Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alarm für Cobra 11 –
Die Autobahnpolizei
Genre Action, Crime drama
Country of origin Germany
Original language(s) German
No. of seasons 38
No. of episodes 291
Running time ca. 45 minutes-Pilot movies 90 minutes
Original network RTL Television
Original release March 12, 1996 – present

Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei (German pronunciation: [aˈlaʁm fyːɐ̯ ˈkoːbʁaː ˌʔɛlf diː ˈaʊ̯tobaːnpoliˌtsaɪ̯]; English: Alarm for Cobra 11 – The Highway Police) is a long-running, popular German television series about a two-man team of highway police (Autobahnpolizei), originally set in Berlin and later in North Rhine-Westphalia. The series has been broadcast in countries worldwide.


The original cast featured Johannes Brandrup as Frank Stolte and Rainer Strecker as Ingo Fischer. Strecker left the series just two episodes later and his replacement became Erdoğan Atalay as Semir Gerkhan.

Brandrup quit the series at the end of Season 1. The television network RTL, which carries the series, contracted Mark Keller as André Fux in his place. Keller left the series at the end of Season 3 and was replaced by René Steinke as Tom Kranich. He played the role between the seasons 4–6, then decided to quit to try other roles.

Atalay's new partner became Christian Oliver as Jan Richter in Seasons 7–8. When he left the series to build his career in the US, RTL turned to Steinke, who agreed to return at the beginning of Season 9. However, Steinke decided not to renew his contract, and left the series again at the end of Season 10. His replacement is actor Gedeon Burkhard as Chris Ritter. Burkhard is best known as Alexander Brandtner in another Austrian-German police show, Inspector Rex.

In season 13 Burkhard was replaced by Tom Beck as Ben Jäger. In 2013 Mark Keller returned for one 90 minute Pilot episode. In season 19 Beck was replaced by Vinzenz Kiefer as Alex Brandt, who will leave the series at the end of 2015; his replacement is Daniel Roesner, who will play as Paul Renner.

Character Role Seasons Actor
Kriminalhauptkommissar Frank Stolte detective s.1 Johannes Brandrup
Kriminalhauptkommissar Ingo Fischer detective s.1 (ep.1–2) Rainer Strecker
Kriminalhauptmeister Katharina Lamprecht boss s.1,s. 2 (ep.1–6) Almut Eggert
Kriminalkommissar/Kriminaloberkommissar/Kriminalhauptkommissar Semir Gerkhan detective, Nazan′s ex-boyfriend, father of Lili, Aida and Dana, Andrea′s former husband. s.1– (ep.3–) Erdoğan Atalay
Kriminaloberkommissar/Kriminalhauptkommissar André Fux detective s.2–3, s.18 (ep.1) Mark Keller
Kriminaloberkommissar/Kriminalhauptkommissar Tom Kranich detective s.4–6, 9–10 René Steinke
Kriminalkommissar Jan Richter detective s.7–8 Christian Oliver
Kriminalhauptkommissar Chris Ritter detective s.11–12 Gedeon Burkhard
Kriminalhauptkommissar Ben Jäger detective, Semir′s colleague and great friend. s.13–18 Tom Beck
Kriminalhauptkommissar Alex Brandt detective s.19-20 Vinzenz Kiefer
Kriminalkommissar Paul Renner detective s.21- Daniel Roesner
Character Actor Position Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Frank Stolte Johannes Brandrup Detective Main
Ingo Fisher Rainer Strecker Detective Main
Semir Gerkhan Erdoğan Atalay Detective Main
Katharina Lamprecht Almut Eggert Detective chief Main Recurring
André Fux Mark Keller Detective Main Guest
Tom Kranich René Steinke Detective Main Main
Jan Richter Christian Oliver Detective Main
Chris Ritter Gedeon Burkhard Detective Main
Ben Jäger Tom Beck Detective Main
Alexander "Alex" Brandt Vienzenz Kiefer Detective Main
Paul Renner Daniel Roesner Detective Main

Main Characters[edit]

The first two detectives: Frank Stolte & Ingo Fischer[edit]

In two first episodes the main characters were Frank Stolte and Ingo Fischer, played by Johannes Brandrup & Rainer Strecker respectively. Frank was transferred from the BKA (federal investigation unit) to the Autobahn Patrol for insubordination. However, he had grown used to being a detective, so things went well for him in his short-term career; his partner also knows the game, and the two seem to have known each other for a while. Ingo was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest in the second episode (Rote Rosen, Schwarze Tot). Frank left the force after the last Season 1 episode for an unknown reason.

