‘Babylon Berlin’ is a German neo-noir crime show with elements of period drama as well. Although the series airs on Sky 1, which is a German-language entertainment channel broadcast by Sky Deutschland, Netflix picked it up, making it available for audiences in the USA, Canada, and Australia. The series first premiered on October 13, 2017.
The source material of the series is based on the books written by Volker Kutscher, and the events take place in Germany. The narrative of the story is based on two characters, Gereon Rath who has been transferred from Cologne to Berlin, and Charlotte Ritter. While the former is an inspector on a secret mission to dismantle an extortion ring, the latter is a stenotypist aspiring to be an inspector. The events unfurl during the Weimar Republic in Berlin in 1929.
Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries, and Henk Handloegtenare the creators of the show, and the writers. The main aim of the show, according to them, is to show Germany that is not influenced by World War II, as is evident by the interview given by a writer of the show, “The reason why you go into certain areas of history is that they give you insight about where we are today”.
Notably, the series is described as the most expensive television drama series in Germany. Considering the spectacle surrounding it, and the intriguing plot, the series has a very strong fan base, which has only increased since Netflix picked up the show. The critics have been quick to heap praise on the film saying, “Babylon Berlin’s humor and humanity pair nicely with its hypnotic visuals, resulting in a show that dazzles within its oversaturated genre”. A cultural critic also pointed out how the show managed to put across the message of angst that has always been typical of German cinema.
Many have labeled the series is in the same vein as Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ or Robert Wiene’s ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, which are not just stellar examples of German cinema, but forerunners of world cinema as well.
Babylon Berlin Cast: Who is in it?
The main cast of ‘Babylon Berlin’ includes Volker Bruch who plays the role of Inspector Gereon Rath. He is a veteran of the German Imperial Army from World War I and a policeman serving in Berlin and Cologne. Rath has powerful friends, including the Chancellor of West Germany. The protagonist, however, suffers from PTSD and survivor’s guilt since his brother is missing in action since the war. He also cannot bring to reconcile his faith as a Roman Catholic with the affair he has with his sister in law. Burdened by all this, Rath often takes morphine as self-medication.