. 

Yann Gael plays the stowaway Jérôme. The Cameroonian starred in Netflix’s first African French-language series Sakho & Mangane. He was one of the leads in the action-horror movie Saloum

Mathilde Ollivier plays Clemence, a French newlywed who quickly realizes her marriage is not what she thought it was. The model/actor appeared in the horror-thriller Overlord and produced the documentary The Upright Woman.

Jonas Bloquet plays her husband Lucien. The Belgian is highly acclaimed back home and in France, while his biggest look stateside was in The Nun.

Clara Rosager plays Tove, a pregnant Danish woman. She took part in the meme hit of 2022 Morbius and the second and third seasons of the Danish Netflix original The Rain.

Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen plays Krester, Tove’s protective brother. Tønnesen acted alongside his TV sister in The Rain.

Alexandre Willaume plays Anker, their father. He’s been a professional since 1996 and earned parts in Tomb RaiderCobra and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Maria Erwolter plays Iben, the deeply religious matriarch of the Danes. She is a regular in Scandinavian dramas and is part of the cast for the upcoming Nicolas Winding Refn series Copenhagen Cowboy.

Cast and crew attends the screening of the Netflix film "1899"
The 1899 cast and crew attends the Netflix screening in Berlin | Ben Kriemann/Getty Images

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Rosalie Craig plays Virginia, a chatty solo traveler. She is an award-winning stage actor at Britain’s National Theatre, but that hasn’t stopped her from appearing in other Netflix vehicles such as Anatomy of a ScandalThe Queen’s Gambit, and Lovesick.

Isabella Wei plays Ling Yi, a Cantonese geisha who sticks close to her travel companion Yuk Je. The Hong Kong native is a dancer by trade; this role is her acting debut. 

Gabby Wong plays Yuk Je. She is also from Hong Kong, but moved to London to study theater. She had a bit part in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Maciej Musial plays Olek, a Polish coal boy with more questions than he’s supposed to have. He has been a celebrity in Poland since he was a teenager and has previous Netflix experience as part of The Witcher and 1983.