TV Series

Polizeiruf 110 – The East German Tatort?

Polizeiruf

By Annika Breinig, with thanks to Daniel Magennis

When watching Polizeiruf 110 today, audiences could easily mix it up with the West German Tatort.

These series are broadcast at the same time and on the same channel. They share similar approaches to narrative structure and production, and concentrate on the same themes and motives. There are few signs indicating that this show is the only survivor of German Democratic Republic television, with beloved children’s program Sandmännchen another example.  Although at the beginning the series was meant to be a GDR equivalent of the West German Tatort, it distinguished itself from its model in many ways, not the least of which was its treatment of political issues. Continue reading

“Hello, this is Edgar Wallace speaking” – The Rialto Film Series

 EW

   By Annika Breinig

Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace,” are probably the first words that come to German minds, when they hear the name of the British author. Those lines introduce each film in a series based on Wallace’s books that was produced from the 1950s until the 1970s and televised throughout Germany. Thanks to the enduring popularity of these films among German audiences, the author enjoys a more prominent place in the cultural memory of Germany than in that of his home country. Unfortunately, Edgar Wallace himself never experienced the huge impact and success the movie adaptations achieved, since he died in 1932 Continue reading

Tatort – The Flagship of German crime series

Tatort

By Annika Breinig

When asking Germans about their favourite television crime series, the answer will most likely be “Tatort, natürlich”. Every Sunday evening up to 12 million Germans (almost 14% of population) are watching Tatort at home, with friends or in bars, where the TV usually is used to show football matches. In a country excessively rich in crime fiction, this consensus seems surprising. Explaining to people from outside of Germany what makes Tatort so unique and favourable to the audience is difficult, since the series has a long tradition and a cult status, which even fans are not able to reconstruct.

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The first Tatort “Taxi nach Leipzig” aired in 1970. Down to the present day, more than 900 episodes of the series and its East German equivalent Polizeiruf 110, have been produced and broadcasted in Germany, Austria and Switzerland Continue reading

Deutschland: Krimiland – The crime fiction landscape in German television

 Schuld

By Annika Breinig

Germany’s television programme is overwhelmingly saturated with crime series. From the afternoon till the late night hours, a lavish bouquet of criminal stories is offered to the audience. Obviously, there are crime series from the United States, such as CSI or Navy CIS, running at prime-time and enjoying a broad fan-base. Further there are European productions, such as Sherlock from the UK, the Swedish Wallander or The Killing from Denmark, which attract a solid audience. And last but not least, there are numerous domestic productions, which range between high quality thrillers and trivial every-day crime stories. Regarding those German productions, some recent trends emerge Continue reading

From Italy to Denmark, with Giorgia Cantini and Sarah Lund

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All are warmly invited to attend the next seminar in the  University of Glasgow SMLC Research Seminar Series, organised with the Centre for Gender History, at 4pm on Monday 23 February in Room 209, 2 University Gardens.

Dr Alessia Risi, University College Cork

‘From Italy to Denmark. Do Female Features Really Change Under Bleak Skies?’ Continue reading