Following the success of a film for television aired in March 2015 on German private channel Sat.1(1), crime comedy Einstein is due to return this autumn as a full 10-episode series.
Actor and singer Tom Beck (Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahn Polizeï) stars as Felix Winterberg, great-great grandson of Albert Einstein and scientific genius himself, who unwillingly ends up as a police consultant.
Felix "Einstein" Winterberg, aged 33, teaches theoretical physics at this university. He also works for CERN (2) and on a new source of energy based on dark matter. To stay active 21 hours a day he's an heavy user of amphetamines. When Felix learns that he has Huntington's disease (like his father) and will probably not live past age 40, he tries to empty the medicine chest of his doctor! Elena Lange, a cop, arrests him on the way to the hospital for her 8-year old son Leon, who needs a pacemaker.
After Winterberg unexpectedy proves himself to be useful to the police while under arrest, Elena's boss Tremmel blackmails the scientist to assist them about the explosion of a flat rented by presumed terrorists. Felix deduces that they were actually drug dealers and teams up with a reluctant Lange on the case. Someone tries to poison him, his computer is hacked, his turkish dealer (and good friend) is murdered and a mysterious asian agent steals his notes.
Far from being another procedural with the inevitable eccentric sleuth, Einstein (the TV movie) is surprisingly enjoyable. Thanks mainly to Tom Beck's irresistible performance as the flawed genius, both hilarious and (a little) touching. He's surrounded by a solid cast, starting with Annika Ernst as Elena Lange and the talentedRolf Kanies as Stefan Tremmel. South African-born actress Haley Louise Jones plays forensic specialist Kirsten Maybach.
Beck, who played Ben Jäger in Alarm für Cobra 11 from 2008 to 2013, is joined by two other familiar faces from the RTL show: Mark Keller (Weigert) and Katrin Heß as Felix's student Caro. Also starring Jonathan Jakobbson (Leon Lange), Laura Berlin, Constantin von Jascheroff, Hubertus Hartmann (University dean Middelberg), etc. Written by Matthias Dinter & Martin Ritzenhoff and directed by Thomas Jahn, Einstein doesn't take itself seriously at all. It's more fast-paced comedy than a copycat of Elementary, which is certainly better like that as TV wasn't in a desperate need for a new police consultant.
Produced by Zeitsprung Pictures for Sat. 1. Till Derenbach exec produces. Dominik Frankovski & Michael Souvignier are the producers. Music composed by Karim Sebastian Elias. Einstein is distributed by Red Arrow International (Der letzte Bülle). In France, private channel M6 aired the TV movie in September 2015 as Équations criminelles.
[Update - January 4, 2017] Finally, the series will premiere on January 10 with two episodes.
(1) We mentioned Einstein on this blog at the time but didn't review it due to unforeseen circumstances. (2) Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire.