40 years of “Traumschiff” – 20 classics on ZDFneo

© ZDF/Dirk Bartling

40 years of heartbreak at sea: The ZDF “dream ship” set sail for the first time on November 22, 1981. Alongside the “crime scene”, it is one of the few fictional long-running TV hits on German television.

The world is slowly running out for him, said producer Wolfgang Rademann on the occasion of his 30th anniversary ten years ago, because the “Traumschiff” crew should actually aim for exotic destinations so that they arouse the wanderlust of viewers in Germany. The inventor Rademann died five years ago at the age of 81, but his popular television series lives on. This Monday it will be 40 years since the first episode ran on ZDF. This makes the series, along with the formats “Tatort”, “Polizeiruf 110” and “Der Alte”, one of the longest-lived fictional German television history.

Since 1981 – at that time Helmut Schmidt was still Chancellor of the Federal Republic – 90 “Traumschiff” episodes have been broadcast. For the anniversary, ZDF has dozens of old episodes in its Media library posed. ZDFneo has been showing 20 retro episodes since yesterday, always on Sundays until the end of December. Tonight there are also two episodes (1.50 am “Morocco” and 3.20 am “Cape Town”) on ZDF. And of course there will be new episodes at Christmas and New Year, the seventh and eighth edition with Florian Silbereisen as captain Max Parger. They lead to Sweden (December 26th) and Namibia (January 1st) and will be available in the media library from Christmas Eve.

Contrary inspiration from the States and the GDR

At the end of November 1981, the television ship set off for the first voyage to the Caribbean. The TV format was created not only under the influence of the American series “Love Boat”, but also the GDR television series “Zur See” from the 1970s.

Heide Keller, who died at the end of August at the age of 81, was part of the regular crew for many years (DIGITAL FERNSEHEN reported). Until the end of 2017 – more than 35 years – she played the kind-hearted head hostess Beatrice. In 2019 she called the comparatively young Silbereisen captain “a total misclosure”, but later adopted a more conciliatory tone.

The “dream ship” has been functioning without major changes for decades. Around 40 percent play on land, 60 percent on board. Three stories are told: a love story, a funny one and an exciting one. Many find the episodes too predictable and the dialogues too wooden, fans love it.

Not everything has stayed the same: The “dream ship” was initially the cruise ship “Vistafjord”, then the “Astor” and the “Berlin”, then the “Deutschland” and, since 2015, the “Amadea” (see photo). What has remained – for 35 years now – is the theme music composed by James Last (1929-2015).

Plenty of “dream ship” anniversary program

The captain’s hat was passed on several times: from Günter König (Captain Braske 1981 / ’82) to Heinz Weiss as Captain Hansen (1983-1999) to Siegfried Rauch as Captain Paulsen (1999-2013) to Sascha Hehn as Captain Burger (2014-2019 ) and finally to Florian Silbereisen.

Actors with a particularly large number of guest roles in four decades were Gila von Weitershausen, Maria Sebaldt and Gaby Dohm, but also Sigmar Solbach, Günther Maria Halmer and Dietrich Mattausch. Stars such as Thomas Gottschalk, Hape Kerkeling, Joachim Fuchsberger, Peter Weck, Hannelore Elsner, Otto Sander, Til Schweiger, Otto Waalkes, Klausjürgen Wussow and Udo Jürgens were also on board.

“Bauer sucht Frau” matchmaker Inka Bause took part in a few episodes as a fitness trainer. The TV satirist Harald Schmidt is there every now and then as a crew member Oskar Schifferle. He once told the “Spiegel”: “When it comes to engagements, the motto for me is: location comes before content.” Only recently, the long-time late-night talker in “Bild” blasphemed that “instead of well-coiffed talking dolls, the social ones Media are on the move “now there are actors in the” Traumschiff “again – and a little less influencers.

[Gregor Tholl]

The new episodes at the end of 2021:

  • “The Dream Ship: Sweden” – Sunday, December 26th, 8:15 pm on ZDF (ZDF media library from December 24th)
  • “Namibia” – Sunday, January 1, 2022, 8.15 p.m. on ZDF (also from Christmas Eve in the ZDF media library)
  • Documentary “The Dream Ship Special – 40 Years at Sea” on Sunday, December 26th, 11:15 pm on ZDF (ZDF media library from November 25th)
  • In the ZDF program, for example:
    Monday, November 22nd, 1.50 am: “Morocco”
    Monday, November 22nd, 3:20 am: “Cape Town”
    Saturday, December 25th, 12:45 pm: “Los Angeles”
    Saturday, December 25th, 2:15 pm: “Maldives”
    On ZDFneo, 20 retro “Traumschiff” episodes will be broadcast from November 21 to December 19.

Source: DIGITAL FERNSEHEN by www.digitalfernsehen.de.

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