Monday, 7 September 2009


Special thanks to Elke SCHUBERT (action concept) and Stephan PEYERL

Is Hermann Joha the last hope of German television fiction? After enjoying a fine summer with Lasko - Die Faust Gottes (the incredible new show of his company, action concept) the man who has revolutionized tv series in his country by bringing action of a blockbuster scale every week, triumphs with episode 200 of his flagship series: Alarm for Cobra 11 (Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizeï).

Action concept, the production company created and helmed by Hermann Joha, made History on German television in 1996 when Joha took over from another company the destiny of Cobra 11, a new pedestrian cop show (where he was working on the stunts) and made it a genre in its own respect, delivering Lethal Weapon, James Bond and Die Hard every week. But the key of the success of Hermann Joha is not action, it is high octane original action sequences cleverly integrated inside solid scripts, with great acting talents, experimented directors, superb locations and great music.

13 years later Alarm for Cobra 11 is the most successful series of Germany's private TV, almost an institution. And last thursday, RTL viewers were blessed with the opening 90-minute special of season 26, Das Ende der Welt, also episode 200 of Cobra. Erdogan Atalay, the German Bruce Willis, is still on duty as Semir Gerkhan (Atalay is in the show almost since the beginning) and Tom Beck is Ben Jäger, Gerkhan's partner since 2008.

We'll not spoil the (excellent) story for our readers outside Germany but note that the TV movie opens with an elegant tribute to Moonraker and Live and let die. Paul Frielinghaus (from public TV's iconic "Krimi" Ein Fall für Zweï), famous German comedian Oliver Pocher - hilarious as a cross between Leo Getz of Lethal Weapon and The Lone Gunmen of X Files, presenter Collien Fernandes and Juliette Menke (from hit soap Alles was zählt) guest star.

Das Ende der Welt, preceded on August 31 by a preview in a drive-in cinema of Cologne with more than 1000 guests (1), captivated 5.14 Million viewers. That's more than House M.D. two days earlier, a solace in a country where viewers tend to favor US shows, and the highest number since March 2007 for Cobra 11. The rating of 23.5% in the target group (age 14-49) of the show is the highest since April 2005.

And, like it was not enough, Lasko - Die Faust Gottes is nominated in the category "Best Series" for the most prestigious Deutscher Filmpreis.

See also: (In German) (In German)

(1) Among them the stars of episode 200, former Cobra 11 stars such as René Steinke and Mark Keller, and many others like Sven Martinek (Der Clown, another milestone action concept production) or Wolke Hegenbarth, the star of Mein Leben & Ich - the cult German adaptation of My So-Called Life.

(C) Thierry Attard

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