'Dark' Season 3 Release Date, Plot, and More on Netflix's Time-Travel Drama

The German sci-fi series will answer your burning questions very soon.

Louis Hofmann as Jonas on Netflix's Dark

Netflix’s twisty German-language sci-fi series Dark has returned with its second season. Dark Season 2 took viewers to multiple time periods; introduced the villainous time-traveling crusaders known as Sic Mundus; and wove together the stories of various characters to not only make this story about time travel even more complex than it already was, but to also make it evident that fans still have no idea exactly how everything is connected. Maybe Dark Season 3 will finally clear everything up?

Dark takes place in the rural town of Winden, Germany, an industrial town whose residents are born, live, and frequently die there. The series focuses on four families in particular — the Nielsens, the Kahnwalds, the Dopplers, and the Tiedemanns — and spotlights multiple generations of each family over the course of a century. The action begins when multiple children go missing in present-day Winden, causing a handful of characters, including series protagonist Jonas Kahnwald, to investigate where the children went and why it’s been happening. As each of the characters probes further to discover the truth, revelations about the nature of time travel and just how deeply each person’s fate is entwined with Winden’s fate come to the surface. By the end of Season 2, every character is faced with an impending nuclear apocalypse that threatens to stop them all in their tracks.

Dark Season 3 has been confirmed, and it will also be the show’s final season. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at when the show is set to return, which cast members are confirmed to come back, and what key plot points will be addressed in the new season based on how Season 2 ended.

Spoilers ahead for Dark Season 2.

Jonas (Louis Hofmann) in 2053 Winden in Netflix's Dark
Jonas is looking for a way back to his own time.

Has Dark Season 3 Started Filming?

Dark series creator Baran bo Odar confirmed on his Instagram on May 30 that production on Season 3 had begun. Odar shared a photo of the title page from a Dark Season 3 script, writing in the captions that filming would take place over four weeks, meaning filming would finish the first week of July 2019.

He also commemorated the first day of Season 3 filming, which took place on June 1, by sharing a photo of the crew at various shooting locations, including the well-established location of the Winden cave entrance regularly shown in Dark.

When Is the Dark Season 3 Release Date?

A specific release date has not been confirmed for Dark Season 3, but Odar has seemingly revealed that it will be released in 2020.

There’s never been much of a pattern to the release dates for past seasons. Season 1 was released in December 2017, and Season 2 was released June 2019. If production stays on schedule and filming does wrap in early July, Season 3 could be released in the spring or early summer of 2020.

Is There a Trailer for Dark Season 3?

Not yet. Netflix likes to cut it close when it comes to releasing trailers to promote an upcoming original series or movie, often releasing it a month or two in advance. (The big exception is tentpole series like Stranger Things, which get months of buildup.)

Dark’s Season 2 trailer was released just one month before it premiered on Netflix, so this could still be the case for Season 3. However, because this is the final season, there could be more pomp and circumstance in marketing the season, and a teaser or trailer could arrive in late winter 2019 or early 2020.

How Many Episodes Will Dark Season 3 Have?

No episode count has been confirmed for Dark Season 3. The episode count will likely fall somewhere between eight to 10 episodes. Season 1 ran long, with 10 episodes, while Season 2 was trimmed back to eight episodes. The story certainly didn’t suffer in Season 2 with two less episodes, so it’s possible Dark could continue with this and serve up eight episodes in its final season.

Julika Jenkins as 1987 Claudia Tiedemann in Netflix's Dark
Claudia Tiedemann travels from 1987 to 2020, hoping for answers about her role in the events to come.

Who Is Returning for Dark Season 3?

Let’s be real, this is a show about time travel, and it’s been established that it’s possible for characters who have been killed at one point in time to still reappear in another time. That means no actors are officially out of the series, because characters can resurface in any capacity necessary to tell the story.

While it’s a given that basically any or all of the characters could return for Dark Season 3, the following actors are definitely returning, as they will be essential to the forthcoming season’s story.

  • Louis Hofmann as “Jonas Kahnwald”
  • Lisa Vicari as “Martha Nielsen”
  • Moritz Jahn as “Magnus Nielsen”
  • Paul Lux as “Bartosz Tiedemann”
  • Andreas Pietschmann as “2052 Jonas”
  • Gina Stiebitz as “Franziska Doppler”
  • Mark Waschke as “Noah”
  • Jördis Triebel as “Katharina Nielsen”
  • Karoline Eichhorn as “Charlotte Doppler”

How Did Dark Season 2 End?

So. Much. Happens. At. The. End. Of. Dark Season 2. The Season 2 finale sets up a few key storylines for Season 3, so we’ll break them down to make it a bit more digestible. Just keep in mind that all of the following events happen simultaneously and are happening with a nuclear apocalypse about to go down.

