“Colleagues”: The commissioner, her ex and the new one

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 29, 2022
Updated 2022/01/29 at 11:50 AM

For many years, Caroline Peters (50) was the face of the comedic crime series “Murder with a View” (2008-2014, Das Erste). As the ambitious chief inspector Sophie Haas, who was involuntarily transferred to the sleepy Eifel village of Hengasch, she played herself into the hearts of the viewers.

Today she says: “In 2014 we were sent on a creative break from which we were never brought back. At first I would have liked to have continued it and shot at least one more season, but at some point I was also happy about the new rooms that were created as a result and the other things I could do,” explained the Grimme award winner in an interview with the “New Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ).

One of the “other things” she was able to devote herself to is the new ZDF crime series “Colleges”, which will kick off on Saturday (January 29, 8:15 p.m., ZDF) with the episode “The Bad Child”. Caroline Peters can be seen as Berlin Commissioner Irene Gaup. She still has to work constantly with her husband, the public prosecutor Hans Gaup (Götz Schubert, 58). And as luck would have it, his new partner, Commissioner Julia Jungklausen (Natalia Belitski, born 1984), is Irene Gaup’s new colleague.

That’s what “Female Colleagues – The Bad Child” is about

At the site where the corpse of a young man was found, Irene Gaup meets her new colleague: Julia Jungklausen of all people, the young lover of her estranged husband, public prosecutor Hans Gaup. The corpse is found on a remote self-sufficient farm between Berlin and Brandenburg. But what brought 18-year-old Korbinian from Berlin-Wedding there? Nobody on the farm seems to know him. A chain that Korbinian wore around his neck leads Irene and Julia to a missing person four years ago. The then 13-year-old Emma Lennartz – impressively played by the Dresdener Emilie Neumeister (b. 1999) – disappeared without a trace after the birth of her little daughter together with her child. The investigations were led by Irene Gaup, who never let go of the case. Now questions, old and new, are bouncing back with unexpected force: Is Emma still alive? Is she hiding at the Pfisterhof? Did Emma possibly commit the crime or is she herself in danger?

A very different Caroline Peters

“Murder with a view” fans will be surprised at how different the new commissioner is: a down-to-earth haven with deep-rooted childhood trauma. “The role is very, very serious in the first part. She is driven by a cold case and the processing of her very neglected relationship with her mother,” Peters explains to the broadcaster about her role. And she adds: “A woman who goes through re-traumatization and then pulls herself out by her own hair. I enjoyed that. And why not play a serious investigator, I thought to myself.”

What is generally special about the new format is summed up by the actress very aptly: “It is a crime series that has a lot to do with emotions. Less with crime, violence and sensations. The feelings and the psychological tension are in the foreground.” The film is less action-driven than character-driven, she rightly adds.

New commissioner Natalia Belitski

The actress Natalia Belitski is likely to be familiar to most viewers from the comedy television series “Mrs. Jordan is Equal” (since 2019) and from the crime series “Parfum” (2018).

Speaking of her role in Colleagues, she says, “I think it’s my second investigative role and actually my first as a detective. I found both the character of Julia, with her unconventional rough edges, and the constellation of two women as investigative team very appealing.” In addition, the different cases are unusual and dramaturgically exciting, says Belitski.

Götz Schubert explains the exciting love triangle

Prosecutor Hans Gaup decided in favor of the younger commissioner. However, the fact that she mainly feeds on energy drinks makes him rave about the cooking skills of his estranged wife. Presumably he would like to have both: intimate married life and exciting love affair. As is well known, however, only very few manage to do this satisfactorily for all sides and that’s how it is in this crime thriller – which makes for surprisingly amusing scenes.

And what does Götz Schubert think about this love triangle in which his character and the two investigators find themselves? The actor defends his prosecutor and paints a slightly different picture than the opening film suggests: “The relationship with his ex didn’t end because of an affair or a mid-life crisis. The couple separated amicably. There was no cheating or betrayal here,” says Schubert. And the new relationship isn’t because of man’s vanity or self-affirmation, he adds. “They are two self-determined people who are together because they fell in love,” he continues. “So the situation is more serious than it seems at first glance, and the network of relationships is more complex, more exciting and closer to life,” says Schubert.

Russian Berlin underworld meets “A window to the courtyard”

After the first case comes the second case, and Caroline Peters gives a little perspective: “It goes into the depths of the Russian underworld in Berlin and you can also find a little bit of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘A Window to the Court’,” she reveals.

Especially in the second part, “the case of an act without a body” is very strong, “the investigators take a back seat”… And Götz Schubert adds: “The triangle goes into a tailspin and the criminal case gets to the kidneys.”


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