Nazis, noir and Weimar decadence: Babylon Berlin recreates an era for TV detective drama

One of the most expensive drama series ever created for television will be screened in the autumn – a 16-part crime story set in 1920s Germany costing £36m. The German-language Babylon Berlin series has been adapted from a 2008 bestselling thriller by Volker Kutscher. Set in the glamorous and decadent world of 1920s Berlin, with communists and Nazis clashing on the city’s streets, it follows a young police inspector who investigates a porn ring and uncovers a web of corruption. It is one of six critically acclaimed novels featuring the detective Gereon Rath and was partly inspired by the crime fiction of Raymond Chandler and the hit HBO television series The Sopranos . The German-language editions alone have sold more than a million copies. Although Babylon Berlin and the second novel in the series – The Silent Death – have been translated into English, Kutscher is still barely known in Britain. He is due to appear at the Edinburgh book festival on Monday . The Observer spoke to him just after he had attended a preview screening of the new drama. He said: “It really blew me away. It’s really big and exciting TV. How deeply I was dragged […]

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