  • The older Jonas is informed by the younger Noah that he needs to save teenage Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska by using his time machine to get them to safety. All three teenagers will apparently be vital to the future of Sic Mundus, and Jonas, who will transform into Sic Mundus leader Adam at some point in his future, is responsible for keeping them alive. Older Jonas balks at the task until Noah gives him a letter from Martha, who Jonas believed was dead because she died just moments before the apocalypse in the previous time cycle Jonas lived through. We don’t see what Martha wrote to Jonas but it’s enough to convince him to whisk Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska to safety at the very last moment. It’s unknown what time they travel to, but it could be 1921, the time period Sic Mundus sets up shop in and operates from.
  • Katharina Nielsen was hell-bent throughout Season 2 to get her youngest child, Mikkel, back after he mysteriously disappeared in Season 1. (It was revealed Mikkel traveled back to 1986 and stayed there, eventually growing up to be Jonas’ father, Michael.) Katharina manages to find the maps younger Jonas and her husband, Ulrich, were using to explore the Winden caves. As the nuclear meltdown inches nearer and nearer, Katharina manages to find one of the Sic Mundus doors in the Winden caves, which could lead her back to 1987 and to Mikkel. The only problem is: If she manages to find Mikkel and bring him back to a time that isn’t 1987, how will Mikkel’s absence affect the future? It would immediately mean Jonas isn’t born, and if Jonas isn’t born, everything we’ve seen over the course of two seasons would be drastically altered.
  • Adam has begun the third time cycle, progressing Sic Mundus in their war against time and their quest to establish dominance over it. Adam achieved this by tricking the younger Jonas into traveling to 2019 to try to convince his father, Michael, not to kill himself, believing Michael’s death started all of the events we’ve seen over two seasons. It was a trick from Adam, who needed Jonas to be in 2019 and with Martha so he could shoot Martha, giving Jonas the emotional burden necessary to fight to create Sic Mundus, eventually become Adam, and continue the time war. Whew … how is this an actual sentence?
  • Who survives the nuclear apocalypse in Winden and what happens in the immediate aftermath of the blast? We know most of Winden’s citizens will die, but Franziska Doppler’s father, Peter, and her younger sister, Elisabeth, will survive the blast because they took shelter in the bunker on the Doppler family cottage property. Claudia Tiedemann from 1987 traveled to 2019 to see her daughter, Regina, and both ended up taking shelter in the bunker, too. Finally, young Noah from 1921 took shelter in the bunker, sharing some intense, knowing eye contact with Elisabeth (who is no more than 10 in Season 2 and is already being established as a love interest for a teenager of maybe 16 or 17 who also happens to be from 1921 and … what?!) as if they’re going to become an item in the wake of the apocalypse.
  • The most tantalizing reveal involved the arrival of alternate dimension Martha, who came to save the younger Jonas from the nuclear apocalypse. Arriving after the established Martha had been shot and killed by Adam, alternate dimension Martha tells Jonas the right question to ask her is not what time she is from, but rather what world. With that final line, Dark opens up the story even further, revealing more than one dimension exists and hopping between them will be happening a lot in Season 3.

What Burning Questions Does Dark Season 3 Need to Answer?

In addition to picking up the aforementioned story threads in Season 3, there are some key questions Dark needs to address before it ends:

  • How many alternate dimensions are there?
  • Do the dimensions police one another? How do they keep track of what’s going on and where?
  • What will Sic Mundus do now that it has initiated the third time cycle? How exactly do they plan to win their war against time?
  • Exactly how does time travel affect the body and when does it begin taking a physical toll? Adam (the eldest version of Jonas) looks much worse for the wear after years of traveling back and forth, but he’s still able to do it, implying you can OD on time travel but not to the point that it keeps you from doing it at all.
  • Is there any way to stop the nuclear apocalypse in Winden in the established timeline without it affecting other time periods or characters?
  • Finally, on a more personal note: Are Jonas and Martha still going to pursue their problematic relationship as love interests even though it’s been revealed Martha is actually Jonas’ aunt? Or will Dark just continue to crib from Game of Thrones and act like it’s all super chill?
The cast of Netflix's Dark in a still showing them traveling from 2020 to 1987
What roles do Martha, Bartosz, Magnus, Franziska, and Elisabeth have to play in Season 3?

What Time Periods Will Be Covered in Dark Season 3?

There’s been no firm confirmation on just how far into the future or past Dark will continue to move in Season 3. Season 2 involved jumping one year into the future for each respective time period, meaning viewers were taken from 1953 to 1954, 1986 to 1987, 2019 to 2020, and from 2052 to 2053. The year 1921 was also introduced as a time period, although it breaks the rules of being able to jump through time in 33-year intervals (not that Dark has ever worried too much about breaking big rules about time travel).

With an alternate dimension version of Martha appearing in the final moments of Season 3, Dark will likely explore other dimensions rather than restricting itself to different time periods within the established world and timeline. This will help broaden out the world of the show and break the doldrums of traveling between five different time periods, as we’ve seen in Season 2.

How Can I Watch Dark Season 3?

You will be able to watch Dark Season 3 on Netflix when it eventually premieres in 2020. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream now.


Dark returns for Season 3 in 2020.