Archive 81 season 1 – who is Dan Turner?

By Marc Miller
Published: January 14, 2022
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Who is Dan Turner in Archive 81 season 1 - netflix series

This article, “who is Dan Turner” contains spoilers regarding the Netflix series Archive 81 season 1.

Read the review of season 1.

Dan Turner is the main character of the Netflix series Archive 81. He is played by Mamoudou Athie (Uncorked), a stoic figure who is asked to restore a set of damaged video cassette tapes with a mysterious past. So, that begs the question:

Who is Dan Turner in Archive 81 season 1?

Dan Turner is a curator at a local museum. He has no family. Dan was the only survivor when his family perished in a home fire. That tragedy claimed his father, mother, and older sister. He suffers from mental health disorders such as depression. His supports include his best friend Mark Higgins and a reputation for being of the city’s finest restorationists. LMG owner Virgil Davenport approaches him to restore a set of mysterious video cassettes for a six-figure sum. 

What does Dan Turner do in Archive 81 season 1?

To receive the check of $100,000, Dan must restore all of the video cassettes in Virgil’s possession in the Catskills. What he finds is enlightening, disturbing, and hits close to home. First, he finds out that his father was involved in the disappearance of Melody and was her therapist. Remember, in 1994, Dan was just a kid. Now he has more motivation than ever to finish the job. The isolation could be causing him to have nightmares, night terrors, parasomnias, and hallucinations. 

During these episodes, he dreams of conversations he is having with Melody, who wants to hang out with him while drinking a pineapple Fanta. They make a connection, as when Melody admits she sticks her nose into places she doesn’t belong, he comforts her by telling her she is a good person who cares. 

After his restoration and investigation into the tapes, he finds out Melody is still alive and stuck in the “waiting room” between both worlds. This leaves Dan with two motivations: To find out his father and family’s role in the tragedy and save Melody.

Dan finds out that his family was killed because he still had Melody’s videotapes, but Dan was supposed to die in the fire. Lastly, with the help of Mark and Melody’s mother, he rescues her and brings her back to 2021. Except, Dan never makes it back with her.

He wakes up in a hospital as the only survivor of The Visser apartment building fire in 1994. As he stares out the window, you can see the Twin Towers still standing in the reflection of the adjacent window.

What did you think of Netflix’s Archive 81 season 1 character Dan Turner? Let us know below!

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