TRIBES OF EUROPA is a new Netflix series from Germany. Just like the German hit series DARK, this one also has a sci-fi story. Despite being set in the future after an apocalyptic event, it feels lighter. Fantasy is a more prevalent genre. Read our Tribes of Europa Season 1 review here!
TRIBES OF EUROPA is a new German Netflix series. Since the genre is also sci-fi, many viewers will probably think of Dark pretty quickly. And yes, this new series is promoted as also being created by people behind the Dark sci-fi series. That might be over-selling it since we’re talking about some of the same producers. Not authors.
Recommended for you: Our season 1 review of Dark here >
Also, there’s no time-traveling in this new series. However, an apocalyptic event is still a key part of the story. When we enter the story, it has already happened. The series plays out in the year 2074 and the global disaster that changed the world forever happened in 2029.
Despite this setting, the overall vibe in this series is remarkably light. More fantasy than dark sci-fi. For the most part, anyway!
Continue reading our Tribes of Europa season 1 review below. The season has six episodes and we watched the first three for this review.
The Rain meets The 100
As already stated, the Dark connection is on a producer level and not a writer level. And while I realize it may be fair to call producers of something “creators”, to me that honor belongs to the writers. As in, the people who actually came up with and created the world and story that makes the series.
Also, to me, Tribes of Europa is nowhere near the level of Dark which meant my expectations were way too high, to begin with.
Or rather, this series is very different and I personally loved Dark and still prefer that series to this one. However, I can imagine this one will also be able to find a huge fanbase. Probably one that is considerably younger since this plot feels more teen-driven and lighter.
Tribes of Europa did actually remind me of a few other series. Very early on, it came across as The Rain meets The 100.
Mostly the Danish Netflix series The Rain due to the rather silly decisions made by young characters that have too much responsibility and clout in this future world. And The 100 is pretty damn obvious when you see this post-apocalyptic world and a tribe with raccoon eye-make-up in the style of Lexa from The 100.
Too many unanswered questions
From the beginning of this new German Netflix series, I found myself having a lot of unanswered questions. Halfway through season 1, I am none the wiser in regards to most of them. In this post-apocalyptic world, countries no longer really exist. Instead, people are divided into tribes. Hence the title since the story plays out in Europe.
The tribe we follow from the opening of the series is “Origines”. They live out in the woods and are one with nature (you know, Avatar-style). Also, they reject technology as a rule since they believe this lead to the downfall of society in 2029. And yet, they still speak German and English which made no sense to me. A quick line thrown-in to explain why would have helped.
Especially since Germany is notoriously dubbing most things in our present (2021). So why would things be different for a secluded tribe living in 2074 after a global disaster in 2029? Also, the outfits they wear seem very strange since they look a lot like our clothes with zippers and denim. But surely this isn’t created out in the woods without technology.
However, since they can discover old iPhones and other pieces of tech in the woods +40 after the apocalypse, then maybe they just find the clothes. The tech devices have managed just fine during seasonal weather for decades, so why not?
I mean, it doesn’t make sense, but if they want us to believe that it’s possible, then (once again!) a quick exchange of dialogue would have been nice.
Familiar faces in Tribes of Europa
While most of the actors are German, the language does actually switch to English quite a lot. Also, be ready for the fact that the language changes in the way you’d expect from people who appear to be bilingual.
Among the three siblings that are the focus of the storyline in Tribes of Europa, there is a very familiar face to fans of the Netflix series Warrior Nun. Emilio Sakraya was JC in Warrior Nun and plays the older brother Kiano (pronounced like Keanu) in this new series. He has the most sinister storyline of season 1 and certainly goes through quite an ordeal.
You might like: Our season 1 review of the Netflix series Warrior Nun here >
The sister in the trio of siblings is Liv and portrayed by Henriette Confurius. This actor is ageless and appears to be in her late teens in this series, but was actually in her late 20’s when shooting this. I think Henriette Confurius does a good job but struggles with having a poorly written character. Her storyline is interesting enough though.
The younger brother, Elja, is portrayed by David Ali Rashed, who has a much lighter storyline. In fact, it’s in stark contrast to that of Kiano (Emilio Sakraya). Like one brother is in a live-action Disney movie and the other is trapped in a Mad Max movie.
Fans of Dark will no doubt recognize Oliver Masucci who played Ulrich Nielsen in the German sci-fi hit series. In this new Netflix series, he plays a character named “Moses”, who comes across as a very quirky persona. A strange little mustache and an affinity for Italian pop music from the 1980s and earlier.
He’s in the Elja storyline, which is – quite frankly – the only place the character can fit in!
Would you stop with the extreme close-ups?!
My biggest challenge with watching Tribes of Europa (other than plot weaknesses) was definitely the choice of style in photography. Good grief, that camera would not stop moving around. In every single scene, no matter how calm and intense the storyline, the camera would move around to create drama.
Also, it had way too many extreme close-ups. I found myself physically trying to lean back further while watching this series. Maybe it’s just due to the current pandemic but it felt uncomfortable to be that much up in people’s faces. The combination of a non-stop moving camera zooming in like crazy does not a happy viewer make.
Not this viewer anyway.
Watch season 1 of Tribes of Europa on Netflix
Philip Koch is the creator of Tribes of Europa. He also co-wrote the movie Friend Request (2016) which happened to have Alycia Debnam-Carey in the lead role. She also played the character, Lexa, in The 100. When you “connect the dots”, it’s impossible not to think that series (and her character) served as inspiration for this new series.
For the record, Philip Koch did not have anything to do with the Dark series. Neither did any of the other writers. However, one of the writers did take part in the writing of the German sci-fi series 8 Days, which was released on HBO.
From sci-fi with Dark to thriller with Perfume, several German Netflix series have made an impact. Also, the 8 Days series (though not a Netflix production) had a pretty awesome starting point and concept. However, much like Tribes of Europa, the execution left something to be desired.
Episode 1 of Tribes of Europa did not win me over. At all. Episode 2 was a lot better and got me intrigued while episode 3 was somewhere in the middle. In other others, I’m still not sure whether I like it out not, but I am curious enough to finish this first season. Especially to get ready for Tribes of Europa season 2, which will no doubt be made if this is a success!
Tribes of Europa season 1 will be out on Netflix worldwide from February 19, 2021.
Showrunner: Philip Koch
Stars: Emilio Sakraya, Henriette Confurius, David Ali Rashed, Melika Forourtan, Oliver Masucci, Ana Ularu, Robert Finster, Benjamin Sadler, Jannik Schümann, Jeanette Hain, James Faulkner
2074. In the wake of a mysterious global disaster, war rages between the Tribes that have emerged from the wreckage of Europe. Three siblings from the peaceful Origine tribe – Kiano (Emilio Sakraya), Liv (Henriette Confurius) and Elja (David Ali Rashed) – are separated and forced to forge their own paths in an action-packed fight for the future of this new Europa.