Extra auf Deutsch
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.
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 . 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.
Each episode has an 'official' English title which is not necessarily a direct translation of the German.
|1.||Sams Ankunft||The Arrival of Sam||8 Feb 2002|
|2.||Sam geht einkaufen||Sam Goes Shopping||22 Feb 2002|
|3.||Sam hat ein Date||Sam Goes Dating||1 Mar 2002|
|4.||Sam sucht einen Job||Sam Finds a Job||8 Mar 2002|
|5.||Ein Star ist geboren||A Star is Born||28 Feb 2003|
|6.||Lotto-Tag||Sacha Wins the Lottery||7 Mar 2003|
|7.||Der Zwilling||The Twin||12 Mar 2003*|
|8.||Die Kusine der Vermieterin||The Landlady's Cousin||12 Mar 2003*|
|9.||Jobs für Nic und Sam||Jobs for the Boys||6 Nov 2003|
|10.||Anna Demonstriert||Anna Protests||13 Nov 2003|
|11.||Ferienzeit||Holiday Time||20 Nov 2003|
|12.||Verrückt nach Fußball||Football Crazy||27 Nov 2003|
|13.||Hochzeitspläne||A Wedding in the Air||4 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.
|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|
|With||William Lugwig as Stefan (episode 4)|
Sinta Soekadar as Edeltraut Berg (episode 8)
|Set design||Red Rhino|
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.
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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