‘Charite’ is a German drama television show first premiered on March 21, 2017 on the German channel Das Erste. The show is written by Grimme-Preis, often likened to an Oscar for television, winner Dorothee Schon and Sabine Thor-Wiedemann. In April 2018, Netflix acquired the rights to the German hospital-based drama show in multiple locations like the UK, US, Australia, and Canada.
The show is set in the late 1800s. It is based on the actual hospital named Charité in Berlin. This hospital is a 307-year-old medical institution. It is said to be the oldest and biggest hospital in Germany with four entire campuses. It has served as a fine medical institution and treated patients for three generations and it is also said to be one of the most prestigious research facilities and is the home to 8 noble prize winners. The show draws inspiration from this and hence the title.
While the initial season has been set in 1888, the sophomore season shifted focus to the years ranging from 1943 to 1945. The initial season has been directed by Sönke Wortmann, while Anno Saul has been in charge of the following season. Since the sophomore season takes such a jump in the timeline, the entire cast of the show is different in this season. On Netflix, this season is referred to as ‘Charite at War’.
Medical dramas are always interesting, not as much because of the exploration of medicine, but because we see a group of people working in close quarters and dealing with life and death situations. While people in the medical profession are expected to be detached and objective, these shows make it clear that they have feelings too and they often let their personal feelings get in the way of professional commitments. Television has seen plenty of medical dramas like ‘The Good Doctor‘ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘. Naturally, there is a market for such shows and ‘Charite’ did not have trouble finding itself a steady fan following and critics received it more or less favorably as well.
Charite Cast: Who is in it?
The cast of ‘Charite’ has been completely different over the seasons. Ida Lenze, played by Alicia von Rittberg, is a woman who finds her passion for medicine as she is forced to work as a nurse to pay off her medical debts. Georg Tischendorf, a young, wealthy medical student, is played by Maximilian Meyer-Bretschneider. Justus von Dohnanyi plays Dr. Robert Koch, a doctor at Charite who finds the cure to tuberculosis. Matthias Koeberlin plays Dr. Behring, the man who pushes for Ida’s surgery and also found the antitoxin for diphtheria. Another critical role is that of Hedwig Freiberg played by Emilia Schule. There are plenty of other characters of historical significance like Michael Pitthan in the role of Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for creating Sherlock Holmes.
The following season has its separate cast and includes the likes Mala Emde as Anni Waldhausen and a completely different set of actresses who play the various roles of people running Charite. Some of the notable characters in this season include Katharina Heyer as Magda Goebbels, the wife of Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany, and Lukas Miko as Max de Crinis, a medical expert and psychiatrist who joined the Nazis and who wrote the Euthanasia Decree which was signed off by Adolf Hitler himself.
In the upcoming season, one might expect that we will once again get a completely new cast if the show moves forth in time and we will see a different group of people working in Charite. After all, it is not about the people, but about the hospital that has stood the test of time.
Charite Plot: What is it about?
The plot of ‘Charite’ is quite interesting. Ida, a woman, suffering from appendicitis stumbles into the hospital (Charite). She is out of money and is quite broke, but is in desperate need of medical attention. Nevertheless, the doctors take the decision to perform the much-needed operation on her and use her removed appendix for medical research. This is primarily because Charite was extremely into medical research. After Ida’s surgery is over and as she’s on the brink of full recovery, her bosses fire her and refuse to pay for any of her gigantic medical bills.
In order to pay her medical debts, Ida is forced to work at the hospital as a nurse. She catches the eye of a young but wealthy medical student whose name is Georg, but she seems to have some history with Dr. Behring, the doctor who pushed for her operation and made it happen. Working in the hospital, Ida finds her passion for science and wishes to pursue that line. She is made fun of and ridiculed by every man in the hospital. We see that Koch makes a historical breakthrough by finding a cure for tuberculosis. He is bombarded with attention from various places and finds it hard to find that balance between work and home. Overall, we are given the view of a hospital that has breakthroughs in medical research and we are shown all of this amidst the social upheavals of that time.
The following season, of course, focuses on Charite during World War II. We see how the war increases the number of extreme cases that the hospital has to treat. While it still tries to uphold the spirit of medical research, there is no going around the fact that the staff and experts at the hospital are divided, with some critiquing the Nazi regime while others are staunch supporters of the government. At the highest level, Ferdinand Sauerbruch, famous for inventing the surgical techniques that reduced the risk of operations, clashes with Max de Crinis, a psychiatrist and high ranking member of the Nazi SS. The season explores if a medical facility can really provide the best care while it has so many clashes at its core.
It remains to be seen what time period the upcoming season will show, but we expect to see the same type of drama unfurl showing how Charite functions against the backdrop of massive changes.
Charite Season 3 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘Charite’ Season 2 premiered on February 12, 2019. While there is no news from Netflix about the upcoming season yet, there is no reason for the show to be canceled since this show has developed an avid fan following over time. In all likelihood, ‘Charite’ Season 3 will release sometime in 2020 or early in 2021, since a period medical drama does take some time to film. However, do stay tuned for an official update.
While we wait for ‘Charite’ Season 3, check out the trailer for Season 2. If you have not seen the series, and happen to love medical dramas, then this is the show for you.
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