- TV Series
This Dutch drama series is called after an agro-industrial factory, the main employer in a rural part of the Netherlands, and the interlocking private and professional lives of people and fa... Read allThis Dutch drama series is called after an agro-industrial factory, the main employer in a rural part of the Netherlands, and the interlocking private and professional lives of people and families involved in it: workers, supplying farmers under contract, the owners and the ambit... Read allThis Dutch drama series is called after an agro-industrial factory, the main employer in a rural part of the Netherlands, and the interlocking private and professional lives of people and families involved in it: workers, supplying farmers under contract, the owners and the ambitious new CEO.
After years of supporting roles and farces, Rudi Falkenhage (who's name is misspelled during the credits) finally became a star playing company director Dries Rustenburg, facing all odds against him while trying to secure the future of De FAB. Guus Hermus played the slimy competitor Campers who supposedly owns a bigger, more modern factory (which we never get a good look at, finding one factory to film in during their busy season was hard enough) but the real Judas and all around string puller in series one was 'our own' honey voiced Jeroen Krabbé (practicing for all the similar parts he would soon be playing in Hollywood) as company lawyer André Hageman.
Comic relief is provided by Maarten Spanjer as Piet Stok, the companies gopher at the bottom of the barrel, who is in love with young secretary Ditty (Saskia Ten Batenburg). If you pay attention during the end credits of every episode, you'll get some spoilers as to how that particular sub plot is going to end. Also vying for Ditty's affections (as well as practically every other single woman working there' is Jan van Gorkom (Frederik de Groot), the young manager grandson of the biggest shareholder (Andrea Domburg) and all around pain in the butt. Every soap needs strong women and for every man in this series there is at least one. In fact, there are so many, and the relationships (either by blood or by affection) can get a bit confusing in their criss crossing. For instance, as the series starts, minor character Harm Groen (René van Asten), the son of the Fabriek's foreman (Sacco van der Made) is dating the director's daughter Ellen (Niki Spengler) whilst working for the company lawyer (Krabbé) who is having an affair with the bosses wife (Pleuni Touw). No wonder nearly 6 million viewers stayed home to watch: they would have been lost had they missed a minute.
Clearly meant to be a homegrown version of prime-time soaps such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty", Joop van den Ende produced his first big smash. Even the opening credits try to evoke the American model, albeit with decidedly cheaper optical effects. Joop quickly became known as a man who made entertainment mogul, not drama, and English director Andrew Wilson clearly understood this. After all, this was not a period piece, nor did writer Hans Keuls base "De Fabriek" on a novel, like "De Kleine Waarheid" or "De Stille Kracht", but drew from his own experiences working in a sugar laboratory as well as being a lawyer. By transferring the American formula of commerce and sex into a typically Dutch setting of farming and Boerenkool met worst (throw in some disco scenes where the DJ has one Earth, Wind and Fire record to spin) and success was almost unavoidable. The series garnered massive ratings and media attention, even the fact that stuntman Dicky Beer returned from America to perform a big fall (in episode 3) was widely reported.
The second series saw the addition of Gerard Cox and Pleuni Touw's real life husband Hugo Metsers to the cast, as well as, thanks to the success of series one, a budget large enough to film a romantic liaison in Portugal. And of course people still remember that theme, which pops up John Barry style in several different versions over the course of the series: swinging, laid back, romantic, whatever the situation calls for. I must add that the episode titles of season two are not nearly as inventive as those of the first, when each one was a quote from the episode in question. De Fabriek ended after two series in six parts, but paved the way for several other high-profile soaps on Tros Television such as "Herenstraat 10", "Dossier Verhulst", and, almost a decade later, the advent of daily soaps such as "Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden".
8 out of 10
- Jul 3, 2006