Wir Waren Vier

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companyATV
started21st Sep 1964
ended14th Jun 1965
last rpt26th May 1967
3 school years
episodes26
duration20 mins
age range4th & 5th FormsAge 13-16
languagedeIn German
ITV/C4 GermanHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious series: Auf Deutsch Next series: Karl und Christa HierarchyNext.gif

Wir Waren Vier is a German-language ITV schools TV series from the 1960s, covering German Language for secondary school pupils.

The everyday adventures of a group of four German friends, told entirely in conversational German to give viewers a taste of the sound and flow of the language, even if they can't catch every word.

The four friends of the title (Wir Waren Vier - We Were Four) are all around 18 years old - Antje celebrates her 18th birthday during the spring term and then prepares to take her driving test. She works in a flower shop and likes the latest trends, dances, and anything American. Her parents live in East Berlin and she is out of touch with them.

Manfred works in his father's garage and dreams of owning a sports car.

Ulrike is a sensible organiser, from Düsseldorf, who works as a secretary to the pompous Herr Bressler in an import-export company.

Günther works as an apprentice bank clerk, loves poetry, and comes across so seriously that his friends call him Herr Professor.

Antje, Manfred, Ulrike & Günther

Antje and Ulrike live together in a flat in Bonn Yellow-marker.png where the friends hang out together.

Peripheral characters who appear from episode to episode are generally played by one of two recurring actors. Gordon Sterne plays Ulrike's boss Herr Bressler and reappears as a caretaker, a police officer, the conductor of the Cologne Symphony Orchestra, and later Ulrike's uncle Georg from America.

Meanwhile Michael Wolf appears as various different waiters and another police officer. Other recurring characters are a pair of schoolchildren, Ingrid and Helmut, who meet Günther at the railway station and later come to Antje's birthday party.

Throughout the series the four go on a winter holiday together to Innsbruck, from which Manfred returns on crutches, and rehearse a performance of Minna von Barnhelm by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

This series was the second attempt at supporting German school lessons on British television, after ATV's earlier interview series Auf Deutsch. After a couple of years there was one further attempt at supporting German through drama in the 1960s with Karl und Christa before British television left the subject alone for a decade.


Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. Die Neue Wohnung #1964-09-21-00-00-0021 Sep 1964
2. Die Mädchen wollen einladen #1964-09-28-00-00-0028 Sep 1964
3. Freunde bringen Freude #1964-10-05-00-00-005 Oct 1964
4. Im Restaurant #1964-10-12-00-00-0012 Oct 1964
5. Vier Spielen Skat #1964-10-19-00-00-0019 Oct 1964
6. Alter guten Dinge sind Drei #1964-10-26-00-00-0026 Oct 1964
7. Russische Eier #1964-11-09-00-00-009 Nov 1964
8. Das Geld der Welt #1964-11-16-00-00-0016 Nov 1964
9. Ulrike im Büro #1964-11-23-00-00-0023 Nov 1964
10. Weihnachten steht vor der Tür #1964-11-30-00-00-0030 Nov 1964
11. Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen! #1965-01-18-00-00-0018 Jan 1965
12. Manfred im Krankenhaus #1965-01-25-00-00-0025 Jan 1965
13. Der Onkel aus Amerika #1965-02-01-00-00-001 Feb 1965
14. 'Mathematik schwach' #1965-02-08-00-00-008 Feb 1965
15. Hals und Beinbruch! #1965-02-15-00-00-0015 Feb 1965
16. Antje hat Geburtstag #1965-03-01-00-00-001 Mar 1965
17. Karneval #1965-03-08-00-00-008 Mar 1965
18. Die Probe #1965-03-15-00-00-0015 Mar 1965*
19. Leib' und Leid #1965-03-22-00-00-0022 Mar 1965
20. Katastrophe in der Küche #1965-03-29-00-00-0029 Mar 1965
21. Die Jungen sehen fern #1965-05-03-00-00-003 May 1965*
22. Günthers Geheimnis #1965-05-10-00-00-0010 May 1965
23. Prüfungsproblemes #1965-05-17-00-00-0017 May 1965
24. Wir wollen wandern #1965-05-24-00-00-0024 May 1965
25. Manfred und die neue Welt #1965-05-31-00-00-0031 May 1965
26. Wir nehmen Abschied #1965-06-14-00-00-0014 Jun 1965


* - Die Probe was previewed as part of an Out of School programme on Thursday 31 December 1964 at 14:05 on ITV

* - Die Jungen sehen fern was previewed as part of an Out of Schools programme on Tuesday 20 April 1965 at 10:50 on ITV


Broadcasts

Year Term Day Time Day Time Day Time Channel Details
1964-65 Autumn 1964, Spring & Summer 1965 Mon 11:30 Wed 13:40 Fri 11:35 ITV Mon & Wed in ATV region only
1966-67 Autumn 1966, Spring & Summer 1967 Mon 14:25 Thu 14:40 Fri 11:30 ITV Thu & Fri in ATV region only


Credits

Starring Maria Warburg as Ulrike Hoffmann

Renate Kasche as Antje Seiler
Bernd Kummer as Manfred Brucker
Nicky Beaumont as Günther Edelmann

With Gordon Sterne as Herr Brauer, Herr Bressler, Wachtmeister Vollmar, Herr Doktor Mayer, Onkel Georg and others

Michael Wolf as Herr Walter Wilde, Herr Gerlach, Paul Förster and others
Martina Mayne as Fräulein Claudia Delara
Donata Höffer as Ingrid Linke
Andreas Mattishent as Helmut Hasenbeck

Programme adviser Mary Glasgow
Writer Kenneth S. Whitton
Director Victor Rudolf
Producer Donald Carter


Resources

Book 1

As well as termly teacher's notes, two children's books based on some of the episodes were published by the company owned by the series adviser Mary Glasgow for sale to a general audience.


Links

Related programmes


Sources & References

  • Birmingham Post television listings, 1964-67.
  • ITV Schools Annual Programme Guides 1966-67 (Granada edition).
  • TV Times television listings, 1964-67.
  • Wir Waren Vier teacher's notes, summer 1965.

With thanks to Trevor Wells and Roddy Buxton.



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