Extra auf Deutsch

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started8th Feb 2002
ended4th Dec 2003
last rpt13th Nov 2007
7 school years
duration25 mins
age rangeAge 14-19Age 13-16 & Age 16-19
languagedeIn German

ITV/C4 GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Turbo Next series: Märchen und GeschichtenHierarchyNext.gif

Extra auf Deutsch is a German-language Channel 4 schools TV series from the 2000s, covering German language for secondary school and further education students.

A fully-fledged sitcom to support German language learning, one of several language editions of Extra using similar scripts and characters.

Young American adult Sam Scott reconnects with his teenage German penpal Sacha and although he has a very limited grasp of German he moves into the apartment she shares with her friend Anna, where he becomes involved in the escapades of the young Germans and their neighbour Nic.

Sacha and Anna

The series has all the tropes of a popular sitcom, stylistically modelled on the American sitcom Friends which was immensely popular at the time, and using canned laughter throughout, slow motion and freeze frames to emphasise events. Episode plots are full of misunderstandings, love triangles and developing relationships.

The sitcom format also provides opportunities for repetition and recaps of events that make new vocabulary understandable and enjoyable even to beginners. Characters frequently write out emails on their computer, and their text messages and even phone calls to each other are transcribed for viewers to read from the screen.

Sam's struggles to learn the language form the basis of comic plots as he makes mistakes or is misled by other characters, and he occasionally reverts to English when talking to his family privately.

The different language editions, including Extra en Français and Extra en Español, follow the same plots with different characters and locations for the different languages - here in the German edition they live in Berlin Yellow-marker.png . Dutch actor Lawrence Ray plays the American Sam in all three series, and his mother who appears in the final episode is also played by the same actress throughout.

The Extra series were one of the last great successes of schools broadcasting, proving very popular with teachers and pupils for years and sold widely on DVD after TV transmissions ended. Originally conceived as a huge two-year project to make 8 episodes (24 across the three languages), it was soon expanded further to produce a total of 13 episodes (39 across the three languages), an enormous commitment to a scripted schools programme in the 21st century. Later an English-language version with different actors was made for other countries but not shown in the UK.

Episode List

Each episode has an 'official' English title which is not necessarily a direct translation of the German.

# Title English title Broadcast
Extra 1
1. Sams Ankunft The Arrival of Sam #2002-02-08-00-00-008 Feb 2002
2. Sam geht einkaufen Sam Goes Shopping #2002-02-22-00-00-0022 Feb 2002
3. Sam hat ein Date Sam Goes Dating #2002-03-01-00-00-001 Mar 2002
4. Sam sucht einen Job Sam Finds a Job #2002-03-08-00-00-008 Mar 2002
Extra 2
5. Ein Star ist geboren A Star is Born #2003-02-28-00-00-0028 Feb 2003
6. Lotto-Tag Sacha Wins the Lottery #2003-03-07-00-00-007 Mar 2003
7. Der Zwilling The Twin #2003-03-12-00-00-0012 Mar 2003*
8. Die Kusine der Vermieterin The Landlady's Cousin #2003-03-12-00-00-0012 Mar 2003*
Extra 3
9. Jobs für Nic und Sam Jobs for the Boys #2003-11-06-00-00-006 Nov 2003
10. Anna Demonstriert Anna Protests #2003-11-13-00-00-0013 Nov 2003
11. Ferienzeit Holiday Time #2003-11-20-00-00-0020 Nov 2003
12. Verrückt nach Fußball Football Crazy #2003-11-27-00-00-0027 Nov 2003
13. Hochzeitspläne A Wedding in the Air #2003-12-04-00-00-004 Dec 2003

* - All of Extra 2 was broadcast on the morning of Wednesday 12th March 2003 between 4am and 5:40am for easy recording, and this represented the first TV transmissions of episodes 7 & 8. They also continued to be broadcast in their weekly Friday morning slot on 14th & 21st March 2003.


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
2001-02 Spring 2002 Friday, 10:35am Channel 4 Also Tue 19th March, 4:00am+
2002-03 Spring 2003 Monday, 11:25am Friday, 10:35am Channel 4 Also Tue 11th & Wed 12th March, 4:00am+
2003-04 Autumn 2003 Thursday, 10:10 & 10:35am Channel 4
Spring 2004 Friday, 9:55am Channel 4 26th March, episode 1 only
2004-05 Autumn 2004 Tuesday, 4:00am Wednesday, 4:00am Channel 4
Spring 2005 Wednesday, 5:35am Channel 4
2005-06 Autumn 2005 Tuesday, 5:35am Channel 4
2006-07 Autumn 2006 Wednesday, 4:00am+ Channel 4 22nd November
2007-08 Autumn 2007 Tuesday, 4:00am Wednesday, 4:25am+ Channel 4 Wed 7th & Tue 13th November


Starring Lawrence Ray as Sam Scott

Leontine Hass as Sascha
Britta Becker as Anna
Frank Brunet as Nic

With William Lugwig as Stefan (episode 4)

Sinta Soekadar as Edeltraut Berg (episode 8)
Ivana Ostrowski as Barbarella (episodes 9, 10 & 13)
Kirsty McLaren as Siggy (episode 10)
Gillian Hardie as waitress (episode 11)
Spencer Brown as Toby (episodes 11 & 12)
Olly Wietzel as Mrs Scott (episode 13)

Narrator Frank Brunet
Music Damian Evans
Set design Red Rhino
Graphics Studio Tonne
Online Post Production (Extra 2)
Adviser Ian Brown (Extra 1)
John Wright (Extra 2 & 3)
German consultant Michaela Jung (Extra 1 & 3)
Silke Schönbuchner (Extra 2)
Education officer Mary Ellwood
Anneli McLachlan (Extra 1)
Executive producer Andrew Bethell
Director Peter Eyre (Extra 1 & 2)
Louise Clover (Extra 3)
Writer and producer Louise Clover


Videos and DVDs

Each of the three individual units was released on a separate VHS tape. Later around 2006 the whole series of 13 episodes was issued on DVD for schools.

Extra 1 video


A series of CD-ROMs was released for PC and Mac, initially billed as TV-ROMs because they used clips from the TV series. Three Extra auf Deutsch CD-ROMs were issued, each featuring clips and activities from 2 of the episodes in the relevant unit of programmes, with subtitles in German and English.

The clips include a 'karaoke' mode where one of the characters would be silenced in a scene, and the viewing pupils could provide the missing words themselves.


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