Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden Images in the Media - Part 3: Tatort 'Der Name der Orchidee' (2005)

Tatort or "Crime Scene" (see the English-language Wikipedia entry here and the show's German website here) is a German-language crime show that has been running since 1970. The series has a number of unusual features. For one thing, it is not just set in one city - or country - but rotates between a number of cities in the German-speaking world, including at least one in most German states as well as the Austrian capital of Vienna and different cities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Each location has its own recurring set of detectives and other characters, such as pathologists and prosecutors, and also often a distinct style, with some cities producing more light-hearted and humorous episodes while others tend to a darker or more violent tone. Another difference from most other crime shows is the length of the episodes: each is about 90 minutes, the length of a regular movie. In its long history, the series' over 800 episodes have touched on many subjects, including horticultural ones. A 2005 episode set in the Lake Constance region of the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg - my home state! - bears the title 'Der Name der Orchidee' or "The Name of the Orchid" and is set in part on the Insel Mainau, a famous  horticultural park and botanic garden set on an island in the lake. It revolves around a murder in the milieu of orchid enthusiasts:

Many - though by far not all - of the orchids shown are obviously artificial and I am not sure how to feel about the fact that most of the orchid specialist characters are portrayed as arrogant maniacs. Even so, it is interesting to see where the world of botany and horticulture in general take people's imagination. Unfortunately I could not find a subtitled version of the episode, so this requires German.


  1. I will have to check this out - thanks for writing about it.

  2. How interesting that the orchid specialists are shown in such an unfavourable light. We gardeners like to think we are always on the side of the angels! I wish my schoolgirl German was not quite so rusty....


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