The Nile – Egypt’s lifeline

The three-part documentary ‘The Nile – Egypt’s lifeline’ tells with opulent images of magnificent landscapes and fascinating people who shape their lives in the Nile Valley between awakening and tradition with imagination and creativity. No river is so shrouded in legend, no river so dominates the land through which it flows.

We travel to the cradle of a great civilisation whose buildings continue to amaze to this day.

further broadcast dates:
12.08.2018 from 09:00 on Phoenix
14.08.2018 from 05:00 on Phoenix
16.08.2018 from 16:30 on Phoenix

Across the Mediterranean – the holiday documentary

For MDR, the doc.station team accompanied captain Friedhold Hoppert, his crew and passengers through the Mediterranean and filmed a four-part holiday documentary. A ten-day cruise from Palma de Mallorca to Barcelona. Ralf and Astrid Gutzeit from Thuringia are cruise professionals among the 2,200 passengers and are looking forward to the planned excursions to Capri and Florence. Their 14-year-old son Friedrich can’t take much of his parents’ enthusiasm. He would rather sleep in and play football on the ship. Will that at least work out on his birthday? Captain Hoppert has a visitor from his home in Schleiz. His wife is coming for the weekend. Her husband wants to show her an insider tip in Naples: The supposedly oldest pizzeria in town. But how secret is this tip really? Also with them: 27-year-old Sarah from Gotha, a joker by profession. Her job is to keep the guests happy and make sure everyone feels comfortable. And hotel manager Fabian Leonhardt is responsible on board for sleeping, eating, drinking and for 400 employees. His biggest challenge, stockpiling: whether it’s pencils, cleaning products or pineapples – everything the floating hotel needs for the next ten days is piled up in the ship’s storerooms.

Stories from the Cologne Zoo (9th Season)

The biggest birthday present is one the zoo is giving itself. After fourteen months of construction work, the Hippodrome is ready! This is a 3,500 square meter home for hippos, antelopes, Nile crocodiles and eleven other African species. About 100 animals will find their new home here. That means a lot of work for Monika Assenmacher and Dirk Vogt, the main keepers in the zoo‘s new prestigious habitat.

The California sea lions also have a move to deal with. Their pool has to be completely renovated, so the harem goup will move temporarily to the unoccupied hippo pool in the old Elephant House. But before Yumni, Astrid and the others agree to go into their crates willingly, the zookeepers Klaus Heise and Reinhard Schabbing will have to use all their powers of persuasion.

The Jungle House is pleased to welcome a new baby. The little gorilla’s name is Gasira, and she is further proof of the successful breeding methods at the zoo. The baby girl is the sixth which the silverback gorilla Kim has fathered in Cologne. But the joyful feelings about the birth are mixed with many worries. Zookeeper Klaus Pyszora is all too aware that one out of four animals dies in the first year.

Zoo Stories from Dresden (ZDF) (Season 5)

In this fifth season, the animals from Dresden continue to tell their exciting and entertaining stories from the zoo. In addition to seeing old friends and the most popular animals again, viewers will also get to know many new people and animals.

Just take the Ape House. The orangutans have had two babies, which keeps up the zoo’s great track record. Ever since they managed to raise an orangutan to sexual maturity in 1927, the world’s first in captivity, the Dresden zoo is considered a leader in breeding. To date, 28 orangutans have been born here. The youngest, Duran, is almost a zoological sensation because his mother Djudi is already 36-years-old.

After completing the Africa House, Lion Canyon, and a giraffe enclosure, the next big project is making everyone in the zoo hold their breaths: the construction of the Professor Brandes House. Monkeys, koala bears, and crocodiles are supposed to live under one roof and be shown in species-appropriate habitats. The move to the new house is already giving Olaf Lohnitz a headache. The keeper has to ensure that all of his charges are transported safely to their new home. Whether it is Manolo, who was bottle-fed and raised by the keepers, or Brian, the lion-tailed Macaque – each monkey has different needs which have to be taken into consideration.

The year 2010 could, however, be a very successful one for Cathrin Ludwig’s predatory cats. Samira, a caracal female, is expecting a cub, and her daughter Lucinda might be pregnant for the first time as well. Layla and Jago, the young lion couple, could be expecting this year for the very first time as well…

Elefant, Tiger & Co (MDR)

The Zoological Garden in Leipzig is located right in the middle of town. Since 1878, more than 1000 different species from around the world live under its “roof”. Its human and animal protagonists offer a wealth of exciting, funny, and bizarre stories. Some of these stories will be told in this film. We get to know many of the animals, but also the people who care for them and work with them, allowing us insights into daily life at the zoo. Our camera is there when a 16 foot long python has to have an operation – even administering the anaesthesia is exciting, for veterinarian Klaus Eulenberger needs three helpers just to catch the snake. Over at the elephant house, it’s time for a pedicure – quite a dangerous task. Michael Ernst, the keeper, has to do duty as an animal trainer as well, for an accident can happen at any moment. And there is great excitement among the monkeys, in the brand-new “Ponogo Country”: a new female orangutan is about to arrive. Dana, from Zagreb, is supposed to be the new mate for Walter, who is a little lonely because the imposing Bimbo is calling the shots with the other females. Hopefully, things will be different for Walter with Dana…and later, there might even be some offspring in the cards?! In this docu-soap centered on the Leipzig zoo, again and again we learn unknown and unexpected things about the life of the animals and of the people who work for and with them. Lots of fun, animal and human, from one of the most beautiful zoos in Germany.

