1899 season 2: We've got bad news

1899 poster art
(Image credit: Netflix)

1899 season 2 is not setting sail. Netflix has canceled its first show of 2023, which comes as a big surprise. The supernatural mystery was seemingly a big hit that vaulted to No. 1 on the Netflix Top 10 list, where it spent a fair bit of time. 

1899 came from the creators of the German series Dark. Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese once again crafted a story with elements of science fiction, mystery, suspense and psychological drama. The big ensemble cast of characters, whose back stories are revealed in flashbacks, has shades of Lost. And a big twist in the season 1 finale definitely bears similarities to Westworld. 

The show kicks off in the titular year, as a steamship called Kerberos leaves London, carrying migrants to New York City. While the passengers have different European origins, they are united by their hopes and dreams for a better future.

When the crew receives a mysterious signal, they veer off-course to investigate and find a seemingly abandoned migrant ship. What they find on board transforms a promising voyage into a horrifying nightmare. 

Unfortunately, fans won't see what happens to Maura, Daniel, Eyk and the others in 1899 season 2.

Is 1899 season 2 happening?

Netflix canceled 1899, according to an Instagram post by co-creator Baran bo Odar on Jan. 2.

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1899 cast

A group photo of the cast of 1899, on the ship with the sky behind them.

(Image credit: Netflix)

1899 featured a large, multinational cast that included:

  • Emily Beecham as Maura Franklin, an English neurologist and one of the first female doctors in the UK
  • Aneurin Barnard as Daniel Solace, a mysterious man who boards the ship
  • Andreas Pietschmann as Eyk Larsen, the captain of the Kerberos
  • Miguel Bernardeau as Ángel, a wealthy Spaniard traveling with brother Ramiro
  • José Pimentão as Ramiro, a fake Portuguese priest traveling with brother Ángel
  • Isabella Wei as Ling Yi, a young woman from Hong Kong, traveling with Yuk Je
  • Gabby Wong as Yuk Je, a middle-aged woman from Hong Kong traveling with Ling Yi
  • Yann Gael as Jérôme, a French stowaway
  • Mathilde Ollivier as Clémence, a wealthy French woman newly married to Lucien
  • Jonas Bloquet as Lucien, a wealthy French man and former soldier newly married to Clémence
  • Rosalie Craig as Virginia, a wealthy British woman
  • Richard Hope as Dr. Reginald Murray, a British doctor
  • Maciej Musiał as Olek, a Polish stoker
  • Clara Rosager as Tove, a young pregnant Danish woman traveling with parents Iben and Anker
  • Maria Erwolter as Iben, a religious Danish woman traveling with her husband Anker and children
  • Alexandre Willaume as Anker, a a religious Danish man traveling with Iben and children
  • Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen as Krester, a young Danish man traveling with parents Iben and Anker
  • Vida Sjørslev as Ada, Krester and Tove's younger sister
  • Tino Mewes as Sebastian,  the first mate on the Kerberos
  • Anton Lesser as Henry Singleton, a British investor and Maura's father
  • Fflyn Edwards as Elliot, a mysterious mute boy found on board the Prometheus
  • Alexandra Gottschlich as Sara Larsen, Eyk's wife
  • Cloé Heinrich as Nina Larsen, Eyk's daughter
  • Kaja Chan as Mei Mei, Ling Yi's friend in Hong Kong

1899 ending, explained

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

1899 season 2 will pick up on the threads left dangling in the season 1 finale — the biggest one of which is the jaw-dropping reveal that everybody on the Kerberos is not, in fact, on board a steamship in the year 1899. They are on board a spaceship, trapped in a simulation. 

In the finale, Maura's father Henry explains to her son Elliot that Maura created the simulation to keep the dying boy alive in a fashion. Within the virtual world, she and husband Daniel could continue to spend time with him. And she designed the simulation so that others could also reunite with deceased loved ones. 

Only Maura can end the simulation, as her father Henry explains to Elliot. Daniel has been trying to wake her up to free everyone else and begins messing around with the architecture of the virtual reality. 

(L to R) Aneurin Barnard, Emily Beecham, Andreas Pietschmann in 1899

(Image credit: Netflix)

Meanwhile, on board the Kerberos, Maura thinks her father holds the key to the virtual reality. But Daniel's code alterations dissolve the world of the Kerberos and he gives her a new key to exit. He also informs her that her missing brother, Ciaran, is the true mastermind in the outside world. 

Maura wakes up from the simulation to discover all of the "passengers" sleeping in pods. The year is 2099. A screen bears a message from Ciaran, ominously welcoming her back to reality. 

If 1899 season 2 had gone forward (perhaps it could've been subtitled 2099?), it likely would've further explored the nature of reality, as well as grief, trauma and human connection. Season 1 began on a seafaring vessel. Season 2 might have spent most of the time on the spaceship revealed in the finale. Then again, that spaceship could have been a similation, too.

The creators previously said that they had a three-season story in mind. 

Bo Odar told IndieWire (opens in new tab), “Season 1 is about establishing a big theme, a big thing. Let’s see if there’s a Season 2, and then we’ll start playing with that theme, and have a resolution ideally in third season. Again it’s, like Dark, meant to be told in three seasons."

Unfortunately, that plan will not come to fruition.

Kelly Woo
Senior Writer

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.