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Deutschland 83

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Lots of hand-wringing in the German press about the low ratings: blaming the ad campaign or RTL's reputation (i.e. people don't expect high quality from them), geopolitics and the audience's general lack for historical topics (I find that lost one arguable). But the most obvious cause is simply the programming slot: the show runs against 'The Voice of Germany'. If I've learned anything from following US ratings it's that you don't put a new show up against 'The Voice'.

Additional factors: people really interested in the subject matter have already seen the show (where there's a will there's a way) and are watchting 'Occupied' that runs in the same time-slot on Arte.

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Are the ratings really that low or passing but just not up to par with what was expected considering all the hype?  I'm not clear on that because of the way it was worded.

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The most worrying thing seems to be the constant drop in the ratings (note: they air two episodes back to back):

pilot - 3.19 million (9.9), episode 2 - 2.86 million

episode 3 - 2.05 million (6.7), episode 4 - 1.96 million (6.5)

I don't know what they expected in the ratings but considering that Alarm für Cobra 1 (probably their most successful home-made show but far from getting any critical acclaim outside the Taurus awards) is still holding an average of 2.5 million RTL can't be happy.

Edited by MissLucas

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Dammit, Germany! You finally have a tv show the rest of the world wants to see and you're screwing it up for us!

I say we withhold access to reruns of Columbo, Alf and the A-Team until we get a second season of this show.

Edited by revbfc
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Wrong shows - it's NCIS, Bones, various CSIs you'd have to pull. Procedurals do extremely well on the German market - shows more focused on serialized narratives are always struggling.

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I wonder if this was inspired by The Americans (which I'm a bit annoyed I can no longer view on terrestrial TV), since it's pretty much the same scenario. I do like that while we're watching essentially a Villain Protagonist, he's a fairly sympathetic character - a devout communist and patriot, sure, but still a young man who wants to hang out with his girlfriend and get his mum an operation. I really loved his utter confusion at the phone system, because I've worked with a system not entirely unlike that and they're not very intuitive - I don't think the secretary would necessarily be suspicious of his incompetence there so much as thinking "God, not another dumb soldier who can't use the phone!" Still, he did get the info they wanted, so he's got promise as a spy.

 

albaniantv I want to believe Lenora put Martin forward in the hope he could handle it and increase the chance of her sister qualifying for medical help.

 

 

Again, I like the fact that Lenora is a true believer - but that she probably also wants to get her sister the operation and probably thinks her nephew can handle it (which would probably fast track HIM for promotion, too - obviously not realising that East Germany has less than a decade of existence left).

 

mrspidey Why exactly do we get our own show after it has already aired overseas?

 

 

I asked the same about why Humans aired outside the UK before it was on Channel 4. He who pays the piper calls the schedule, I guess.

Edited by John Potts
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I dunno if "steak from a cow" marks him out as a Commie so much as a bit of a hick. I wouldn't know the difference between a T-Bone and a sirloin steak (though I'd just pick one blind, rather than admit my ignorance). I didn't think he was actually that amazing as a spy, even though he was competent enough and incredibly lucky (the guy who might have recognised him didn't immediately expose him and the rival spy appearing to steal the plans covering HIS theft). It also strikes me as unlikely that East German Intelligence (the Stasi? Or were they purely internal security?) would pass on messages to his mother/girlfriend, though I guess if they want to keep the family involved they have to make some contact possible. Did like the sister (Lenora?) manipulating Martin's girlfriend into moving in with his mother - easier to keep an eye on one house than have to monitor two, I guess.

 

Any (Unspoiled!) guesses as to who the waitress was working for? I know they suggested Chinese Intelligence (which is certainly possible) but I was wondering whether it was a case of the KGB left hand not knowing what the East German right hand was doing. Or somebody else entirely, but that would be my guess.

 

ETA: In the commune(?) that the General's daughter had fled to, there was a prominent picture of an Arabic gentleman that looked a lot like Osama bin Laden. Any idea who this was meant to be? (It seems VERY unlikely it WAS in fact OBL - the group seemed leftist, what with all the dressing in red, and at the time, OBL was being supported by the CIA as an anti-Communist "Freedom Fighter" in Afghanistan - he would also be fairly obscure at the time).

