1899: Is The Prometheus a real ship? Its real-world basis

1899 The Prometheus

Netflix’s 1899 has gripped audiences worldwide with its thrilling storyline and ship names with links to the ancient Greek gods. In the early months of 1899, the Kerberos is scheduled to travel from London to New York City, with Captain Eyk Larsen at the helm. The passengers are running away from their pasts and hope to start happier lives in America. 

The ship’s path takes them by the Prometheus, a ship that disappeared several months ago. Following an argument with the crew and passengers, Captain Larsen decides to explore the lost ship. The noble decision turns the trip into an unmitigated disaster. 

The Prometheus was a real ship used by the British Navy

The British Navy launched a ship named HMS Prometheus in 1898. The vessel served the Navy until it was sold in 1914. It’s unclear whether HMS Prometheus inspired the Prometheus in 1899. 

In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the god of fire, who drew the ire of Zeus by stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humanity, sparking human civilization. 

Zeus punished Prometheus by binding him to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver daily. Prometheus’ liver would grow back during the night, providing endless sustenance to the eagle and subjecting Prometheus to perpetual pain. 

Considering the suffering contained in the Prometheus, it is likely that the creators named the ship after the Greek god. 

Despite the ship’s apparent destruction, the name Prometheus will feature in a potential second season. In the show’s final scenes, Maura wakes up alongside 550 crew and 1423 passengers in a spaceship as part of Project Prometheus.