Allein gegen die Zeit (Alone Against The Clock) is a German teen suspense drama series produced by the public children’s TV channel KiKa.It is set in and around the city state ofBerlin, and focuses on the adventures of couple of students and their teacher of the Otto-Hahn-Gesamtschule (the Otto Hahn Comprehensive), located in downtown Berlin.The series has two seasons with thirteen episodes each. It plays in Real Time much in the style of 24, so every (30-minute) episode covers one hour of the same day, and each season takes place in a time span 8 am to 8 pm.These guys are:
Sophie Kellermann, the young, optimistic and extremely intelligent daughter of a famed psychiatrist.
Dr. Michael Funke, Ben’s beleaguered father, a science teacher and the detention supervisor in the Otto Hahn Comprehensive. Really a physicist and nano-engineer called Michael Brehmer, living in hiding.
In the first season, Ben, Leo, Jonas, Özzi and Sophie are attending detention class in their school on a weekend, with the only other people there being the Astronomy class making ready for a school trip, led by Dr Funke.That's certainly reason enough to consider it a bad day, but then things go From Bad to Worse.A group of terrorists takes over the building, booby-trapping all the windows and doors with electric grids and explosives, and takes the astronomy class hostage. Nobody knows what they came for and what their goals are, until they start calling out a certain Dr Michael Brehmer, who supposedly teaches Science at the school, and is Ben's father.The detention class, which went unnoticed by the terrorists, must find a way to escape the school and call for help. Ironically enough, escaping the building turns out to be the easiest thing...The story is continued in Season 2, which is even Darker and Edgier, where the main 5 win a free ticket to a Jet-sky ride at a lake just outside of Berlin.Instead, they find a dying man in a nearby forest, who warns them that everyone will die unless “they” are stopped.A short time later, Ben gets abducted by a group of thugs who hide out in a former Soviet military base, which is owned by a suspicious pharmaceutical company...
Allein gegen die Zeit contains examples of:
Adorkable: A whole lot. First, there's Özzi, who is The Nicknamer. Also Sophie, who is well-bred and highly intelligent, and is very proud of being allowed to serve detention. Then there is the policeman Harald, who is so nerdy about following police procedure, and not under all circumstances overstepping his boundaries - the law in particular - that he is everybody's Butt Monkey. Lastly, there is Tom, who is the terrorists' dog handler in Season 2; he is not exactly malicious, New Meat, and is always chewed upon by his comrades.
Arc Number: Thirteen. It's even on the timer of a bomb!
Rocky, aka Roland, the mildly psychotic New Meat of the terrorists. Also, though to a much lesser extent, Özzi, who manages to get himself into all sorts of dangerous predicaments (especially if they aren’t even his fault).
Also Cenk, who is the type of hipster who gets mugged by everyone, be that terrorists, other mobsters, or the police.
And also Tom the terrorist's K9 'expert', who is mercenary New Meat himself in Season 2.
Also Lenny, especially in season 2. Whatever he does, it has some kind of negative repercussion.
Chekhov's Armoury: The detention teacher's locker of confiscated things, that includes, among others, cherry bombs, a smoke bomb, dozens of mobile phones, a plastic dog turd and a remote control car.
And in season 2, there is Özzi's bagpack, which holds a lot of things, whether electronics or not, that will be helpful later.
Contrived Coincidence: A lot of how the plot evolves and resolves depends on the magic that is Contrived Coincidence. A popular variant: phone or radio calls coming in at an extremely convenient (or inconvenient) moment. Also, characters just keep running into each other.
However, there is also the possibility that there simply are so many characters and plotlines told in the condensed story (two hours told in one), that it simply seems like contrived coincidinces happen all the time because everything else was filtered out (similar to the Musical adaptation of Les Misérables).
Curb-Stomp Battle: A handful of terrorists with batons against a whole group of mobsters with baseball bats? Yeah.
Da Chief: For Jakobs and Greve it's Kern, who is a comissar and a senior. But once it becomes apparent that something is wrong with him, they turn to his superior, Komissar Bauer. In Season 2, after they are promoted to the BKA, their new Chief is much stricter, though he does have his reasons.
Darker and Edgier: Meta example - For Ki Ka, which is aimed at kindergarden-aged kids at the least and young teens at the most, it was Allein gegen die Zeit that crossed some borders. After all, season 1 treated such wonderfully whimsical topics, like school hostage takings, a fascist political conspiracy, attempted mass murder, an unvilified portrayal of ethnic gang members, police corruption, depression, gun violence and liberal swearing.
Death by Origin Story: Ben's mother died in a terrorist bombing. Except she didn't, and was kidnapped and held hostage by the Big Bad prior to the detonation after she aided the BND in a sting against said Big Bad.
Family-Friendly Firearms: The main weapon of Season 1's terrorists are police-style batons, and only one or two of them ever carry guns. Later, the Big Bad draws his to control the hostages, but the only shot he ever fires from it is a test shot. Appropriately, they get their asses handed to them by a group of teens with bats. But then, two henchmen enter,submachine guns blazing. Then, the SEK arrives, packing submachine guns, shotguns, assault and sniper rifles, and Forck gives Rocky his gun, who promptly empties the magazine at the schoolyard. The only gun-related casualty is the SEK sniper who gets pistol-whippedunconscious by Kern.
