The waiter Uwe Baude comes from the late shift and is knocked down in front of his house. Three targeted stabs in the abdomen cause the victim to bleed to death on the sidewalk. But there is no trace of the perpetrator. Three months after the murder, detectives Henry Koitzsch (Peter Kurth) and Michael Lehmann (Peter Schneider) are still in the dark. All they have is some cell phone data from the radio cell evaluation. Anyone who was on the phone in the area on the day of the crime will be summoned. And so a wide variety of characters gather at the station. Three people come into the focus of the investigation: the previously convicted Maik Gerster (Till Wonka), the old railway worker Günther Born (Hermann Beyer) and the love-struck singer Katrin Sommer (Cordeliawege).

“Polizeiruf 110” celebrated its 50th anniversary with this episode. Launched in 1971 as the Eastern counterpart to “Tatort”, it established itself on German TV even after the fall of the Wall. There are currently four teams of investigators, with the new duo from Halle adding a fifth. In fact, the “Polizeiruf 110” from Halle an der Saale is a good tradition: from 1996 to 2013, the team of Herbert Schmücke (Jaecki Schwarz) and Herbert Schneider (Wolfgang Winkler) investigated. One of the strengths of the series is that it does not rely on spectacular murder cases, but rather shows the malaise of society and also keeps an eye on ordinary people and their problems. The author team Clemens Meyer and Thomas Stuber did this brilliantly. Another positive aspect is that almost all of the actors come from the former GDR. The connection to “Polizeiruf 110” can be felt, the dialogues are credible and the film reflects the local color of the city well.

The film is structured almost like a play, in four acts, all of which have the titles of old “Polizeiruf 110” episodes. Anyone expecting an exciting crime thriller might be disappointed. The focus is clearly on the characters, not the case. Only at the very end does the “police call” turn a few surprising loops – the ending is still likely to be sobering for many.

The investigators Henry Koitzsch (Peter Kurth) and Michael Lehmann (Peter Schneider) are a couple that couldn’t be more unequal: one has been in the service for 30 years, divorced, with a penchant for alcohol and cigarettes and the best contacts in the red light district. The other is a married father with three children, a strict believer and, as a trained nurse, a career changer in the police force. At the start, the focus is heavily on Chief Inspector Henry Koitzsch. Peter Kurth plays the police officer, as we know from his appearances in the series “Babylon Berlin”: dominant and rough, but here with a little more heart.

50 years of “Polizeiruf 110” and a new team of investigators in Halle an der Saale: two reasons why it’s worth tuning in.

The “Polizeiruf 110” episode “An der Saale hellem Strande” was first broadcast on May 30, 2021. ARD will repeat the case on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 10:20 p.m.