Sky’s own production “8 days”: end-time porn in eight parts

In the Sky series "8 Days," the end of the world looms – including chainsaw massacre and crucifixion. Nothing has been thought through to the end.

It’s cool: Sitting in the car at the end of the world Photo: Stephan Rabold

"The Planetary Defense Coordination Office had to admit in the early hours of this morning that the rocket mission failed against all calculations. […] The stream of refugees does not stop. The asteroid Horus is still on a collision course with the E …" it sounds from the car radio.

"Armageddon" and "Deep Impact" were yesterday. Back in 1998, when you could still rely on the Americans – and their ability to deflect asteroids. Now Horus is racing towards the planet and is due to crash down on Earth in France, which is why the model family of four is heading east – not without handing over a giant bag of now worthless euro bills to a nasty family of smugglers.

Out of Europe: Reversing the Refugee Movement is an interesting fiction. Here, however, it remains a briefly tapped motif, which will soon be settled when it becomes clear that the asteroid is more likely to hit Kazakhstan after all.

And it will do so in exactly eight days – hence the title of the eight-part series ("8 Days"), which, once again, is set in Berlin. The protagonists go to Poland only briefly, so that the mother (Christiane Paul) can shoot a woman and her son with a shotgun and the father (Mark Waschke) can run over a man with a truck after he has climbed over mountains of suitcases at the train station, which hardly allow any other association than Auschwitz. Later in the series, chainsaw massacre (with intestines) and crucifixion (of the Savior) follow. The makers seem to have had nothing less than the antithesis of Lars von Trier’s reduced end-of-the-world reflection "Melancholia" in mind. Nothing here is subtle or thought through to the end.

Eight days can be damn long

There the officer stands in front of the policemen: "I would like to remind you again that as of today you are subject to the Bundeswehr! That means deserting is a capital offense!" Who is subordinate to whom in the exceptional case of an internal deployment of the Bundeswehr: Oh, if only the film people had taken a look at Articles a of the Basic Law!

Instead, they assume that after the failure of the Americans – and after the corrupt federal government has built only a fraction of the 15 million bunker spaces planned and scheduled for the lottery – only the law of the strongest will apply anyway. In the words of one of the serial cops (Murathan Muslu), "If we all act like animals, eight days can get pretty damn long."

An antithesis to Lars von Trier’s doomsday film "Melancholia," but nothing here is thought through to its conclusion

That’s what the viewer thinks, too, when he watches the animalistic goings-on for eight episodes. Sky (without the help of ARD) apparently didn’t have as much money as for "Babylon Berlin" for this in-house production – and some of it probably went for the ad campaign on the front pages of several tabloids: stacked shopping carts and a bit of trash on the streets have to suffice for the end-time setting. Sometimes mobs rage on them, sometimes they are deserted except for the main characters, who are shooed through them like the white mice of an experimental setup.

After Andreas Prochaska for the "Boot" sequel, Sky is once again relying on an Austrian director (alongside Swiss Michael Krummenacher) in its latest in-house production, with "Oscar" winner Stefan Rutzowitzky. Speaking of "Das Boot," Wolfgang Petersen’s "Smog" from 1973 has long been considered an important piece of contemporary history. The ignorant, overtaxed, cynical disaster management was well researched in his case. The creators of "8 Days" apparently find the – immoderate – misery they have caused first and foremost: awesome. The indulgent final scene removes the last doubt in this regard. Their end-time panorama is not much more than end-time porn.

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