How to write a Cobra 11 episode

2y ago


I present my guide to writing an Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei episode. This is not my dissing the show. I love the fact there is a formula, and apparently so do a lot of Germans, which explains why it’s been on since 1996 and is sold in over two dozen countries. About the only major language it is not dubbed in to is English, yet it surpasses most actioners made in the Anglosphere. As a matter of fact, I dislike it when they depart from the formula because it’s become a comfortable old friend since I began watching the show in the early 2000s (and have had to catch up on the 1990s’ ones). If I don’t get my three car chases per episode, I get moody.

In episodes where they focus on a particular character, then put his or her name in instead of ‘Semir and Paul’.

I have used the word ‘Paul’ for Semir’s sidekick below to remain current, though if you look back, these comments could apply to Frank, André, Jan, Tom, Chris, Ben or Alex. You could also use Frank and Ingo, though for the first two episodes, the formula hadn’t been established yet. Susanne could be Regina, Andrea or Petra in earlier episodes; Kim could be Anna or Katharina; Jenny and Finn could be either Hotte or Dieter or both.

Semir and Paul are chilling out / driving / at a roadside shop / getting petrol / getting food

Semir and Paul witness a murder / are overtaken by crooks / receive an emergency call / see something unusual

Semir and Paul give chase

Crooks kill someone / destroy an innocent party’s car

Semir and Paul have to stop due to crashed cars / crashing their own car / rendering assistance to motorists / someone having been injured or killed

Crooks get away

Opening titles: Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn, etc.

Squad investigates clue left behind / murder victim / number plate

Kim briefs Semir and Paul, or Semir and Paul just go about their investigation anyway

Semir and Paul consult Susanne / Hartmut / Jenny / Finn / other Autobahnpolizei officers

Semir and Paul follow the clue / get a call and get to the crooks’ first hideout / location of registered car / murder victim’s home

Crooks are there, covering up / hiding / stealing stuff

Semir and Paul give chase in town / on the Autobahn

Semir and Paul lose the crooks in a funny way / in a serious way / in a way that involves someone flipping the bird

At the scene, Semir and Paul / Jenny / Finn find more clues from the crooks / from the victim

Hartmut analyses the clues

At the station, Kim, Semir and Paul figure out what the crooks / the victim were / was planning

Kim / Semir and Paul / Susanne / Jenny figures out where the crooks / the victim were / was planning their / his / her robbery / conspiracy / releasing a bomb / releasing chemicals / kidnapping / other crime

Crooks are carrying out their plan

Semir and Paul rush there

Crooks get in to their vehicle(s) and head to the Autobahn / country lane / forest

Semir and Paul give chase by car together / are separated and one takes a car and the other takes a helicopter / motorcycle / jeep / truck / horse / jumps on to the crooks’ remaining vehicle to have a fight

Semir and Paul catch the crooks

Semir and Paul make some funny comments regardless of who is there

End credits


Originally appeared in my blog in 2010, in an older version:

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