When the adverts were shown on T.V. for Deutschland 83 there was an immediate buzz, it looked fresh, unique and thrilling. Many however found themselves disappointed at the fact that when they sat down to watch episode one, they found out that the show was in German. It was at this point many people flicked over to watch something else, this would have been a huge mistake, because even though Deutschland 83 is filmed entirely in German, it is not at all difficult to follow, even with English subtitles and to be perfectly honest, it is one of the most captivating and incredibly fresh offerings to have graced the small screen in some time.
In 1983 Germany is divided into East Germany – controlled by the Russians since the end of World War II, it was a communist state and in 1961 the government built a wall between East and West to stop people fleeing to the West, this was the Berlin Wall. The other half was of course West Germany, democratic and far from the reality that faced the people forced to remain in East Germany.
The Cold War was in full swing and the Russian’s had SS20 missiles pointed to the West and the West had American Pershing II missiles pointed to the East, the world was at a tipping point and the threat of nuclear war hung heavy over all concerned.
Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay – We Are Young, We Are Strong) was born and raised in East Germany, now 23 years old he is sent undercover to the West, reluctantly after being bribed with desperate healthcare his mother needed. He takes on the persona of Moritz Stamm and begins working for one of the West German Generals in the Bundeswehr.
Not at all trained or prepared for such a mission, or any mission, Rauch begins the task of gathering intelligence with regards to where the missiles are being placed, but it soon gives him the chance to become part of the youth culture and he begins to create friendships. Nothing and no one are what they seem and things become complicated for Rauch.
Deutschland 83 is an incredible offering from Universal Studios with a fantastic cast including Maria Schrader (In Darkness), Ulrich Noethen (Downfall) and Sylvester Groth (Inglorious Bastards). The entire show pulls you in to the 1980s so fast, that before you know it you have leg warmers on and are singing 99 Red Balloons, (which by the way is played during the show in German and is absolutely brilliant). Set against the backdrop of 80s culture, politics and real events it is authentic and gripping.
Available Digital Download from 8th February and on DVD from 15th February.