Tuesday, September 09, 2014

80s cult tv shows : Tatort and Schimanski

It seems I´m still not finished because Today I´m making another post ( look out Terry Hooper ) about 80s cult series, TATORT and Schimanski.

This all started on the WORLDS GREATEST COMICS : NICK KNATTERTON post or rather on the SHOWNOTES POST I separated from it that had some stuff about actress Simone Thomalla who had played a detective on TATORT. She participated in the ice bucket challenge and there was some massive outcry because she wore only a thin white shirt which naturally became totally transparent showing her impressively huge " talents ".

I posted more pics and videos of her wet t - shirt challenge in this post

The whole media circus was too grotesque since Simone Thomalla had already posed nude for the german edition of the PLAYBOY in 2012.

Since I mentioned TATORT I thought I should put up some info. It´s one of the crime series in Germany that just goes on and on like SOKO, DER ALTE or EIN FALL FÜR ZWEI. The first episode of TATORT, TAXI NACH LEIPZIG aired on german television on the 29th of November 1970.

It´s the longest running and most popular crime series in the german language speaking region with a total sum of 913 episodes produced so far ( plus 13 domestic austrian episodes not aired in the neighbouring countries ) and like Doctor Who the main character always changes.

In Doctor Who they do it through the magic of regeneration in Germany they use bureaucracy so old police men are exchanged for new detectives.

On Doctor Who we have Peter Capaldi who portrays the twelfth Doctor.

With  TATORT ( this literally means scene of the crime and it is the name under which it is broadcast on the MHz Worldview channel since 2009 ) it´s not that easy because there is not always just one main character. Sometimes it´s a team of investigators and there have been roughly 80 people who played the roles of detectives on the show over the years.

Undoubtedly the most famous and most successful ( as well as beloved ) is Horst Schimanski ( called Schimmi ) played by Götz George who was a successor of hardbolied detectives like Phillip Marlowe or Mike Hammer.

Like Hammer he also was a ladies man and he was written as the typical proletarian everyman. Coming from the industrial city of Duisburg in the Ruhr Area, George portrayed him as a rugged, often unkempt simpleton ( unsophisticated, but not unintelligent ) who often swore, but never backed out of a fight and kept a sense of honour for minorities. He always wore a well - worn grey or beige M - 65 field jacket with cropped epaulettes that became famous in Germany as the " Schimanski Jacket ".

He made his debut in the 1981 episode DUISBURG - RUHRORT and appeared in 29 episodes until 1991. In 1997 his own Schimanski crime series was started. Schimanski now was a retired policeman living in Belgium with his long - time girlfriend Marie Claire. In the early episodes he often did some semi - legal work for the German police. Production slowed down over the years, there is one new episode per year at most. The latest episode was aired on Nov 10th 2013. All the Schimanski episodes were produced by the German television station WDR.

In the original Tatort episodes he was accompanied by Christian Thanner, a soft, well - dressed policeman who often served as a foil for the proletarian Schimanski. In the first episode of the follow - up series Thanner is killed by policemen gone vigilante. This was necessary as Eberhard Feik who played Thanner had died in the hiatus of the series.

From the beginning, Schimanski's character polarised the public: the WDR stated that his opponents saw him as a disgrace for the police and for German TV, his admirers as a new breed of more realistic, streetwise characters ( for some he was the fighter for justice and became a cult character, for others he was more of a lawbreaker with a grubby aura ) and in his episodes there was a lot of action with Schimanski really going through the ringer and ending up bloodied and with a few bullet wounds at the end. Tv critics spent a lot of time counting how many times he said " shit " in an episoed but the peopl loved it and in time, he became a cult figure in German culture and the most popular TATORT character.

There were two movies, ZAHN UM ZAHN ( A Tooth For A Tooth, with a soundtrack by german singer Klaus Lage that went pretty high in the charts ) and ZABOU and I really went to the cinema to see them because they were a big deal. On tv they were always a bit restrained but here where they produced for theaters they could really let it rip, as they say.

He even got his own comic from Ehapa drawn by Martin Frei ( believe me, finding the picture was a real bitch ) but there never was a second issue.

It´s an adaption of the episode ZWEIERLEI BLUT that aired on the 22nd of July in 1984. The embedding is disabled so click this link to watch it. You might also want to check out the second episode BLUTSBRÜDER starring Oscar winning actor Christoph Waltz when he was confined by german tv.

You can find more Schimanski videos on YouTube but since the embedding is disabled in all of them I was going to end this part of the post with one more recent episode of TATORT with Simone Thomalla in it. Sadly it has been deleted in the meantime so I´m posting the romantic comedy LA DOLCE RITA starring Simone Thomalla and Dana Golombek instead. I just picked the video at random ( I´m tired ) so I don´t know if it´s any good.

Man, I really need to take a break and get some sleep because it always gets so late when I make these posts. At least the views seem to be up since I managed to break the 2,100 clicks per day mark. I don´t know if that has something to do with the content of the posts of late and I just hope this trend continues when I return to writing about comic books instead of tv series, movies and pop music cult sirens of the eighties.

As always here are the videos at the end of the post but since we already had a few Tatort videos in the post I want to add something more comic related. Another episode of FUMO DÍNCHIOSTRO features an interview with Bonvi and I think it´s appropiate since his STURMTRUPPEN comic is very popular in Germany especially if you´re doing your military service.

We´re also continuing our theme of 80s cartoon series with episode one of ULYSSES 31, VENGEANCE OF THE GODS which I´m doing mostly for myself since I have never seen this and it looks really interesting.

And I want to end the video section with another Usagi Turtles crossover, episode 23 of the second season called THE BIG BRAWL - PART 1 and you can see from the title the story is going to be continued. Cowabunga !

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Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I think I had a Schimanski image from when I interviewed Martin in 1990. I'll check and see.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Hope you got the images okay? Schimanski was a favourite as it made it to late Sunday night (23:00-23:30hr) tv in the UK. I can remember a scene with some thugs going on about "polacks" and despite the number of opponents, Schimanski waded in. Sadly, UK TV died and so did the chance of seeing any of these episodes -or Derrick which was great cus Horst Tappert was in in!!

SUBZERO said...

Yes, thanks for the images although I don´t think I´m going to include the back cover in the post. I´ll keep it though, maybe I´ll need it for another post.

I guess I would wait with that until I have some interior artwork to go with it. I DID find one panel but it was very small and not of good quality.

Oh, and there is also a DERRICK comic but I never read it.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Been checking out Martin Frei's sites and mentions of Tatort comic work but NO samples. Seems a lot of copies of the Ehapa collection out there for 2-3.- Euro. May have to buy a copy. I KNEW there was a Derrick comic! I actually had one but so many house moves things go 'missing'!

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Watched Taxi Nach Leipzig last night. Excellent. BUT the accents...??? I know I've not been to Germany for a while but I got lost with some of the accents. Still, very atmospheric and DEFINITELY accurate for the time. Damn I 'loved' Vopos!

SUBZERO said...

Well. Leipzig is in the part that was East Germany ( or in 1970 IS East Germany ) so they have a different dialect there then in West Germany. Still have.