Netflix’s ‘1899’ takes place aboard a ship named Kerberos, where the passengers witness a series of unusual events when they come across Prometheus, the mysterious ship that went missing four months ago. While some passengers try to uncover the secrets that both Prometheus and Kerberos hide, there are others who wonder if they’d be better off not knowing anything. Soon, however, it becomes clear that everyone is connected to whatever is going on around them and the only way to survive is to join forces. The sudden appearance of black matter, which infests the entire ship, becomes a cause for concern. What is this thing and where did it come from? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
What is the Black Matter Infesting Kerberos?
After a lot of brainstorming and chasing down tunnels that lead to a different part of the world, Maura discovers that all that she and the passengers have been experiencing all this while is not real. It was all in their heads, a simulation that they are all a part of. It is also a shocking revelation to her that this isn’t the first simulation that they have been through. The whole incident with the ship getting lost in the sea and being found by another has been playing on a loop for a long time.
It means that everything, from the ships to the food to the furniture to the passengers themselves is nothing more than code. Maura’s father, Henry, is in control of this simulation and has been running it on a loop because he wants to find something that his daughter has very masterfully hidden from him. The reason that no one remembers the previous loops is that their memories are wiped every single time. This is why Maura and the others have not been able to break out of it yet.
Things change when Daniel Solace comes on board. He was not an original passenger, which means that he knows what he was getting into when he boarded Kerberos. He is the one who eventually reveals the truth of the matter to Maura. This is also when we discover that Daniel wrote the simulation code along with Maura. It means that he is intimately familiar with its workings and is capable of altering it.
After many loops, when Maura continues to live without her memories, Daniel decides to alter the code of the simulation. He intends to bring back her memories while also stopping the loop once and for all. To do this, he needs to enter a foreign code into the simulation, a virus that will infect it from the inside and break it down so that the loop doesn’t run again. It is after he starts tinkering with the system that the black matter starts to show up.
The thing about a simulation is that everything inside it is a code. It could be a door, a memory, a key, or a bug that opens doors. Every single code written for the simulation manifests itself in one thing or another. When Daniel throws the virus into the mix, it shows up in the code as black matter. Its rather ominous and scary form is a way for the simulation to alert the people in it as well as the ones running it. Before anything can be done about it, the black matter spreads through Kerberos, infecting everything it comes in touch with, even Mrs. Wilson. As the entire ship is taken over by the black matter, it is confirmed that the virus has done its job and Daniel’s plan has worked.