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Tatort: Weimar is the latest series from the long-running “Tatort” franchise to be shown on this side of the Atlantic — starting tomorrow — and it is well worth a watch.

Tatort: Weimar
Tatort: Weimar: Christian Ulmen as Lessing and Nora Tschirner as Kira Dorn — Photo: MDR / Andreas Wünschirs, courtesy of MHz Choice

Tatort: Weimar joins the list of “Tatort” series that have been made available in the US and Canada over the past ten years, including the ones set in Berlin (Tatort: Streets of Berlin), Cologne (Tatort: Cologne), Hamburg (Cenk Batu, Inspector Falke), Kiel (Tatort: Borowski), Lower Saxony (Tatort: Lindholm), Munich (Tatort: Munich), and Vienna (Murders in Vienna).

As with the other localized “Tatort” titles, Tatort: Weimar follows a pair of detectives — here they are the intellectual and dry-witted Lessing (Christian Ulmen, Berlin Blues) and the instinctive and action-oriented Kira Dorn (Nora Tschirner, The Mopes) — as they tackle criminal cases in Germany’s historic city of Weimar.

In the series opener, “The Big Hoppe” (“Die fette Hoppe”), Lessing arrives in Weimar from Hamburg and throws himself into the deep end on his first day on the job. His new boss, Kurt Stich (Thorsten Merten, Babylon Berlin), is directing an operation with members of the SWAT team, and Lessing immediately volunteers to do the exchange with the hostage-taker — and discovers the true nature of the incident.

Soon thereafter, Lessing and his very pregnant partner, Kira Dorn, begin an investigation into the seeming disappearance of Brigitte Hoppe, the “Sausage Queen of Weimar.” The businesswoman’s car was found parked illegally, with her purse still inside and a lot of blood in the trunk, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything untoward has happened, as Brigitte is both a butcher and a hunter. (She also watches Tatort!) Then her son, Sigmar (Stephan Grossmann, The Weissensee Saga), gets a call from someone demanding a ransom. Brigitte has been kidnapped!

In the end, Kira and Lessing nab the culprits; to say any more would spoil the story.

“The Big Hoppe” is a cleverly-crafted mystery, light and fun with red herrings and humorous bits sprinkled throughout. I laughed out loud several times, prompted by funny scenes and dialogue. And I give Lessing and Dorn two thumbs up; they’re likable characters with a secret between them, who make an easygoing and effective detective duo.

Costars in the series include Wolfgang M. Bauer (Welcome to Hindafing) and Ute Wieckhorst (Castle Einstein), with Dominique Horwitz (Anne Frank: The Whole Story), Klara Deutschmann (Charité), Palina Rojinski (Welcome to Germany), and Ramona Kunze-Libnow (Wolfsland) featuring in the episode.

Tatort: Weimar premieres in the US and Canada with “The Big Hoppe” tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24, exclusively on MHz Choice and its digital channels, including MHz Choice on Amazon Channels.


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Euro TV to Watch: Light German Mystery-Crime Drama Series ‘Tatort: Weimar’
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