904 What are you watching

Babylon Berlin is a stupendous show … we only have two episodes left and I’m already grieving. There are 16 instalments, and the whole show was made for €38m. That is incredible; go and see it (on Netflix) if only for the styling and the locations; however, you'll be amazed by the attention to detail and authenticity, not to mention its gripping story, tension and acting.


The main street scenes in Berlin were a studio set ... the show has 300 speaking roles and 5,000 extras. This is what one viewer said about the show ... and I second his sentiments:

I love this show. It is essentially serial about crime, but it has all the ingredients of the post-hyperinflation period of Germany. Here we see the seeds of the decline and fall of a once great empire, the communist intrigue in Berlin, all caused by the poor judgement of Imperial German elites prosecuting a war they failed to win quickly in 1914, which dragged out causing irreparable damage to German society. On top of this we have how Germans got around the Versailles Treaty. The corruption, the scandalous behaviour, the need to either sell ones body for cash or suffer starvation; the drug taking to control the fears induced by WW1 (shell shock and alike).


... and that includes GoT or HoC.

More from Wikipedia:

Babylon Berlin is a German period drama television series (that) takes place in 1929 during the Weimar Republic. The novel of the book series put a premium on historical accuracy.

The series is the most expensive television drama series not made in English, costing nearly $40 million to make. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the show's co-creator, Tom Tykwer, spoke about the era:

“At the time people did not realize how absolutely unstable this new construction of society which the Weimar Republic represented was. It interested us because the fragility of democracy has been put to the test quite profoundly in recent years... By 1929, new opportunities were arising. Women had more possibilities to take part in society, especially in the labor market as Berlin became crowded with new thinking, new art, theater, music and journalistic writing.”

Nonetheless, Tykwer insisted that he and his co-directors were determined not to idealize the Weimar Republic. “People tend to forget that it was also a very rough era in German history. There was a lot of poverty, and people who had survived the war were suffering from a great deal of trauma.”

The Babelsberg Studio exterior sets, were extended for the shooting of the series. Shooting locations were also some original sites in Berlin and Germany, like the Museums Island in Berlin and the Church of the Redeemer at the Havel river in Potsdam. The Berlin City Hall was the scenery for the police department and the scenes in the night club Moka Efti were made in the Delphi Cinema in Berlin-Weissensee. The mansion of the Nyssen family was Schloss Drachenburg, a castle in the region of the Rhineland. Some scenes involving a steam train were filmed near Nördlingen, on the railway line of the Bavarian Railway Museum.

Critical reception:

Die Zeit's Carolin Ströbele praised the show, saying "the plot is highly dynamic and unites sex, crime and history in a pleasantly unobtrusive manner.” Der Spiegel's cultural critic, Christian Buss, praised the series for staying true to the tradition of "typically German angst cinema", in the vein of 1920s silent movies such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis or Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. "It could be that Babylon Berlin is the first big German TV production since Das Boot which enjoys really relevant success abroad. Let's not be shy to say it: we [Germans] are big again – as the world champions of angst."

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal (28 January 2018), German historian Thomas Weber commented, "From an historical perspective, the series is very acute in showing how Weimar Democracy was under attack both from the Communist Left, as well as by traditional Conservatives, in a kind of unholy alliance."In the same interview, Babylon Berlin co-writer Henk Handloegten commented, "One of the main reasons to make Babylon Berlin was to show how all these Nazis did not just fall from the sky. They were human beings who reacted to German society’s changes and made their decisions accordingly."