The Allegation: 5 Things to Know About the New German SeriesMarch 28, 2022 By Go Back
This April we’re excited to bring you one of Germany’s most buzzed about TV dramas The Allegation. The story follows shamed attorney Dr. Richard Schlesinger (Peter Kurth) who’s forced to take on a massive case by his debt collector Azra (Narges Rashidi) to free a man charged with a heinous crime under impossible circumstances. Don’t know what you’re getting into with this legal thriller? Here’s five things to get you excited for your binge.
1. Creator Ferdinand Von Schirach is Germany’s answer to John Grisham
You may have seen the name Ferdinand Von Schirach on bookshelves before because he’s one of Germany’s most celebrated authors internationally, having been translated in over 35 languages. Before he started writing at 45, he was a celebrated criminal law attorney and often uses his experience and deep knowledge of case law in his books. The Allegation is Von Schirach’s first time writing an original story for television and isn’t based on his books but carries the kind of detailed look at the law as well as wit and humanity fans expect from his writing. The experiment paid off as the series won the Best Screenplay prize at the TV branch of the Cannes festival 2021.
2. It is based on a controversial real case from the 90s
The inspiration for the series comes from real and controversial cases surrounding child abuse in Worms, Germany in the late 90s. To go into too much detail might spoil moments from the series, but the Worms trials brought to light issues in the justice system in Germany in much the same ways the “satanic panic” did in the United States and Canada, though the story may have a few twists you don’t expect. The Allegation also brings the story into the modern day and considers the impact social media may have had on the proceedings.
3. German courts have one big difference from the ones you usually see on TV
One thing Canadian fans might be surprised to find missing in the courtrooms of The Allegation are juries. While the court proceedings and lawyers’ arguments are very similar, Germany does not have juried trials and instead judges play a larger role. Depending on the case (and you see a few in the series) there may be up to five professional judges working together or a combination of professional and ‘lay’ judges sending down a verdict.
4. You’ve probably seen these actors before
While there are many familiar faces through the series, lead actors Peter Kurth and Narges Rashidi are crossover stars, especially in the streaming world so you’ve likely seen them before. Kurth was a regular on the international sensation Babylon Berlin, but has been around since the hit Good Bye Lenin! and most recently on Inventing Anna. Rashidi is best known for portraying horror both real and supernatural in her native Iran in Under The Shadow, but she frequently appears in English-language TV as well, including The Girlfriend Experience, Hanna and Gangs of London.
5. Director Daniel Prochaska is someone to watch out for
The reason The Allegation works so well rests on the truly impossible tone director Daniel Prochaska strikes between horrific crimes and the humour of everyday life. That balance also exists in the unusual relationship between Schlesigner and Azra who are friends and perhaps the best match for each other in spite of personal and professional conflicts. This not only shows a great future for Prochaska as an actor’s director, but the series also shows his chops both as a former editor and music video director with a few stunning and unexpected sequences drawing from everything from experimental art films to John Wick. While Ferdinand Von Schirach’s writing is the star, TV fans will recognize that all the talent behind the camera is worth keeping an eye on too.