Semir Gerkhan[edit]

Semir Gerkhan, portrayed by Erdogan Atalay, is the main character and one of the cops who stayed on the force from the beginning to the end. He became Frank's second partner in the 3rd episode of Season 1 (Der neue Partner). He is best known for driving his silver BMW 3 Series undercover cars throughout his career. He also owns numerous exotic cars outside of work but had terrible things happen to them. (BMW M735i E32 destroyed in "Blackout", Ferrari F355 Spider stolen in "Feuer und Flammen" [later recovered]).

Albeit his humorous jokes, he is serious and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. For some episodes, after his partner dies or leaves the force, Semir leaves the force for a short period of time to recover from disappointment (Andre, Chris, and Ben).

André Fux[edit]

In season 2, Semir's new partner became André Fux, played by Mark Keller. He has a black belt in karate, which makes him amazing when it comes to close-quarters combat. Andre also has performed a techno version of the song "Abracadabra". He was wounded in Mallorca after being shot in the chest with a harpoon gun, only to be found by a farmer washed at shore later.

In 2013, André returns in the pilot episode "Auferstehung". He is seen to have saved Semir and one of his daughters from being killed by terrorists in a tunnel. When he returns to the precinct, he explains to Semir that he has started a new life and has begun his career undercover for the BKA. In the middle of the episode's investigation, he fails to save a woman who was said to play an important role in the case. Ben Jäger, Semir's partner, is furious, and uses excessive force on André, only to be deterred by Semir. Later, Semir finds out that André is working for an underground criminal group. In the end, after Semir and André wind up in a car accident that sends them dangling over a cliff, Andre puts an electronic device into Semir's sleeve, and says to his partner, "Goodbye, my old friend.", releasing his grip from Semir's arm as he crashes down the cliff and dies for the last time. His request to find the people found in the data of the device falls on deaf ears, as Semir is disappointed and incredulous to the events that had just occurred to the point of nearly leaving his work for good.

Tom Kranich[edit]

While Tom Kranich (René Steinke), Andre's successor first introduced in "Höllenfahrt auf der A4", is one of the more outgoing guys on the force, Semir is serious. He also has a forgiving personality due to the fact that he forgave a female driver despite that she wrecked his mountain bike on his first day commute to work. He emotionally left the force in the episode "Abschied".

Semir was forced to look for Tom again after an earlier partner, Jan Richter, left. Tom agreed to go back and he used Jan's car. He was killed in action shortly after in the pilot episode "Auf Leben und Tod" in an attempt to save a young Asian girl from a gunshot, which had ended in vain.

Jan Richter[edit]

Jan Richter, played by Christian Oliver, was introduced as Semir's new partner in the episode "Feuertaufe" shortly after Tom's emotional withdraw. He was the young equivalent to Semir's experience. Jan was introduced as a rookie in crime, who later switched his job to the Autobahn Patrol.

He left the force shortly after in "Extrem" for reasons unknown, leading to multiple theories from his fans, although the series producers have not confirmed any one of them yet.

Chris Ritter[edit]

Chris Ritter, who was originally a police officer working undercover as "Mark Jäger", became Semir's partner after Tom died in the episode "Auf Leben Und Tod". With the new partner, the adventure continues. Because Chris tends to use solo efforts to get the job done, he and Semir had problems in their relationship. However, it improves greatly as they continue to work together. His off-work car is unknown. Chris worked without Semir in the episodes "Infarkt" and "Leben und Leben Lassen".

At the end of the episode "Unter Feinden", Chris was killed by a mafia leader known as Sander Kalvus while he saved an ex-colleague he knew as Tanja. With his death, Semir chased Kalvus for months.

