By Andy Duncan
Well, what to make of Das Boot, the TV series sequel to the original classic 1981 movie with the great Jürgen Prochnow? Well, it’s tricky, as it’s only just finished here in England, and many of you may have failed to see it yet, so I’ll try to avoid spoilers, though some may inadvertently slip through the wolfpack net.
At first, I had been afraid it would prove a complete shipwreck of a show, with cod German accents all spoken in English. Fortunately, however, the producers Bavaria Fiction superbly mixed together a triumvirate of German, English, and French, within a completely natural linguistic balancing act. Plus, it became a lot of fun trying to keep up with the rapid colloquial German of the unwashed greasy crew of U-612. The producers certainly did do a good job of portraying the grimy life of fifty men inside an iron coffin, ten weeks at sea, without a single shower curtain between them, doused in the filth of what this must have been like.
But if I must avoid the plot, let’s talk instead about the major characters. First of all, just as the movie got completely upstaged by the drunkenly deranged Kapitän-Leutnant Philipp Thomsen, this TV series got completely devoured by the early and then late lunatic appearance of the bloodthirsty Korvetten-Kapitän Ulrich Wrangel, who’s certain to become a cult classic character. If you’ve ever wanted to see your enemy’s shipping destroyed in suicidal gung ho fashion, then this would be your man of choice to lead the wolves out of their lair.