Review: Deutschland 83

Channel 4’s Walter Presents drama series offers the best that foreign actors, studios and directors to the British public. Deutschland 83 is a prime example of this.

Deustchland 83 is a Sundance orginal series Photo: SundanceTV

Deustchland 83 is a Sundance original series Photo: SundanceTV

Its focus is on Martin’s story of reluctantly taking part in espionage in West Germany. It doesn’t lean heavily on the obscurity of the period as a whole, but rather the main character Martin (Jonas Nay).

The first episode mainly follows the events that lead to him going over the iron curtain to work in a military facility. We get a scene that shows a comparison of what differs in the two parts of the country – from the amount of fruit that is on offer, to languages used in both parts of the country.

What the creators Anna and Joerg Winger do so well in the story is shifting the focal point from the era. Despite the show being set in the 80s – at the height of the Cold War and featuring in the background of all the programme – it isn’t the focal point.

The piece personifies the western 80s culture in a far better way than other period shows and films that lean far too heavily on the bright garish tracksuits made popular in the era.

() as protagonist ()

Jonas Nay as protagonist Martin

Martin does an excellent job of keeping the audience engaged in the fear and wonderment of being an Eastern German spying in the west.

Albeit the main drive of the series is the espionage that Martin engages in, leading up to climax of the last two episodes, the series is so much more than that.

The discussions made on relationships and homosexuality are something that many can relate to with the narrative of Martin’s on and off girlfriend, and his experiences in the west.

In society today where people are still working through their sexuality the Alex Edel character is a positive touch stone for 20 somethings facing similar situations. Martin’s character also agrees to work solely for the Soviets in the west so his mother can get essential surgery.

In essence, it’s a show that gives an insight into a very confusing and tense period. I implore all those interested in the Cold War – or even just gripping drama – to watch Deutschland 83.

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