Edited by John Potts

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ElectricBoogalloo I am really surprise that Martin didn't put up much of a fight when assigned to seduce the secretary

 

I thought so too - even if he concedes eventually, I thought he'd protest at "having" to cheat on his girlfriend. Though I love the irony of having him as a spy in West Germany whilst his mother is a dissident in the East - which given she seems to know what her son is up to (in general terms, at least) could cause our boy problems down the line. Also liked how matter of fact his mother was over his girlfriend being pregnant and realising the possibility that the kid might not be her grandson

 

The whole computer plot seemed a little contrived - I get that PCs weren't available in East Germany but it couldn't be that hard to buy one in West Germany and "smuggle" it over the border. Discovering that the disc was encrypted was believable, if unfortunate for our boy. I loved the awkward meeting with their respective bosses and the hookers - "Bet they haven't run a background check on them" indeed!

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Also liked how matter of fact his mother was over his girlfriend being pregnant and realising the possibility that the kid might not be her grandson

 

Yeah - I like Ingrid overall. She strikes me as a pragmatist. Then again, she's letting Thomas stash the forbidden books in her basement, so I guess her pragmatism has limits..

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Watched this ep again today. Still my favorite episode of the series. Tension built beautifully throughout and the stakes were really raised for everyone.

 

I don't know why, but I always love that moment when Linda whacks Martin in the face with that stick. Poor girl. RIP, Linda.

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I'm pretty sure Anette believes Martin's mother is guilty as sin but is turning a blind eye for his sake. She didn't, after all, shop either of them, just gave her a "friendly" warning.

 

Gillian Rosh I don't know why, but I always love that moment when Linda whacks Martin in the face with that stick.

 

Obviously, given that Martin is our protagonist, he was always going to get away - that doesn't mean I didn't want to see her fight back, so I was glad she got a good whack in. Might have been kinder just to let her drown, I suppose. I wasn't sure why the Minister(?) chose to commit suicide rather than his initial inclination to come clean (ending his career and marriage, admittedly) which turned a win for the commies into a complete victory (they can now "leak" information that he was in their pay and thus explain his secretary's disappearance and shore up Martin's cover).

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If TV has taught me anything, it's that the most desirable attribute for a spy is not being a badass, being sneaky or even an ability to lie convincingly: it's time management. At least on The Americans Philip & Elizabeth (ostensibly) run their own business so if they need to run across the country to plant a bomb they don't have to come up with a cover story for their boss. OK, Alex is AWOL and Martin had "an accident" (presumably one that left him with one less kidney) but they do seem able to run around rather more freely than I would expect for junior officers.

 

I don't recall the 83 bombing, but are they trying to claim that Martin jut killed Carlos the Jackal (possibly against his superiors' wishes)? Because there's a guy in prison in France alive today - unless the show is trying to say that it isn't the real Carlos.

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Nope - that wasn't Jackal (they cast someone decidedly not Venezuelan-looking) but one of his henchmen who may or may not has also been in the East's pocket.

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I loved this episode even more on re-watch. I continue to feel bad for Alex. He seems to have really fallen for Tischbier, but Tobias is only using him. Poor kid. 

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ElectricBoogaloo Alex at Lola's was both hilarious and terrifying. That kid is really not thinking straight. Loved that after the rescue, the minister said he had to get to his meeting. Priorities, man.

 

 

My favourite was the brothel ma'am's asking whether this was a "real" hostage taking or something kinky (I would imagine she's seen it all and is pretty much impossible to shock) and then asking if Alex could get it over with by 4 so she can pick up her kids. And they say Germans have no sense of humour!

