By Jan Tenhaven
On 01, Apr 2003 | In | By Jan Tenhaven
ELEPHANT, TIGER & CO
Original title: ELEFANT, TIGER & CO
25/50 min | MDR / ARD | weekly programme since 2003
This dokusoap takes a look behind the scenes of the Leipzig zoo. Created by Jan Tenhaven and Axel Friedrich in 2003 has it been the first of its kind in Germany. So far more than 750 episodes have been broadcast – and still counting.
“The Mother of all Zoo Soaps” (Berliner Zeitung) started April 1, 2003 in MDR-TV. The idea of the formatting the concept into a series was developed by the former Editor in Chief, Peter Dreckmann.
From the beginning it was clear we knew, that the context had to be about more than just about adorable little animals. So, we decided to put our main focus on the interaction between caretakers and animals. Filming is done according to strict documentary rules — no staging, no script– and the episodes follow dramaturgical rules of soap operas: with parallel storylines, cliffhanger and stories that continue over multiple episodes. All of that was often done with a twinkle in our eye but without cynicism. “Thoughtful and sensitive”, pronounced the Süddeutsche Zeitung, „done completely without false dramatization,“ stated the Info-Radio Berlin.