Two German ‘Masterpieces’

The Nordic Murders and The Master Butcher will debut this month on Amazon Prime’s add-on channel PBS Masterpiece.

The Nordic Murders

Fans of Scandi-Noir may be drawn to The Nordic Murders, a crime series coming this Friday, January 8. The Nordic Murders, though, is a German series set on Usedom, an island that Germany shares with Poland off its northern coast.

Indeed, the show’s title on Germany’s Das Erste channel is Der Usedom-Krimi, which translates to The Usedom Crime Thriller. That was changed to Baltic Crimes for France and other countries, which makes sense because Usedom is in the Baltic Sea. It received its latest title, The Nordic Murders, for the UK and U.S., which makes sense…because the Baltic Sea also borders Scandinavia?

The Nordic Murders, Walter Presents, PBS Masterpiece
(Saß and Potthoff in ‘The Nordic Murders,’ source IMDb)

The plot: a former district attorney (Katrin Saß), just released from prison after serving a six-year sentence for shooting her husband, teams up with her estranged daughter (Lisa Maria Potthoff), a Detective Chief Inspector, to investigate criminal cases on the island.

PBS Masterpiece will debut five episodes of the series. It’s been running since 2014 in Germany, and has so far aired 13 episodes per IMDb, or 10 episodes, per Wikipedia.

The Master Butcher

The Master Butcher, coming on Friday, January 29, is also from Germany, but takes place largely in the United States. Based on Louise Erdrich’s 2013 American novel, The Master Butchers Singing Club, the adaptation ran in two parts (as Der Club der singenden Metzger) on Germany’s ARD in 2019, but will run as four episodes here in the U.S.

'The Master Butcher,' Walter Presents, PBS Masterpiece
(‘The Master Butcher,’ source IMDb)

The plot: after World War I, a German butcher and former military sniper (Jonas Nay, Deutschland) moves himself, his wife (Leonie Benesch) and child to North Dakota. There, they befriend a circus performer (Aylin Tezel), her clown father (Sylvester Groth) and a Native American acrobat (Vladimir Korneev). But they struggle to acclimate as “many unexpected events occur, necessitating their plans and their lives to drastically adapt.”

How to stream the two shows

Both The Nordic Murders and The Master Butcher are part of PBS Masterpiece’s Walter Presents umbrella of international dramas.

Amazon Prime and Prime Video subscribers can get PBS Masterpiece for an additional $5.99 a month following a seven-day free trial. 

An Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 month/$119 annually and includes the streaming service, free shipping and other benefits. An Amazon Video membership costs $8.99 a month just for the streamer. For more information, visit Amazon.

(Top image: Aylin Tezel in ‘The Master Butcher,’ source Facebook video.)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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