Lenny: "Of course they're not going to let us go! Why do you think they pulled off their masks? Don't you know what that means in movies?!"
Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted altogether. This series contains lots of shits, fucks, craps, pisses, devils, hells, and damns. Probably because swearing is much less of a thing in Germany that it is, say, in the US.
Grammar Nazi: Tom, who likes to correct his foreign comrades on their German metaphors. This does not help his Butt Monkey status in the slightest.
Heel-Face Turn: It's suggested that half of the people working on the terrorist plot are in it for the nano-bots' purpose of healing cancer and wish to finally bring them on the market rather than using the for the fascist ideals of the Bigger Bad. Appropriately, two of them turn against their cronies when informed of the bots' actual purpose.
Officer Hajo. Is he merely an Obstructive Bureaucrat? Is he even working for the police? Who is he taking orders from? The BND, or the Big Bad? Is he still working for the BND? Is he aware of the Big Bad plot? Is he getting qualms about working for the Big Bad? Is he trying to stop the scheme or not?
Also Lenny in season 1. Is he going through with the terrorist's deal, or is he merely tricking them into releasing him?
Hello Again Officer: Jakobs and Greve are two perfectly ordinary beat cops, and they get sucked into the story by repeatedly running into characters that are involved in the ongoings in the school. First, they arrest Cenk, who has been framed for traficking mobile phones. Then they encounter Leo and Jonas, who tell them what's going on. Then they file a missing report in the name of Dr Kellermann, Sophie's mother. In the end, they are the first and (temporarily) only people aware of what is actually going on.
Heroic Bystander: When Jackie, who has spent much of the time being a Valley Girl, decides to smuggle Jonas' diabetic kit out of the classroom, while risking being caught doing it.
Holly Wood Tactics: Police snipers don't usually participate in building raids themselves, especially not while wielding their bulky rifles.
I Know Karate: In the beginning, Leo off-handedly gives Jonas a flyer for a Taekwondo event. The real significance of that is thoroughly explained later, with many fights getting decided by Leo's fighting prowess.
Love Dodecahedron: Sophie is interested in Özzi, who has an unrequited crush on Jackie, who in turn is attracted to Jonas, who's more interested in Leo, who can't decide between him and Ben.
MacGuffin: The nano-bots in Season 1, and the orchids in Season 2.
Mind-Control Eyes: Played straight partially. Greyed-out irises merely signify that a person has nanobots in his system, but not necessarily that he/she is controlled by them.
Mind Manipulation: Dr Brehmer's nano-bots can attach themselves to cancer cells and destroy them. They can also be used to attach to a person's brain cells and manipulate the thought process, which is the why the terrorists want it so badly.
Roland ("Rocky!") is the New Meat of the first season's baddies, being obviously the youngest of the group.
In season 2, Tom, the dog handler, is the New Meat of the Omega Ring. He is even called something along the lines of "mercenary-in-training".
New Transfer Student: Ben and his father came to Berlin only a few months prior. It turns out that they now live in hiding, their real family name is Brehmer, and that 'Funke' is just their new identity.
In the first season, there is a lot of talk about killing, as well as a lot of threatening with death. However, no one actually ever does it, although many are definitely planning to do so, but opt to leave them alive for later.
Averted heavily with Season 2, where the deaths come not only early, but are quite unsettling to boot.
No Celebrities Were Harmed: The head-of-state conference is attended by a number of lookalikes of actual (then-contemporary) European leaders, such as Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Hajo, the small town cop in Brandenburg who is a BND undercover agent who was bought off by the Big Bad. This can go both ways, as he will not/cannot pursue certain complaints without outrageous amounts of formalities, but will also at first not attempt to arrest characters without a valid reason.
Police Are Useless: Only when given the situation. Seeing how Kern is working against his colleagues most of the time, this is even more justified in the ensuing confusion. Otherwise they are very effective, as demonstrated by Jakobs and Greve themselves ( as well as the SEK).
I Fought the Law and the Law Won: The police are usually just as capable to deal with the threats as they are in real life; the big challenge lies in alarming them in time.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Komissar Bauer is friends with Kern. But when Jakobs and Greve accuse Kern of corruption (which turns out to be true), he does the only reasonable thing; he relieves the two beat cops and orders Kern back to his desk until the evidence arrives.
The Scream: Jackie and Miri scream at anything that is considered at least mildly shocking. Ironically, many of these screams are even heard by characters in other story arcs (as a reminder of the temporal consistency of the events).
Take Over the World: Or rather Take Over Europe. With the help of the nano-bots, Dr Andreas Schier wants to unite all of Europe under a fascist dictatorship, in order to turn it into a world power that would be able to rival both America and Asia.
Tap on the Head: At one point, Corrupt Cop Kern has to pistol-whip an SEK sniper from behind, knocking him out. Said sniper recovers a short time later, bleeding all over the place from the wound behind his ear.
Token Minority: Özzy is the only Turk in the group. It is justified however, seeing how the Turkish-German minority is one of the biggest in the country.