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started21st Apr 1998
ended19th May 1998
last rpt1st Jun 2007
10 school years
duration20 mins
age rangeAge 14-16Age 13-16
languagedeIn German

BBC TV GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Hallo aus Berlin Next series: D-Mag HierarchyNext.gif

Susanne is a German-language BBC schools TV series from the 1990s and 2000s, covering German Language for secondary school pupils.

A drama serial entirely in German, about the family and friends of a German teenager working together to restore an old 'folkboat' for a sailing regatta, and getting to know each other better as they do so.

Aboard Susanne

This was the first and only live action, German language drama serial for schools produced by the BBC, despite numerous attempts to use a drama serial to promote the French language starting in the 1960s with La Chasse au Trésor and including the contemporaneous 1990s series Clémentine.

A co-production with the Goethe-Institut in Germany, this series was distributed elsewhere in the world by Goethe-Institut in ten 10-minute episodes rather than the BBC's format of five 20-minute episodes.

The Story

German teenager Thomas discovers that his grandfather Hans has an old 1960s sailing boat 'Susanne', named for his late grandmother but unusued for years. Hans gives the boat to Thomas, but to repair and sail it would cost a lot of money.

Thomas and his school friends Andi and Monika meet Kathrin, another local teenager, and together they seek ways to raise money to restore the boat. They start a bicycle courier service, but this doesn't last when Thomas is distracted by an argument between his crush Kathrin and her rich boyfriend Peter, and writes off his bike in a crash.

Kathrin and Thomas

The friends come up with more schemes to raise money, selling rare items from the boathouse and organising a 1960s theme party, but there are also setbacks as Andi is told to focus on his school work and getting selected for the football team, and the others start to fall out with each other. Finally Peter challenges Thomas and 'Susanne' to a race against his own expensive sailing boat.


The story is set between the city of Hamburg Violet-marker.png where the main characters go to school, and the nearby town of Zarrentin Violet-marker.png where Thomas's grandfather lives.

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Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. Folge 1 #1998-04-21-00-00-0021 Apr 1998
2. Folge 2 #1998-04-28-00-00-0028 Apr 1998
3. Folge 3 #1998-05-05-00-00-005 May 1998
4. Folge 4 #1998-05-12-00-00-0012 May 1998
5. Folge 5 #1998-05-19-00-00-0019 May 1998


Year Term Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1997-98 Summer 1998 Tuesday, 9:10am BBC2
1998-99 Summer 1999 Thursday, 11:50am BBC2
1999-2000 Spring 2000 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2000-01 Spring 2001 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2001-02 Summer 2002 Saturday, 3:00am+ BBC2
2002-03 Autumn 2002 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2003-04 Autumn 2003 Wednesday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2004-05 Autumn 2004 Friday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2005-06 Autumn 2005 Friday, 2:00am+ BBC2
2006-07 Summer 2007 Friday, 2:00am+ BBC2


Starring Christian Hockenbrink as Thomas Brendler

Eva Kryll as Sonja Brendler
Wiebke Kolba as Kathrin
Fabio Menendez as Andi
Sonja Stein as Monika
Gerd Hartig as Hans

With Carsten Spengemann as Peter

David C. Bunners as Herr Hoffmann
Uwe Ebert as Herr Zickler (episode 2)
Unal Gumus as Herr Kaner (episodes 3 & 5)

Written by Michael Cook
Consultants Steven Fawkes
Yolanda Schwager
Karl Pfeiffer
Music Sandy Nuttgens
Editor Jake Bernard
Design Peter Findley , Paddy Lea
Producers for Goethe-Institut Volker Hartmann
Hans-Ludwig Bauer
Roland Dittrich
Director Gareth Davies
Producer Susan Paton


There was a teacher's booklet and a video of the series available from the BBC.

Other printed resources were produced by Goethe-Institut for distribution elsewhere in the world but not in the UK.



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(actually a fund-raising party)


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