Zoo Stories from Dresden (4th season)

In the fourth season of Zoo Stories from Dresden, we get to see our little friend Manolo again. Manolo, who was bottle-fed and raised by Olaf Lohnitz, is not just a magnificent teenage Emperor tamarin. No, now there are even times when Manolo takes care of his keeper Olaf! Fortunately, Manolo doesn’t know that Olaf does babysitting duty for other animals as well. For example, the young sloth named Oscar needs a little help getting started despite the fact that his mother Marlis likes to get around. She covers some amazing distances when she gets going! Linda, the first caracal cat to be born in the Dresden zoo in eighteen years, is also almost grown-up. And she grew up in a very unusual patchwork family structure. Even more unusual is her relationship with Cathrin Ludwig, the “predator whisperer.” And – who would have though – US President Obama also has a lot of fans at the zoo. The newest Mandrill monkey, child of alpha male Napo and lady Mandrill Yamala, is named after him. Little Obama has caused a lot of movement in the Mandrill group, including a kidnapping!

Zoo Stories from Franconia (ZDF), 3rd Season

Flocke the polar bear finally has an adequate playmate! His name is Rasputin, and although he comes from Moscow, he is just about the same age as his new friend in Nürnberg. Flocke’s human “parents“ hope that Rasputin can help distract Flocke as they say goodbye to him. The separation is sad but necessary because the little polar bear which Petra Fritz, Steffi Krüger and their colleagues raised by hand is now big, strong, and just a bit dangerous. This season, the tigers and lions will be reunited with their zoo home. Because the cat house had to undergo construction, the lions Keera and Thar as well as the tiger couple Sigena and Jantar had to stay in other zoos for almost two years. Their return was just in time because a baby is on the way! Zookeeper Horst “Mausi” Maussner is keeping an around-the-clock watch on the female tiger Sigena. She is due to deliver anytime. The zoo is hoping for another successful birth for one of their highly-endangered species. After a sixteen-month gestation period, the rhinoceros Purana is also ready to deliver. The zookeepers René Kaiser and Oliver Pürkel are very busy, but they don’t just have the birth to prepare for. Ropen, the expectant father, has hurt his foot and needs the zookeepers’ full attention as well.

Stories from the Cologne Zoo, 6th season

In its sixth season, Stories from the Cologne Zoo has once again come up with unusual and revealing insights into the lives of the zoo’s animals. Viewers will see that even for a gorilla family, adopting a teenager is no simple matter. As far as falling in love goes, we learn that neither tree kangaroos from Papua New Guinea nor ring-tailed mongooses from Madagascar do it very often. But when they do, the way to each others’ hearts isn’t through the stomach but through the nose. Just how well the olfactory organ of a big cat functions, especially that of a Siberian tiger, is demonstrated by Mary. Cologne’s tiger lady is crazy about certain scents. In this zoo, however, it is not just the humans who learn from the animals. Some animals develop very special skills as well. Ferdinand the prairie dog, for example, has become the “can opener” of his colony. His keepers are at their wits’ end about how to put a stop to his game. On the other hand, they do everything they can for the animals so that they will feel completely at ease. For instance, Ingo Linden and his colleagues spoil the tapir Ailton daily with full body massages, and the bird curator Bernd Marcordes has a soft spot even for his difficult cases.

Adventure in the middle ages: life in the 15th century

Castle life has inspired our imaginations again and again. In the Middle Ages, castles fortified the land against enemies, were the seat of aristocratic residence and rule and were an expression of their power. But we usually see only the worldly and religious upper class, the popes and emperors ,the knights and bishops, and perhaps the foot soldiers. But how did people like you and I live in the Middle Ages? What was their everyday life like? In a multi-part series we are going to show a group of people from the year 2005 in a castle in the late Middle Ages. Not as lords and ladies but as servants. Our protagonists are supposed to slip into the roles of their medieval ancestors and leave the 21st century completely behind for six weeks. The audience will follow their successes and failures. Will the young maid be able to milk a goat? Will the two servants be able to cut down a tree and build a new bed from the wood? And what will the servants do with a fox steals a goose? At the end of this journey in time, our servants might be glad to have the conveniences of 21st century life back: hot baths, electric lighting and central heating. But perhaps our protagonists will miss the slower pace and calm of an age which managed without alarm clocks, mobile phones, and computers.

3 Days of Life – Politicians Try Out Everyday Life, 2nd season

They make important speeches, sit in Bundestag chambers all day, and work on new laws. Politicians are frequently criticized for not understanding the needs of their constituents because their lives have so little to do with those of most citizens. Do politicians know our concerns? Is it true that politicians have lost touch with reality and their decisions are miles off base? Or are the accusations unfounded? ZDF wanted to know for sure and took a number of politicians through a kind of everyday assessment test. In 3 Days of Life, representatives left their political lives and took on the roles of “ordinary” citizens for 72 hours. Six prominent politicians take on the challenge and agree to give their own political beliefs a reality check. Claudia Roth, chairwoman of the green party, takes over for a Bavarian pub owner. Karl Lauterbach of the SPD counsels underage criminal offenders for three days. Wolfgang Bosbach of the CDU goes to work on the docks in Hamburg. Dorothee Bär from the CSU tries to get the lives of high school dropouts back in order. Katja Kipping from DIE LINKE makes sandwiches in a fast food place, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, a FDP representative to the European parliament, does night shifts as a baker’s apprentice.