ZDF has had its “dream ship” for more than 40 years, and now RTL is putting to sea with its own steamer. There is a little more drama compared to the classic – but less dessert.
Munich – A big ship, drama on the high seas – and then the redeeming dessert is missing: The new RTL series “Der Schiffsarzt” puts the viewing habits of fans of cruise series to the test. Because where the sparklers on the dessert table in the ZDF classic are the unmistakable sign that the happy ending has happened, RTL actually expects its viewers to be something like suspense at the end of each episode, even small cliffhangers.
But that’s basically what they are, the essential points that distinguish the “dream ship” from the new series, if you disregard the somewhat less exotic travel destinations (Spain instead of Mauritius). The “Schiffsarzt”, which has been on the RTL + streaming service since the summer and has its free TV premiere this Tuesday (8:15 p.m.), is also about large and small human dramas – and a man who always makes the day saves.
Complicated operations at sea
If that has been the captain on the “dream ship” for 40 years (currently Florian Silbereisen as Max Parger), the rescuer role on the RTL steamer comes to the title role: Moritz Otto as Dr. Eric Leonard. He performs complicated operations on the high seas so that a dancer can finally hear again, saves the life of a boy with heart disease, treats a widow who suppresses the death of her husband so much that she completely forgot that she had a family – and keeps watch Night after night at his patient’s bedside.
His counterpart or sidekick is – RTL is very progressive here – a captain: Anna Puck as Henriette Mosbach seems more and more taken with the attractive doctor and greets the new colleague with a borderline intrusive comment about his appearance (“Finally an application photo that the corresponds to reality.”) – only to later complain about how her friend and ship’s waiter Joshua Bender (Frédéric Brossier) later describes the new medic: “Weird, but sexy – which is a relevant criterion for a doctor.”
Flashbacks show past happiness
Strange in this context refers above all to the fact that Eric, the ship’s doctor, is surrounded by a distinctive melancholy note. The viewer quickly finds out why this is so: His wife – then six months pregnant – has disappeared (almost) without a trace for almost a year. She wanted to travel to her sister, but never got there.
And since then Dr. Eric Leonard after her and their son. A photo showing the missing woman on the deck of the cruise ship was leaked to a private detective whom he hired. That’s why the doctor hired there. Flashbacks reveal the past happiness of the couple and the family-to-be. With all the melancholy, such a pudding with sparklers would be really inappropriate. dpa