|Country of origin||
East Germany (1971 - 1990)Germany (1990 - present)
|No. of episodes||320+|
|Running time||90 Minutes|
Fernsehen der DDR (1971 - 1990)ARD (1990 - present)
Polizeiruf 110 ("Police call 110") is a long-running German language detective television series. The first episode was broadcast 27 June 1971 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and after the dissolution of Fernsehen der DDR the series was picked up by ARD. It was originally created as a counterpart to the West German series Tatort, and quickly became a public favorite.
In contrast with other television crime series, in which killings are practically the primary focus, while Tatort handled homicide cases, the cases handled in the GDR TV's Polizeiruf were more often the more frequent, and less serious, crimes such as domestic violence, extortion, fraud, theft and juvenile delinquency, as well as alcoholism, child abuse and rape. Contrary to Tatort, which concentrated on the primary characters and their private lives, police procedure was the center of attention of Polizeiruf, especially in the earlier episodes. The scriptwriters attached particular importance to representation of the criminal and his state of mind, as well as the context of the crime. Many episodes aimed to teach and enlighten the audience about what does and what doesn't constitute appropriate behaviour and appropriate thought, rather than just to entertain. Polizeiruf was one of the few broadcasts by GDR media in which the real problems and difficulties of the supposedly more advanced socialist society could be displayed and discussed to some extent, albeit in a fictionalized and pedagogicalized environment.
After the end of the GDR, the ARD's Polizeiruf have been mostly about murders and homicides, the focus has been more on the entertainment rather than any teaching or enlightening, more stress was put on the characters and personal lives of the detectives, and there has been relatively little difference overall between the newer Polizeiruf episodes and the contemporary Tatort episodes; however, the Polizeiruf continues to feature more (post-reunification) East German settings than the Tatort.
A 1974 episode based on the case of serial killer Erwin Hagedorn was banned by the politburo, which feared an uncomfortable public debate about the death penalty. A script and silent tape of the episode, thought lost, were rediscovered in 2009, and the sound was re-dubbed for broadcast with new actors (the episode was aired 23 June 2011 by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk [MDR]).
Prominent cast members
- Peter Borgelt as Hauptmann, later Kriminalhauptkommissar Peter Fuchs (84 episodes, 1971–1991)
- Jürgen Frohriep as Oberleutnant, later Kriminaloberkommissar Jürgen Hübner (68 episodes, 1972–1994)
- Sigrid Göhler as Leutnant Vera Arndt (49 episodes, 1971–2001)
- Wolfgang Winkler as Hauptkommissar Herbert Schneider (42 episodes, 1979–2007)
- Andreas Schmidt-Schaller as Leutnant, Oberleutnant, later Kriminaloberkommissar Thomas Grawe (40 episodes, 1973–2004)
- Jaecki Schwarz as Hauptkommissar Herbert Schmücke (together with Schneider) (38 episodes, 1987–2007)
- Lutz Riemann as Oberleutnant, later Kriminaloberkommissar Lutz Zimmermann (25 episodes, 1983–1991)
- Henry Hübchen as Tobias Törner (13 episodes 1972–2005)
- Horst Krause as Polizeihauptmeister Horst Krause
- Cold war TV drama gets premiere, 37 years after GDR censorship in The Guardian, 24 June 2011 (retrieved 24-06-11)
- Polizeiruf 110 in German Wikipedia (retrieved 23 March 2012)