What’s it called?

Acht Tage (Eight Days)

What’s it about?

It’s a sort of post-apocalyptic thriller only in this case the apocalypse hasn’t actually happened yet – as the series starts it’s eight days away and will arrive in the form of an asteroid called Horus. Forty miles in diameter, it’s due to hit the French city of La Rochelle and will destroy everyone and everything in a “kill zone” that covers most of Western Europe. It certainly covers Berlin, where the majority of the action takes place as we follow the lives of one extended family as they (variously) try to escape east to Russia with the help of people smugglers, blag their way onto an American military plane carrying important people to safety across the Pond, or drink themselves stupid and reminisce about the good old days of East German Communism. Their stories are told partly in flash-back and partly in real time.

Who’s in it?

Christiane Paul plays Susanne Steiner, a doctor. Along with her husband Uli (Mark Waschke) and children Leonie (Lena Klenke) and Theo (Veit Stubner), she’s trying to escape to the east as the series starts. Meanwhile her brother Hermann (Fabian Hinrichs) is trying to arrange for him and his pregnant girlfriend Marion (Nora von Waldstätten) to be flown to the US while his estranged father Egon (Henry Hubschen) wanders around with a pistol and a bottle of vodka lighting bonfires in the street and swearing at people.

What’s so good about it?

It mixes gripping human dramas and stylish cinematography with powerful image-making and a thought-provoking subtext: rich Westerners trying to flee their country through any means necessary and facing the same dangers, tribulations and humiliations ass the many refugees who have come in the opposite direction in the last decade or so.

Anything else I should know?

A hit when it aired on Sky Atlantic last year, the eight-part series is released on two-disc DVD tomorrow (Acorn Media, £24.99)

For fans of ...

The Day After Tomorrow, Dark, The Road, On The Beach