a strong team

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Television series
A strong team Logo.png
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) since 1994
length 90 minutes
Episodes 81+ ( list )
genre Detective film
production UFA television production
(now UFA Fiction )
First broadcast March 28, 1994 on ZDF

A strong team is a crime film series that has been produced by ZDF since March 1994 - with 81 episodes broadcast to date . Florian Martens has since acted as East German detective chief inspector Otto Garber in the male lead, his play partner was Maja Maranow in the role of West German detective chief inspector Verena Berthold until her death in early 2016 . In 2016 Stefanie Stappenbeck took over as Chief Detective Inspector Linett Wachow, the role of partner at Martens' side. Every year around three new episodes are shown on a Saturday evening at prime time .

Directed led so far among other Konrad Sabrautzky , Peter F. Bringmann , Johannes Grieser , Maris Pfeiffer , Thorsten Näter , Roland Suso Richter and Martin Kinkel . The scripts were written by Leo P. Ard , Birgit Grosz , Eva and Volker A. Zahn .

Background information

In 1993 ZDF planned a crime comedy with Maja Maranow in the lead role, for which the male lead had to be cast. Florian Martens was among the guests at the opening ceremony of actor André Hennicke's pub . During the celebration he got into conversation with the director Konrad Sabrautzky , who was responsible for the crime comedy Mixed Doubles . It wasn't until the next day that Martens realized why Maja Maranov, who was also present, had kept looking over at him. He received a call from his agent, who informed him that he would get the role at Maja Maranov's side in the new ZDF series A strong team, because Sabrautzky and Maranow had positively received him.

After the broadcast as Monday movie pilot Mixed doubles had a high spectator interest in March 1994, were the two main actors Maja Maranow and Florian Martens Kriminalkommissare Verena Berthold and Otto Garber more cases turned and the turn came under the title A strong team on the time slot of the Saturday thrillers. Jaecki Schwarz has also played the role of the former police officer Sputnik since the first case . Since the sixth case, which was first broadcast in 1997, Arnfried Lerche has played the detective Lothar Reddemann , the superior of the two inspectors.

In episode 56, The Friend's Wife , Maja Maranow alias Verena Berthold took a one-off stay because she made a long trip to the USA at the beginning of 2013 , which collided with the filming and therefore attended further training according to the script. Otto Garber therefore had to investigate together with Commissioner Katharina Dammers ( Ulrike Krumbiegel ), who was already known to him from earlier times .

In the summer of 2015, Maja Maranow announced her departure from the series. She died on January 4, 2016 at the age of 54, a few days before the last episode with her as Commissioner Berthold, Burst Dreams , was broadcast. As her successor, Stefanie Stappenbeck as Commissioner Linett Wachow was determined before her death .

In the meantime, Irm Hermann as SEK director Daniela Heitberg (in episode 5), Leonard Lansink as chief detective Georg Scholz (in episode 29 ), Tayfun Bademsoy as chief detective Yüksel Yüsgüler (film death in episode 43 ) and Robert Seethaler as forensic doctor Dr. Armin Kneissler . In the 70th episode driven hunt , Kai Lentrodt ( Benedikt Kolberg ) said goodbye at his own request after twelve years. In the episode he starts with the sailing ship on a circumnavigation of the world. Starting in episode 72, Matthi Faust has taken over the vacant position of chief detective under the role name Sebastian Klöckner.

The team

Otto Garber

Otto Garber was with the People's Police in East Berlin during the GDR era , was taken on as a detective commissioner after the fall of the Wall and now works for a special unit of the Berlin criminal police . The grumpy Berliner is divorced and meets his new West German colleague Verena Berthold for the first time in 1994, with whom conflicts often arise in the first few years due to the different origins and working methods. Otto Garber very often wears a knitted hat.

Verena Berthold, until 2016

Verena Berthold comes from the West Berlin district of Zehlendorf and in 1994 received the former police officer Otto Garber as a partner, with whom she was initially unable to work well. The daughter of a judge originally studied law and only found the police force after a relative died drugged. In 2016 she emigrated to Australia .

Linett Wachow, since 2016

Linett Wachow was transferred from Schwerin to Berlin in 2016 and succeeds Verena Berthold. Like Otto Garber, she comes from the GDR, which connects the two with one another, but does not play an essential role in the further course.


A running gag of the crime series has been Otto's former Volkspolizei colleague Sputnik ( Jaecki Schwarz ), who has a new job in each episode and supports the "strong team" with schnapps, ironic remarks or, if necessary, with advice and action. Sputnik was u. a. Operator of currywurst stalls, owner of a sushi bar, leaseholder of the police canteen , organizer of tourist pub crawls , host of a “ Ostalgie ” corner bar, cook of a French gourmet temple, owner of a mini golf course, debt counselor, partner broker, operator of a Kettcar track, fee -Germany.

