This post contains spoilers for Dark seasons 1 and 2.
Season 3 of Dark is probably one of the most anticipated seasons of a Netflix Original series this year. The German show has a unique take on time travel and is filled with twists and turns. It’s also the type of story that requires the viewer’s full attention, weaving a complex web of paradoxes, familial connections, and apocalyptic fates. The newest and third season will be the show’s last, with the promise to answer all the remaining questions and reveal the fate of its large cast of characters.
Taking place in the German town of Winden, Dark follows the story of Jonas and a group of families connected to him. Although he doesn’t realize it at first, these connections are far more complex than friendships and marriages. When young Mikkel Nielsen disappears, the search for his whereabouts begins a series of events that uncover Winden’s dark past and its uncertain future. At the center of this, a young Jonas discovers a way to time travel and opens a door to mysteries he can’t comprehend. Suddenly, the past, present, and future are entangled, forcing the families of Winden into a never-ending cycle of time paradoxes leading to an apocalyptic event.
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While the plot of Dark begins in 2019, it spans decades and timelines. From the 1920s to the 2050s, the show jumps back and forth in time, showing multiple versions of its characters as they grow old or are seen younger in the past. With few exceptions, everyone has appeared in a different timeline at some point. To portray the passage of time, the show had to cast several actors for each character. But because of its large cast, it can get a bit confusing to keep track of who is whom, so here’s a quick guide on who played which version of what character.
In 2019, a young Jonas is portrayed by Louis Hofmann. The adult version of him, who became a time traveler at some point in the future, is played by Andreas Pietschmann. Dietrich Hollinderbaumer plays old Jonas, or Adam, a man who wishes to perpetuate the cycle that will bring about the apocalypse.
Mikkel, or Michael, is Jonas’ father and Ulrich and Katharina’s son. The young version of the character, who goes missing in 2019, is played by actor Daan Lennard Liebrenz. Sebastian Rudolph, however, portrays the adult Mikkel.
In 2019, adult Ulrich is played by Oliver Masucci. The actor who interprets his younger version in 1986 is Ludger Bökelmann. But there are two Ulrichs in the 80s. After Ulrich goes back in time to find Mikkel, he remains stuck in the past and ages naturally. The older version, still trapped in 1987, is played by Winfried Glatzeder.
In 2019, Claudia is a mysterious old woman who time travels and opposes Adam. She’s played by Lisa Kreuzer. But in 1986, she’s the director of the nuclear plant in town and portrayed by Julika Jenkins. There is also Gwendolyn Göbel, who plays Claudia as a young girl in 1953.
The middle-aged Noah, or Hanno, is played by Mark Waschke. Before he was kidnapping kids through time, the teenage version of the priest lived in 1921 and is portrayed by Max Schimmelpfennig.
Unlike most of the other characters in the show, so far Martha has been played by only one actress: Lisa Vicari.
Jördis Triebel plays the adult version of the character in 2019. She’s the mother of Mikkel, Magnus, and Martha. The teenager Katharina in 1986 is played by Nele Trebs.
The poor young Helge of 1953 is played by Tom Philipp. Peter Schneider plays Helge as an adult in 1986 while Hermann Beyer is the elderly version of the man living in 2019.
In 2019, the adult version of Jonas’ mother, Hannah, is played by Maja Schöne. The younger Hannah of 1986, however, is portrayed by Ella Lee.
A nurse and the adoptive mother of Mikkel, Ines in 2019 is played by Angela Winkler. Meanwhile, Anne Ratte-Polle portrays the adult version of the character in 1986. The teenager Ines in 1953 is Lena Urzendowsky.
Ulrich’s father is an old man in 2019 played by Walter Kreye, but in 1986 he is portrayed by Felix Kramer. He met a young Claudia in 1953 and had Joshio Marlon playing his younger version.
Like Martha, Bartosz didn’t have an older counterpart – at least not until the third season. Paul Lux has played the character in 2019. Roman Knizka plays the adult version.
Ulrich’s mother is an old lady in 2019 and played by Tatja Seibt. The middle-aged Jana from 1986 is portrayed by Anne Lebinsky. Rike Sindler is the child version of 1953.
Young Magnus of 2019 is played by Moritz Jahn. At some point, he seems to join Adam. He appears in 1921 as an adult portrayed by Wolfram Koch. The reason for his presence in that time might be answered in season 3.
Gina Stiebitz plays the teenager Franziska Doppler of 2019. Fans have speculated that she’s also portrayed by Carina Wiese as an adult in 1921 since it was unclear if she, like Magnus, joined Adam.
The adult Charlotte, played by Karoline Eichhorn, is Winden’s Chief of Police in 2019. In 1986, however, she’s still in high school and is portrayed by Stephanie Amarell.
Stephan Kampwirth is the only actor so far to portray Peter Doppler, Charlotte’s husband. Not much is known about him as of season 2.
Daughter (and mother) of Charlotte Doppler, Carlotta von Falkenhayn plays the young Elisabeth of 2019. In 2052, however, she’s an adult portrayed by Sandra Borgmann.
It was Bernd who had the idea of constructing a nuclear power plant in Winden back in the 50s, and he was the one in charge of it in the past. Michael Mendl plays him as an older man in 1986, but Anatole Taubman portrays the younger version of 1953.
In 1986, teenager Regina is portrayed by Lydia Maria Makrides. Deborah Kaufmann is the older version of the character in 2019, where she owns a hotel. Regina is also Claudia’s daughter and married to Aleksander.
In 1986, Aleksander is a runaway teenager played by Béla Gabor Lenz. Years later, now an adult in 2019, he runs the power plant and is portrayed by Peter Benedict. He’s married to Regina.
Nothing much is known about this clockmaker, only that he wrote the infamous book A Journey Through Time. This book would influence other events in the timeline and is one of the many paradoxes in Dark. In the 80s, Tannhaus is played by Christian Steyer, and Arnd Klawitter portrays his younger self in 1953.