Local Colour in German and Danish Television Drama: Tatort and Bron//Broen


  • Susanne Eichner Aarhus University
  • Anne Marit Waade Aarhus University


Television drama, crime series, local colour, places, public broadcasting, regionalism, transnational, global


The impact of place and locality in narrative media can be regarded as seminal for the medium’s function of communicating culture and negotiating societal discourses. As a result of the growing attention in globalisation theory and transnational considerations, space and place have become key issues to understanding the circulation of cultural commodities within an increasingly global and supra-national context. Taking the case of two popular contemporary European crime series, the German series Tatort and the Danish/Swedish series Bron//Broen, our aim is to focus on and carve out local colour as an aesthetic textual strategy, as well as relate it to a production context and to a broader discussion of the region/nation and the transnational/global. We argue that local colour can be located at three different levels: Firstly, on the level of representation as part of an overall narrative and aesthetic strategy that produces structures of appeal for the audiences. Secondly, within the frame of production, public broadcasting service, and policy that stage the general preconditions of cultural products. Thirdly, we regard locality as commodity and cultural consumption (e.g. branding, tourism, investments). Local colour and the representation of places evoke different concepts of imagined communities related to the regional and the national, but also the global and transnational.

Author Biographies

Susanne Eichner, Aarhus University

Susanne Eichner (Dr. phil.) is currently working at Aarhus University, Dept. of Aesthetics and Communication – Media Studies, where she participates in a research project on the international success of Danish television drama series. She holds a PhD (Dr. phil.) from the Filmuniversity Potsdam-Babelsberg, where she worked for ten years. In 2013 her academic journey took her to the University of Bayreuth for a research project on children and media food and from there she went to the University of Rostock as deputy professor for communication and media studies. Her research focus is on reception aesthetics, media sociology, production ecology and popular serial culture (television, film, video games), as well as globalization. She is the author of Agency and Media Reception. Experiencing Video Games, Film, and Television (Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2014), co-author of Die »Herr der Ringe«-Trilogie. Attraktion und Faszination eines populärkulturellen Phänomens (UVK, 2007) and editor of Fernsehen: Europäische Perspektiven (UVK, 2014, together with Elizabeth Prommer) and Transnationale Serienkultur. Theorie, Ästhetik, Narration und Rezeption neuer Fernsehserien (Springer VS, 2013, together with Lothar Mikos and Rainer Winter).

Anne Marit Waade, Aarhus University

Anne Marit Waade (MA, PhD)is associated Professor at Dept. of Aesthetic and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark. Her main research interests are mediated places, creative industry and promotional culture, e.g. how location is used in TV series production, film tourism, place branding, landscapes and cartographic aesthetics in travel series and travel journalism. More recently she has been focusing on the international television industry and location studies as a specific production study approach, as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to media-tourism as cross-disciplinary collaboration and experience economy. She has been publishing articles and books on media and tourism, television entertainment and crime series, among others: Nordic Noir production value (2013, co-author), Medier og turisme (2010, co-author), Wallanderland (2013), Armchair tourism (2014, co-author). She is leading the research program Cultural Transformation at Arts, Aarhus University, and she is the leader of the research project What Makes Danish TV Drama Travel? (FKK, 2014-2018, www.danishtvdrama.au.dk).




How to Cite

Eichner, S., & Waade, A. M. (2015). Local Colour in German and Danish Television Drama: Tatort and Bron//Broen. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 5(1). Retrieved from https://globalmediajournal.de/index.php/gmj/article/view/63