Ben Jäger[edit]

Ben Jäger succeeded Chris and was introduced in the following pilot episode, "Auf Eigene Faust". He is portrayed by Tom Beck Ben is characterised as being an ambitious, often rebellious young officer and later, a similar counterpart to Semir's behaviour. He shows up just when Semir is going to bring the main witness to Berlin to testify against the mafia leader who killed Chris. Semir is first distrustful of him, but then they soon grow to be good friends.

Ben resigned from his police career in "Einsame Entscheidung" to continue his musical career in the U.S.A., and for this reason, he was given a guitar signed by his colleagues before he left. He is then shown to be performing a song known as "This Time" in Hollywood with a group known as "The Backseats" (this song was written by Tom Beck himself, of which he had released as a single later that year), while Semir leaves the force to recover from two problems: that Ben has left the force, and that Andrea (Semir's former wife) has separated with him completely.

Alexander "Alex" Brandt[edit]

After 2 years in prison for drug deals, Alex Brandt, née Rickert (played by Vinzenz Kiefer), starts a new life in "Revolution". He is shown with a personality mixed with Andre's and Semir's behaviors; rowdy at times, but willing to get the job done. Alex is first shown leaving prison in the pilot episode of Season 35. However he owned a gun and a Police ID in his shack, which means he serves the law. He seems to have a good-bad relationship with Semir at first, but later, they become coexistent and cooperative with each other. Sometimes, in a hurry before taking up a chase, he will even take the wheel of Semir's car, using manual shift and scrapping it very few times. Alex also has a relationship with a young boy named Felix Neuberger, who had a few recurring appearances after the pilot episode "Die dunkle Seite". He also appears to have a soft side going with his hardened self, as he shows this with officer Jenny Dorn after the death of Dieter Bonrath; when his father was killed in "Windspiel", he breaks down completely as he has lost almost every great aspect of his family.

This in turn leads to his departure from the badge, as he is last shown riding his Triumph Thruxton 900 on the autobahn away from the NRW after finally parting from Semir in search for his mother in Brazil.

Paul Renner[edit]

Information of Paul Renner is yet to be revealed when season 39 of the series airs in Spring 2016.

Supporting/Significant Characters[edit]

Dieter "Bonnie" Bonrath[edit]

Bonnie, played by Gottfried Vollmer, has served as one of a pair of Cobra 11's backup officers throughout his career since 1996, along with Horst "Hotte" Herzberger. He is a person recognizable in the series for his height and gentle-giant personality, shown especially with his son, Jochen. Although an elderly person, he, along with Hotte, has taken an interest in fast cars, much like Semir, and at some points in his later career, he has used some police cars from Porsche and Land Rover.

In the episode "Ausgelöscht, Teil 1" (Eliminated, Part 1), Dieter was killed in a sniper's attack, in which he was engulfed in the flames of an explosion of a wrecked patrol car. He notable accepts his death by smiling at Jenny and shaking his head slowly as he keeled over and died.

Horst "Hotte" Herzberger[edit]

Dieter's former partner was an obese, bearded officer named Horst "Hotte" Herzberger (Dietmar Huhn). He is a person recognizable in the series for his obesity and often uncontrollably blaring voice. Often, he is found to be a jokester on some occasions.

In the episode "72 Stunden Angst" (72 Hours Of Fear), Hotte wanted to retire from the force, having served 43 years, but wanted to solve one last case. During this case Hotte, in an attempt to save Ben pushes him out of the sights of a drug dealer's assault rifle, only to be shot in the chest himself. He dies a few minutes later with Bonrath, Ben, Semir and Kim Krüger (their boss) at his side. Hotte is later avenged by Ben through the form of beating the killer unconscious.

Jennifer "Jenny" Dorn[edit]

Jenny Dorn, portrayed by Katrin Heß, became Bonrath's partner in succession for Herzberger. She has an equivalent to a mix of personalities belonging to André, Semir, and Ben; carefree, but takes her job very seriously. In the past, she used to have a boyfriend who broke up with her before joining a criminal organization, and in turn of his decisions, decides to help the police evacuate a prison break. Though she tends to flirt with the technical expert Hartmut Freund at times, it is later indicated that she has no relationship to him whatsoever, and that they're just good friends.