 

Funny to think that even in the Soviet Union, spin exists (even if not called that). Though scary to think that the Communist view was that the West was determined to attack so any report that contradicted that got buried - and so made war more likely (which from what I've heard, was probably true to life). Though to be fair, the Korean airplane COULD have been carrying spy gear (it wasn't) and used the passengers as cover (I don't think, from what I recall of the event, it was ever denied that it had entered Soviet airspace illegally, it was just claimed it had happened accidentally).

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Questions: when Alex teared up during questioning, was it because he felt betrayed by Martin, because he did actually bumble his way into trying to spy for East Germany and got some poor prostie killed, because he realized how close he came to getting caught doing same, because he was afraid of his AIDS test? Or all of the above in just general recognition that everything was just all fucked up?

 

I just re-watched this ep, and I think Alex's tears were because he felt betrayed by Martin/Moritz, whom he'd come to think of as a friend.

Edited by Gillian Rosh

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Having lived through 1983, it was somewhat scary to think that we might have blundered our way into nuclear Armageddon because it suited the Communist Party line that the West were planning to blast them so we'd better nuke them first (yes, I know it's fictional, but it's all too believable).

 

There is absolutely no way Martin could continue as a spy - there's burned and then there's cremated!

 

stanleyk But his wife left him (and hates him), his surrogate son is a spy, his actual son has left the military (and also hates him), and he at least thinks his daughter might be a spy (who maybe hates him). While somewhat out of character for him to commit suicide, that's a pretty bad set of circumstances for a NATO general. Plus his fish died. His fish!

 

 

I assumed the shot was General Edel. On top of all the personal stuff (and his fish didn't die - it was murdered!), his office was infiltrated by the enemy, so his career was probably over too. Ironically, he was absolutely right about the Peace Movement being infiltrated by the Communists, just like Schweppenstette was right about the church being used as a front to spread Western propaganda.

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The latest articles (feb 2016) still indicate that Deutschland 86' is in some level of development, but not officially greenlit.  It will probably be awhile before (hopefully) we get season 2.

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Aw, yeah! I had completely resigned myself to this show being a "one and done." And yes, it is most definitely for fans of The Americans. My only complaint is that the subtitles are SO hard to read (a kinda faint grayish color, IIRC).

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Finally!! This will be amazing, even though we'll actually feel the three years between the seasons just like the characters do.

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Yes!!!! It's funny, last year I was put off initially by watching a show in another language...and mind you, that's not because I don't like subtitles but mainly because I really had to pay attention to the screen and read the subtitles rather have my attention diverted to other media, but I have since gotten into the Italian show Gomorrah (while I speak Italian, this is mostly in a Neapolitan dialect which is close to impossible for me to understand) and the French, A Very Secret Service on Netflix.

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This is FANTASTIC news.  I just happened to check on this thread, now I'll have to add it to my home page for more updates.  Too bad we'll have to wait until 2018 here in the US to see it, though.

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I enjoy the show.  It's not on the level of The Americans, but few shows are.  Speaking of which, it strikes me as kind of bizarre that there are four "current" shows (they may not be airing right now, but they have not yet completed their runs) set at least in part in 1983: this one (obviously), The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, and Stranger Things.  I was a kid in 1983, and that is not the year I would have predicted to become iconic in this way ('89 maybe, with the fall of the Berlin Wall).

There's one thing that I find odd about the actor playing the lead.  It seems we're supposed to see him as a kind of dashing, handsome young guy.  But doesn't the asymmetry of his eyes make him kind of borderline ugly?  Or is that just me?  I know almost everyone (Denzel Washington excluded) has some asymmetry, but his seems pretty extreme for an actor, especially one playing this kind of character (bedding multiple pretty women).  Am I too picky?

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On 2/25/2016 at 5:38 PM, John Potts said:

There is absolutely no way Martin could continue as a spy - there's burned and then there's cremated!

Ha!  I love this line, and agree.

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Here's some great news about Season 2-Alex lives!

My agent friend told me casting is underway for the role of a closeted American GI serving alongside openly gay Alex.

S2 will be shooting August to December, 10 episodes.