Lothar Reddemann, since 1997

Detective Lothar Reddemann has been the superior of the "strong team" since the Mordlust case, which was first broadcast in September 1997 . Reddemann attaches great importance to conventional police work and issues a complaint to anyone who goes unconventional ways. He keeps telling his colleagues jokes, often flat jokes , to which the team rarely reacts. He is also particularly friendly towards young women and over the years has gone out with suspects, witnesses and colleagues privately, asking, among other things, whether they would like to eat something with him. In episode 52, One Dead Too Many, he fulfills the wish of an important witness Tatjana Pavlowa for a residence permit by spontaneously marrying her.


actor Role name position Episodes Period
Florian Martens Otto Garber Chief detective 1- since 1994
Maja Maranow Verena Berthold Chief Detective Officer 1–64, except 56 1994-2016
Stefanie Stappenbeck Linett Wachow Chief Detective Officer 65– since 2016
Jaecki Schwarz sputnik former People's Policeman 1- since 1994
Arnfried Lerche Lothar Reddemann Detective 6– since 1997
Tayfun Bademsoy Yüksel Yüsguler Chief detective 1-43 1994-2009
Leonard Lansink Georg Scholz Chief detective 1-29 1994-2005
Karin Baal Daniela Heitberg SEK leader 1 1994
Irm Hermann 2-5 1995-1996
Maximilian Wigger Axel Chief detective 1-12 1994-1999
Robert Seethaler Dr. Armin Kneissler Coroner 25-66 2003-2016
Kai Lentrodt Benedict 'Ben' Kolberg Detective chief inspector 30-70 2005-2017
Matthi Faust Sebastian Kloeckner Detective chief inspector 71– since 2017
Eva Sixt Dr. Gabriele Simkeit Forensic doctor 76– since 2018

Guest actor

Over the years, many well-known actors from German-language films have appeared in the series , including Heino Ferch , Edgar Selge , Tilo Prückner , Hans Peter Hallwachs , Ingo Naujoks , Eleonore Weisgerber , Armin Rohde and Saskia Vester . Some of them even repeatedly took on guest roles, such as Walter Kreye , Heikko Deutschmann , Jürgen Tarrach , Michael Mendl , Isabell Gerschke , Annika Blendl , Katja Flint , Ann-Kathrin Kramer , Andreas Schmidt-Schaller , Wotan Wilke Möhring or Johanna Gastdorf .

Two guest appearances

Three and more guest appearances

Episode list


Harald Keller noted in the Frankfurter Rundschau in 2017 that the special features of the series had increasingly faded into the background over the course of the 23 years. At the beginning, the main roles had “carefully worked out, contrasting biographies, with a gradual rapprochement between the gruff ex-GDR police officer Garber and the West German intellectual Berthold”. Today only viewers who “have watched the series for years know about these peculiarities. If you watch the more recent episodes without prior knowledge, you will experience sympathetic, but historically-free characters in routine, but uninspired, everyday crime novels. "

DVD publications

release date DVD title distribution consequences
September 10, 2010 A strong team, Volume 1 Universum Film GmbH 10, 12, 16 and 17
February 18, 2011 A strong team, Volume 2 Universum Film GmbH 18, 20, 22 and 24
May 6, 2011 A strong team, Volume 3 Universum Film GmbH 25, 27, 28 and 29
June 21, 2019 A strong team, Box 12 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 71 to 76
26th July 2019 A strong team, Box 11 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 65 to 70
September 27, 2019 A strong team, Box 1 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 1 to 8
October 25, 2019 A strong team, Box 2 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 9 to 16
December 13, 2019 A strong team, Box 9 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 53 to 58
February 21, 2020 A strong team, Box 8 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 47 to 52
March 27, 2020 A strong team, Box 3 Studio Hamburg Enterprises 17 to 22

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Tilmann Gangloff: Florian Martens from “A strong team”: There used to be more life in it Online edition of the Stuttgarter Zeitung from March 14, 2019; accessed on November 29, 2019.
  2. A strong team: The friend's wife at focus.de, accessed on May 8, 2017.
  3. Actress Maja Maranow is dead in sz.de on January 8, 2016
  4. Kai Lentrodt leaves "A strong team" on Abendblatt.de on March 21, 2017
  5. Verena and Otto ( Memento of the original from August 23, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on zdf.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.zdf.de
  6. "A strong team" is one heart and one soul on tagesspiegel.de from March 12, 2016
  7. The troop shrinks to fr.de from March 25, 2017