At first Biohackers looks like it might be a pandemic show – and in fact Netflix even decided to postpone its release date because of the sensitivity around COVID-19. In reality, though, similarities to the real world really aren’t that great – masks and any sign of house-quarantine are absent, but there are nods to racing against time for a vaccine.
Instead Biohackers is more character-centric, immediately flashing back to two weeks before the incident on the train where we find Mia moving into her student apartment and being greeted by three other freshmen. All three of Mia’s new flatmates are clearly eccentric and she is by far the most laid back of the group, right from their very first hello. Mia is at Freiburg University to study Medicine, and her ultimate goal is to get involved in the inside circle of her lecturer, Professor Tanja Lorenz (Jessica Schwarz). Her interest in Lorenz and her work at first seems like just another young student chasing her idol, but as the story unfolds, her true reason for wanting to get close to Lorenz is revealed to be much darker.
Professor Lorenz is an admired, well respected professor at Freiburg University, and the best in her field. Lorenz talks of the future of mankind in her lectures, encouraging her students to learn of the benefits of synthetic biology and new developments. Something in Lorenz’s speech triggers memories of Mia’s brother in hospital. There is a clear connection and we are left to ponder what that might be.
Mia befriends Lorenz’ assistant, Jasper (Adrian Julius Tillmann), as her way into Lorenz’ professional and personal life. As time goes on, she begins a romantic relationship with Jasper, but is driven to his roommate Niklas (Thomas Prenn), who is the boy we see with Mia on the train in the opening scene. The show begins to take a twisted turn that unravels a love triangle, elements of student life, wacky experiments of Mia’s roommates, a professor-student rivalry and the mystery of Mia’s absent family – all the while we are left in the dark as to what that opening scene signified.
Although the show is initially very multi-stranded, and slightly confusing because of a narrative that dives in many directions, with each episode things become narrowed down until we learn how everything is connected.