Edited by TimWil
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SundanceTV and Sundance Now Unveil Fall 2018 Programming Slate
 

Quote

SUNDANCE TV's fall highlights include:

"Deutschland 86" (Season 2 premiere; 10 episodes)

Thursday, October 25th at 12a ET / 11p C

Created by Anna Winger and Jörg Winger, "Deutschland 86" follows Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay), his Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) and their colleagues at the East German foreign intelligence agency (HVA). Long banished to Africa for his sins in 1983, Martin Rauch is called back into the field. Dark deals and a dangerous mission lead him to South Africa, Angola, Libya, Paris, West Berlin and finally back to East Berlin, where he must make an impossible decision.

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Lenora has been in Cape Town for the last three years. After an arms deal goes south, Lenora brings Martin to Cape Town to help smooth things over until he sabotages the deal on moral grounds, putting her and Rose's lives in danger.

Original U.S. air date: 10/26/18
Original German air date: 10/19/18

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Reluctant to get involved, Martin tracks down Gary Banks, a South African mercenary who will do anything for the right price and enlists him to help bring Lenora's weapons shipment safely through the border war to a new buyer.

Original U.S. air date: 10/27/18
Original German air date: 10/19/18

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Deutschland 86 will begin airing on the Sundance Channel beginning on October 26. It looks like they will air two episodes per week (one on Friday and one on Saturday) and then double up on the last weekend:

Fri 10/26 S02.01 Tar Baby
Sat 10/27 S02.E02 Ommegang
Fri 11/2 S02.E03 Dragon Rouge
Sat 11/3 S02.E04 Le Cafard
Fri 11/9 S02.E05 Green Book
Sat 11/10 S02.E06 Tjello
Fri 11/16 S02.E07 El Dorado Canyon
Fri 11/16 S02.E08 Vula
Sat 11/17 S02.E09 Chickenfeed
Sat 11/17 S02.E10 Total Onslaught

Per another press release, the show will air on Fridays in Germany on Amazon. It will begin airing this week but there will only be one episode aired per week:

10/19 S02.01 Tar Baby
10/26 S02.E02 Ommegang
11/2 S02.E03 Dragon Rouge
11/9 S02.E04 Le Cafard
11/16 S02.E05 Green Book
11/23 S02.E06 Tjello
11/30 S02.E07 El Dorado Canyon
12/7 S02.E08 Vula
12/14 S02.E09 Chickenfeed
12/21 S02.E10 Total Onslaught

I know it might be a little confusing since this season will be airing simultaneously in Germany and the United States but on different dates, so I will be sure to include both air dates in the episode descriptions!

The show will air in the UK on Channel 4 in January or February 2019.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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The acting is decent, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired at the moment. For now I'm in. If I had to read subtitles, I probably wwouldn't be.

 

On 21.1.2016 at 2:36 PM, John Potts said:

I do like that while we're watching essentially a Villain Protagonis

I think that is a big misread of the situation. He isn't a villian, he's just somebody trying to keep his country save and make a better life for his family. He isn't like Philip and Elisabeth killing people left and right.

Also I think it's important to note that germans didn't have the same views as americans in the cold war. East germans weren't the enemy. They were brothers and sisters torn away by geopolitical power plays. You can see it in this episode. The west germans really don't like being used as the battleground for the soviets and americans dick measuring contest.

 

On 19.10.2016 at 1:03 PM, SlackerInc said:

The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, and Stranger Things.  I was a kid in 1983, and that is not the year I would have predicted to become iconic in this way ('89 maybe, with the fall of the Berlin Wall).

It's the 30 year cycle. People who grew up at the time are old enough to make media now.

 

On 19.10.2016 at 1:03 PM, SlackerInc said:

There's one thing that I find odd about the actor playing the lead.  It seems we're supposed to see him as a kind of dashing, handsome young guy.

Are we? I thought he was supposed to be your average dude.

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On 18-10-2018 at 3:39 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Per another press release, the show will air on Fridays in Germany on Amazon. It will begin airing this week but there will only be one episode aired per week:

It appears that that press release was wrong. Apparently Amazon dropped the whole season at once yesterday so all episodes are available.

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