100% Rotten Tomatoes
Genre Cold War espionage
Theme song Major Tom (Coming Home)
Cast Jonas Nay
Written by Anna Winger
|Created by Anna Winger
Directed by Edward Berger Samira Radsi
Starring Jonas Nay Maria Schrader Ulrich Noethen Sylvester Groth Sonja Gerhardt Ludwig Trepte Alexander Beyer Lisa Tomaschewsky
Opening theme "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling
Networks RTL Television, SundanceTV
Awards Peabody Award, International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series, Deutscher Fernsehpreis - Best actor
Similar The Americans, The Night Manager, The Assets, Homeland, The Honourable Woman
Deutschland 83 season 1 trailer 2015 new series
Deutschland 83 [ˈdɔʏtʃlant dʁaɪ.ʊnt.ˈʔaxtsɪç] is an eight-episode German television series starring Jonas Nay as a 24-year-old native of East Germany who in 1983 is sent to the West as an undercover spy for the HVA, the foreign intelligence agency of the Stasi. It is a co-production of AMC Networks' SundanceTV and RTL Television by the production company, UFA Fiction, with international distribution by RTL Group's FremantleMedia International and North American distribution by Kino Lorber. The series premiered on 17 June 2015 on the SundanceTV channel in the United States, becoming the first German-language series to air on a US network. The broadcast was in the original German, with English subtitles. It subsequently aired in Germany beginning in November 2015, and in the UK on Channel 4 beginning in January 2016.
- Deutschland 83 season 1 trailer 2015 new series
- Critical response
In November 2015, the series was de facto renewed (and retitled "Deutschland 86"). The second season was officially renewed on 14 October 2016; it will air in 2018. Wolf Bauer, head of producer UFA Fiction, said a second series of the show could be greenlit, even if the series does not achieve huge viewings in Germany. Deutschland 86 would be set in 1986, three years after the original series. If a second season were produced, a third season, Deutschland 89, would very likely follow. It would be set in the pivotal year of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.
Creator Anna Winger said that all of the episode names originate from NATO military exercises from 1983.
The show was created by the husband and wife team of American novelist Anna Winger and German TV producer Joerg Winger. It is produced by Joerg Winger, Nico Hofmann, and Henriette Lippold. Anna Winger said that they did extensive research with experts who were from both sides of Germany. Historian Klaas Voss from the Hamburg Institute for Social Research was very important in providing historical information. Jonas Nay, who played Martin, said he received technical assistance from military adviser/NATO expert Steffen Meier.
The show was shot in and around locations in Berlin, Germany. A suburb in east Berlin was used to portray period East Germany. For some scenes the Stasi headquarters (in German, the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit) was used as a location and the production was able to film at the Stasi Museum, which is the actual site of the original headquarters. The actual headquarters for the HV A was however in Gosen about 28 km (17 miles) south east of the Berlin TV tower, less than 1 km (0.6 miles) SE of the Berlin city limits, and approximately 4.5 miles (7.5 kilometers) south of the city of Erkner. The backup bunker for the headquarters of the HVA was also located there.
Directors Edward Berger and Samira Radsi used the same crew—and often the same locations—to shoot their respective episodes. One director would prepare for shooting while the other was shooting. They worked in parallel like this throughout the filming of the show. Radsi said she knew producer Winger from working together on the popular German TV show, SOKO Leipzig.
SundanceTV created a digital marketing strategy that reflected the use of locations in Germany that were meant to recreate both East and West Germany in the early 1980s. Reflecting both the intertitle of the show, the marketing team created sliders that show locations as they were in contrast to the current day. The opening credits were created by Saskia Marka.
The show is notable for its extensive use of 1980s popular music, including Nena's "99 Luftballons", David Bowie, New Order and the Eurythmics among others. Each week's episode has a playlist of music from and/or inspired by the episodes. The score was created by Reinhold Heil, who produced the song "99 Luftballons."
Heil, who often collaborates with Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), said that he was on board the project when he saw the first scene of the show, where two teenagers are being interrogated by the border guards (one of whom was Martin, the main character) for attempting to smuggle two books by Shakespeare and Marx across the border. He said that it was very realistic, which comes from his similar experience when he was caught smuggling music (Stravinsky and Bach).
The theme for the respective English-subtitled North American and UK broadcasts of the series featured Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" – the English-language version of Schilling's big 1983 European hit "Major Tom (völlig losgelöst)". However, the markedly different introductory sequence for the German broadcast of the series used New Order's 1983 hit "Blue Monday".
Deutschland 83 was met with excellent reviews and received a 2015 Peabody Award. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a 100% score with an average rating of 8.2/10, sampled from 22 reviews. The consensus states: "An engrossing drama with a fun '80s soundtrack, Deutschland 83 chronicles an intense spy story that brings viewers uncomfortably close to the Iron Curtain." On Metacritic, it holds a score of 79 out of 100, based on reviews from 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The first two episodes of Deutschland 83 premiered at the Berlinale 2015 to very positive reviews. In its US television premiere, it also received positive reviews, with mention of its humor and successful depiction of a Cold War thriller, with favorable comparisons to the US show, The Americans. Many critics called it the best show of the summer of 2015.
Writing in The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum called the show a gorgeous, slinky thriller, praising its recreation of 1983 Germany as "nearly as aesthetically aspirational" as Mad Men. She questioned the plot line's credibility as Martin's character repeatedly landed, Zelig-like, "at the center of world-historical events", but didn't deem this to be a "deal-breaker". In a mixed review, The New York Times compared the series to shows on the network The CW, given that it focuses on a young adult struggling with being "the only glimmer of sanity in a world gone mad".
Clemens Poellinger from the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet awarded the series a 5/6 rating. He praises the "excellence in time-faithful environment and details" but also points out the similarities with the series Weissensee.
Philip Oltermann of The Guardian praised the idea of viewing the Cold War from an East German's perspective, but wrote that the show, instead of taking advantage of its "radical premise", "backtracks into stereotype" by portraying East German officers as "cruel ideologues", and the West German peace movement as "infiltrated not just by Soviet agents, but gay Soviet agents at that".
The series premiered in the United States on 17 June 2015, on SundanceTV, making it the first German-language series to air on a US network.
In Germany, Deutschland 83 began to air after the U.S. run on RTL 26 November 2015. There, the series lost viewers over the course of its run; the series finale had 1.72 million viewers, or approximately half of the series premiere's viewers. As a result, German newspaper Bild called the show "the flop of the year".
It premiered in Ireland on 29 November 2015, on RTÉ2. All episodes were added to Australian streaming service Stan in December 2015. On 14 January 2016, the series was made available for streaming in The Netherlands via Videoland.
It premiered on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 3 January 2016, with the final two episodes shown back-to-back on 14 February. It has since become the most popular foreign-language drama in the history of British television with an audience of 2.5 million viewers as of January 2016.