Set at the border between Germany and France, Über die Grenze is one of the feature-length crime dramas filmed abroad for the Donnerstags-Krimi line-up of German pubcaster Das Erste (like Amsterdam Undercover, Der Zurich-Krimi or Kommissar Dupin).
Alles auf eine Karte and Gesetzlos, the uneven but surprisingly effective first couple of episodes, were shot during summer 2016 and shown by the channel in December 2017. In February 2020, Das Erste aired two more episodes (Rachenengel and Rausch der Sterne) made in 2019. Über die Grenze is now available in the U.S. as Borderland, thanks to SVOD service MHZ Choice.
Steffen Herold, the head of operations of the German–French Centre for Police and Customs, introduces his team to their newest colleague: his daughter Leni, a rookie officer. A thoroughly prepared intervention goes wrong when one of the inspectors is severely wounded and two armed robbers, Dane Marquardt and Milou Jangi, take Leni Herold hostage to flee with her in France. Ségolène Combass and Yves Kléber, of the Police nationale, arrive to assess the situation. Combass is hostile towards Herold but Steffen and Yves are old acquaintances. Leni must cope with the unpredictability of her captors.
Created by Felice Götze, Über die Grenze is produced by Polyphon Pictures GmbH for ARD Degeto and SWR (for Das Erste). Thomas Sarbacher (Der Bozen Krimi, Der Elefant - Mord verjährt nie) heads the cast as Steffen Herold. Anke Retzlaff (Puppe) plays Leni Herold. Yves Kléber is played by French actor Philippe Caroit (R.I.S. Police scientifique, Les boeuf-carottes), who speaks German but also Italian, English and Spanish. Since 2017, he's one of the five detectives of the hit semi-anthology Perfect Murders (Crimes parfaits) on France 3. Swiss-Canadian actress Noémie Kocher plays Ségolène Combass.
Based on an idea from Ulrich Zaum and written by Felice Götze and Sabine Radebold, Alles auf eine Karte starts like a typical German crime fighting special unit drama. Except that there are French characters, hence some very Panthère rose dialogues and Joe le taxi by Vanessa Paradis on the radio. Travellers get their share of clichés too but after 30 minutes of "SOKO Kehl" this premiere becomes unexpectedly gritty as the tension grows until a rather brutal conclusion. Also with Sebastian Hülk (Danne Marquardt), Rick Okon (Milou Jangy), Bernhard Piesk (Tino Loher), Jenny Schily (Sabine Herold), etc. Directed by Michael Rowitz, who helmed both episodes.
Penned by Felice Götze, Paul J. Milbers (Die Rosenheim-Cops) and Sabine Radebold with Michael Rowitz, Gesetzlos takes place three weeks after Alles auf eine Karte. Leni Herold tries to recover from what happened to her. Meanwhile, the son of a russian mobster is shot dead by an unknown gunman during a drug deal in the port of Strasbourg. His father, who crossed path with Steffen Herold and Yves Kléber in the past, wants revenge at all costs. Thomas Sarbacher, Anke Retzlaff and Philippe Caroit deliver top-notch performances in this faultless thriller.
With the excellent Johannes Krisch as Russian mafia boss Jegor Sobolew, Christian Kuchenbuch (Deacon Junkers), Artjom Gilz (Petja Kremer), Jenny Schily (Sabine), Bernhard Piesk (Tino Loher), Sebastian Hülk (Marquardt), etc. Produced by Sabine Tettenborn (Der Lissabon-Krimi). Katja Roesch (Alles auf eine Karte) and Jorg Kühlmann (Gesetzlos) are the production managers. Hartwig König is the line producer (Alles auf eine Karte). Kirsten Frehse is the line producer for ARD Degeto. Music by Helmut Zerlett (Der Clown). Cinematography by Stefan Unterberger. Editing by Achim Seidel (Alles auf eine Karte) and Andreas Althoff (Gesetzlos).
The multi-talented Philippe Caroit is also a musician and he has recently published his first novel, La malédiction de l'escargot (Éditions Anne Carrière).