Since season 38, she became a police detective under the codename Cobra 7.

Main team vehicles[edit]

The list below is put in the order of the detectives by the time they joined the police squad of Cobra 11; the cars are listed in the order they were used, as well as their license plate codes. Most of the cars were used by Semir.

Frank Stolte: Audi 100 C3 (BRB-E 283, BRB-A 404, TG-A 257) BMW 325tds E36 (BRB-E 283)

Ingo Fischer: Ford Sierra (BRB-A 404)

Semir Gerkhan: BMW 323i/328i E36 (HVL-S 199 [black], B-PV 185 [switched to silver], NE-DR 8231); BMW 523i E39 (B-UL 473, B-PW 185); BMW 330i E46 (NE-/:DR 8231); BMW 330i/320si E90 (NE:DR 8231, D:BM 3308); BMW 320d/328i F30 (D:BM 3308)

Andre Fux: BMW 328i E36 (B-DW 8271); Mercedes-Benz C180/C200 W202 (B-DW 8271); Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 C208 (B-DV 8271, NE-LK 3470)

Dieter Bonrath, Hotte Herzberger, and Jenny Dorn: Porsche 996 Carrera (AP-7639, NRW:4-171); Porsche Cayenne Turbo (NRW:4-180); Land Rover Range Rover Sport (NRW:4-180, NRW:4 455); Porsche Cayenne Turbo S (NRW:4 392, NRW:4 418); Porsche 991 Carrera 4S (NRW:4 335); BMW 120d F20 (D:MJ 4495, K:XT 9125)

Tom Kranich: Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 C208 (NE-LK 3470); Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 R170 (NE:AE 2831); Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 C209 (NE:LK 3470)

Jan Richter: Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 W208 (NE-LK 3470); Mercedes CLK 320 W209 (NE:LK 3470)

Chris Ritter: Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 W209 (NE:LK 3470, D:BD 2408 in 'Infarkt'); Mercedes-Benz C350 W204 (D:BD 2408)

Ben Jäger: Mercedes-Benz C350 W204 (D:BD 2408); Mercedes-Benz E500 C207 (D:BD 2408)

Alex Brandt: Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 C117 (D:CL 3508)

Paul Renner: Mercedes-Benz C300 W205 (D:BD 3508)

Backup work vehicles[edit]

Frank Stolte: BMW 835i E31 (P-RT 241); Saab 99 (BRB-E 283)

Ingo Fischer: N/A

Semir Gerkhan: BMW 325i E36 (UB-E 438); BMW X5 E53 (NE-FL 208, NE:TL 3737); BMW X3 E83 (NE:TL 3737); BMW 330i E90 (NE:TL 3737); Mercedes CLK 320 W209 (D:AA 119); Skoda Octavia Type 1Z (D:AM 391); BMW X6 E71 (D:HB 1711); BMW X1 E84 (K:CM 296, K:ES 453); Mercedes-Benz ML 350 W164 (D:AA 119); BMW 330i E91 (K:OP 270); BMW F25 (K:QK 789, K:MN 774); BMW X5 E70 (D:CE 925); BMW 328i F30 (D:EH 304); BMW 528i F10 (D:BM 3308); BMW X4 F26 (D:GC 7646); Mercedes-Benz GLA 180 X156 (K:JM 401); BMW 535d F10 (D:BH 153)

Andre Fux: BMW 528i E39 (NE-KH 6321)

Dieter Bonrath, Hotte Herzberger, and Jenny Dorn: Skoda Octavia Type 1U (K:MR 1212, DA:X 9783, K:EA 3245) Skoda Octavia Type 1Z (D:AX 9382, DA:X 5879); Mercedes-Benz E350 W211 (NRW:4-180, NRW:4-110); BMW X3 F25 (D:MJ 4495); BMW X1 E84 (NRW:4 372); Kia Cee'd Sportswagon (K:KM 431)

Tom Kranich: Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 R170 (NE:AE 2831)

Jan Richter: Volkswagen Passat B2 (K:PE 4129); Volkswagen Passat Variant B3 (NE:MH 8990)

