'Der Fahnder' a.k.a 'The Investigator' - An original detective series from Deutschland!
For starters, 'The Investigator' was a show aired by the German company Transtel which gave us other brilliant detective shows like 'Derrick' and 'The Old Fox'. 'The Investigator' revolved around an undercover cop named Faber and his police department in Munich, Germany.
Faber and his colleagues tackled everything - from deranged criminals with hostages to amateurs who want to make a quick buck by robbing people, or asking a ransom. What made this show a class apart from other detective shows was its interest in the characters and their development. Faber wasn't just a cop; his relationship with his girl-friend Suzannah was probed right from their courtship till the time they get married and after they have their first child.
Adding to the appeal of this show were the other witty and interesting characters. Faber's colleagues were an amusing, adorable lot - from the straight collared cute Max (Faber's partner) to the funny Otto who provided plenty of humor with the silly enterprises he fell into every now and then! An integral part of this mayhem was of course Herr Rick, Faber's Boss who tried to maintain control with his exaggerated leadership skills but failed miserably! The center of attention was their office which served as everything from an overnight refuge for hostages (in one case Faber himself) to a chaotic "madhouse" (Rick) with criminals hanging around the place as if they work there and there was a shortage of staff!
This was a memorable show which lasted for more than eight years, must be even more... This might not be the best show for kids to watch but when I was growing up, there weren't many good TV shows around... We just happened to have an abundance of German detective shows on TV and I stumbled upon them once and never looked back! I grew up watching 'The Investigator' and perhaps that's the reason why I have very fond memories of it! I used to love it because unlike some other grim police shows this was funny, the characters were friendly, endearing and after awhile they became like old friends. In that sense, it was perhaps a little like 'Due South' which I saw much later in life. 'Due South' was also a comic-drama revolving around the law and crime... 'The Investigator' would have lost its appeal if they had not bothered to individualize every character and present it in a rounded way. It was humorous without being slapstick and behind every crime that Faber perseveringly solved, there was a very realistic probe from a human, layman's point of view.
One thing that really amazed me about 'The Investigator' was its realism, the actors acted so effortlessly that it really felt as if there was some hidden camera in some Police department in Germany and these guys were being shot on and off the job. Realism is one thing I really credit this serial for. I would like to *Thank* everyone connected with this show, especially the actors - Klaus Wennemann (The Investigator himself), Hans Jurgen-Schatz (Max), Dieter Pfaff (Otto), Dietrich Mattausch (Rick) and Barbara Frier (Suzzanah, I wonder why she's not credited over here?) and Stefan Melbinger who provided that catchy title music for the show. Before I say "Ladies & Gentleman" I'll stop!
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