- Netflix found another quality coproduction in Germany’s “Babylon Berlin,” a crime series and binge-worthy period piece.
- The third season has been bought in 35 countries, and will continue streaming in the US on Netflix.
- Set in Berlin, the decadent capital of the 1920s Weimar Republic, the show’s first two seasons are now available on Netflix.
In the wake of its success with the German sci-fi thriller “Dark,” Netflix found another quality coproduction from Germany last year in the 1920s-set crime series “Babylon Berlin” — and it’s coming back for season three.
Netflix will stream the third season in the US, Canada, and Australia, according to Variety. The third season sold in over 35 countries. The season is currently filming until May, and will air on Sky in Germany at the end of 2019 and in the UK and Ireland in 2020. HBO Europe will air the third season in a dozen countries, including Poland and Hungary. Lemon Tree Media bought the rights in China.
This strategy has been typical for Netflix’s international originals. The most prominent examples have been with British series like “The Last Kingdom” and the Golden-Globe nominated “Bodyguard.” Netflix regularly partners with international production companies and TV networks to acquire streaming rights outside of the shows’ respective countries. This builds the show’s popularity and reels in potential subscribers for Netflix as it looks to build its international presence.
Based on the crime novels of the German writer Volker Kutscher, “Babylon Berlin” follows a police detective in the capital of the Weimar Republic — the decadent city of Berlin — before the rise of Nazism.
The show’s first season has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. NPR described the series as exploring “the Weimar era’s raging nightlife, flourishing cabaret scene, and brutal criminal underbelly.”
“In the ’20s, it was really the capital of the world. And nobody really knows about it because, of course, the monstrosity of the Nazi period afterwards is so huge,” the show’s cocreator, Achim von Borries, told NPR last year.
“We had some really famous serial killers, some really ugly crimes that came from Berlin and that created a myth about the darkness and the filthiness of the city,” the writer and director Tom Tykwer added.
Henk Handloegten, one of the show’s creators, told The Wall Street Journal last year that the third season will track through the stock market crash of 1929 and the country’s resulting devastation.
“One of the main reasons to make ‘Babylon Berlin’ was to show how all these Nazis did not just fall from the sky,” he told The Journal. “They were human beings who reacted to German society’s changes and made their decisions accordingly.”
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