Chris Ritter: Ford Mondeo Mk I (NE:R 231, K:CC 549); Audi A4 B5 (D:HD 1007)

Ben Jäger: Mercedes-Benz C320 W204 (D:CE 936); BMW 318i E90 (K:ES 476); BMW 320d F30 (D:JE 5127); Mercedes-Benz GL 500 X164 (D:JE 5127); BMW 328i GT F34 (D:CE 928)

Alex Brandt: Mercedes-Benz C180 W205 (K:JM 401)



  • The opening titles of the first 158 episodes (1996-2006) had the following preamble:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihr Tempo ist mörderisch (They work at break-neck speed)
Ihre Gegner: Autoschieber, Mörder und Erpresser (They're up against car thieves, killers, and extortionists)
Einsatz rund um die Uhr für die Männer von Cobra 11 (They're on call around the clock: the men of Cobra 11)
Unsere Sicherheit ist ihr Job (Our safety is their job).

  • During Episodes 159-243 (2007-2012), the preamble was:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihr Einsatz heißt: volles Tempo (Their mission: full speed)
Ihre Gegner von heute: extrem schnell und gefährlich (Their enemies today: extremely fast and dangerous)
Verbrechen ohne Limit – Jeder Einsatz volles Risiko (Crimes without limit – every job at full risk)
für die Männer von Cobra 11 (for the men of Cobra 11).

  • Since Episode 244 (2013), the preamble has been:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn. (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihre Gegner: extrem schnell und gefährlich. (Their enemies: Extremely quick and dangerous)
Verbrechen ohne Limit. (Crimes without limit)
Jeder Einsatz - volles Risiko (Every job: at full risk)
für die Männer von Cobra 11. (for the men of Cobra 11)

  • Since 2014, the preamble has been:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn. (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihre Gegner: extrem schnell und gefährlich. (Their enemies: Extremely quick and dangerous)
Volles Risiko (Extremely risky)
für die Männer von Cobra 11. (for the men of Cobra 11)


The series is known for its extremely well performed stuntwork, which features the destruction of various vehicles in every episode. Almost every episode has a distinct structure, with at least one daring action sequence and the pre-title sequence usually consisting of the main event (i.e. a devastating crash on the Autobahn). The stuntwork is often so spectacular that it would not look out of place in a full-fledged movie, with cars commonly reaching implausible heights as they vault through the air.

Production locations[edit]

From 1996 to 1998, the series was produced jointly by Polyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft mbH (responsible for all other production aspects such as filming/postproduction/location scouting etc.) and ActionConcept (stunts). Those episodes were shot in Berlin, notably in the site of the former Checkpoint Bravo and in the surrounding state of Brandenburg.[1][2] In 1998, Action Concept took over as the sole production company and shifted all filming/production work to its headquarters in Hürth just south of Cologne. Since then, episodes have been shot in and around Cologne and Düsseldorf as well as on several major Autobahnen (A540/A44 and now mainly on the Filmautobahn Aldenhoven near Düren – [3]) between Cologne and Düsseldorf in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

Game adaptations[edit]

The series has also spawned numerous game releases in Germany, primarily for PC, but they have generally met with mixed receptions. The latest title is Alarm für Cobra 11: The Syndicate, released on 23 December 2010. Crash Time was also dubbed into English and sold in many other markets worldwide.


  • Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei was regularly parodied as "Alarm für Kebap 11 – Die Dönerpölizei" by Freitag Nacht News, a German comedy sketch program. The segments feature the team talking in exaggerated Turkish accents and many references to Döner Kebab. Erdoğan Atalay and René Steinke themselves have made cameo appearances in some.
  • The series has also been parodied on Switch TV and Switch reloaded.
  • Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei was also parodied in the Latvian comedy show Savādi gan.


In 2002, a spin-off named Alarm für Cobra 11 – Einsatz für Team 2 (Alarm for Cobra 11 – Mission for Team 2) was started. Because of its limited success, only two seasons were produced.

International broadcasters[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ This characteristically shaped building served as police station in the Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Coverage of announced 2011-2012 programming highlights for United States Spanish language broadcaster V-me, documenting intent to broadcast Alerta Cobra (Spanish title).

External links[edit]