Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei

Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei ("Alarm for Cobra 11 – The Highway Police") is a long-running, popular German television series about a two-man team of highway police (Autobahnpolizei), originally set in Berlin and since 1999 in the area of Cologne. The series has been broadcast in 120 countries worldwide.

Alarm für Cobra 11 –
Die Autobahnpolizei
Alarm für cobra 11.png
GenreAction, crime drama, police procedural
StarringJohannes Brandrup
Rainer Strecker
Almut Eggert
Erdoğan Atalay
Mark Keller
René Steinke
Christian Oliver
Gedeon Burkhard
Tom Beck
Vinzenz Kiefer
Daniel Roesner
Katja Woywood
Katrin Heß
Niels Kurvin
Daniela Wutte
ComposersReinhard Scheuregger
Klaus Garternicht
Nik Reich & Jaro Messerschmidt
Kay Skerra
Daniel Freundlieb
Frederik Wiedmann
Justin Burnett
Maximilian Nieberle
Country of originGermany
Original languagesGerman
No. of seasons27
No. of episodes381+ (list of episodes)
Running timec. 45 minutes
c. 90 minutes (pilot movies)
Production companies
Original networkRTL Television
Original release12 March 1996 (1996-03-12) –

The last regular episode "Das Team" aired on 12 August 2021. In an interview, main star Erdoğan Atalay blamed the stoppage on COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the series returned in the form of 90-minute TV movies.[1]


The tasks of the Cobra 11 team consist primarily in solving crimes and catching the perpetrators. Typical elements of the action genre are mixed, so that there are regular car crashes, shootouts, explosions and fistfights. These action scenes are elaborately produced in most cases, and appropriately presented in a spectacular way. The high number of unrealistic scenes is a common criticism of the series; for example, large explosions often happen after small collisions while people emerge unharmed out of cars which have sustained catastrophic damage.


The series is known for its extremely well performed stuntwork, which features the destruction of various vehicles in every episode. Almost every episode has a distinct structure, with at least one daring action sequence and the pre-title sequence usually consisting of the main event (i.e. a devastating crash on the Autobahn). The stuntwork is often so spectacular that it would not look out of place in a full-fledged movie, with cars commonly reaching implausible heights as they vault through the air.

Production locationsEdit

From 1996 to 1998, the series was produced jointly (responsible for all other production aspects such as filming/postproduction/location scouting etc.) and ActionConcept (stunts). Those episodes were shot in Berlin, notably in the site of the former Checkpoint Bravo and in the surrounding state of Brandenburg.[2][3] In 1998, Action Concept took over as the sole production company and shifted all filming/production work to its headquarters in Hürth just south of Cologne. Since then, episodes have been shot in and around Cologne and Düsseldorf as well as on several major Autobahnen (A540/A44 and now mainly on the Filmautobahn Aldenhoven near Düren – [4]) between Cologne and Düsseldorf in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).


Character Actor Position Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Frank Stolte Johannes Brandrup Detective Main Guest
Ingo Fischer Rainer Strecker Detective Main †
Semir Gerkhan Erdoğan Atalay Detective chief Main
Katharina Lamprecht Almut Eggert Detective chief Main Recurring
André Fux Mark Keller Detective Main Guest †
Tom Kranich René Steinke Detective Main Main †
Jan Richter Christian Oliver Detective Main
Chris Ritter Gedeon Burkhard Detective Main †
Ben Jäger Tom Beck Detective Main Guest
Alexander "Alex" Brandt Vinzenz Kiefer Detective Main
Paul Renner Daniel Roesner Detective Main
Vicky Reisinger Pia Stutzenstein Detective Main
Kim Krüger Katja Woywood Detective Chief Recurring Main †
Jennifer Dorn Katrin Heß Detective Recurring Main
Hartmut Freund Niels Kurvin CSU Recurring Main
Susanne König Daniela Wutte Secretary Recurring Main
Roman Kramer Patrick Kalupa Detective chief
Department head
Marc Schaffrath Christopher Patten Detective Main
Dana Gerkhan Gizem Emre Officer III
Recurring Main
Max Tauber Nicolas Wolf Officer III
Andrea Gerkhan (née Schäfer) Carina Wiese Secretary Recurring Recurring
Anna Engelhardt Charlotte Schwab Detective chief
Department head
Recurring Recurring
Horst Herzberger Dietmar Huhn Officer III Recurring †
Dieter Bonrath Gottfried Vollmer Officer III Recurring †



  • Dietmar Huhn as Officer III Horst Herzberger (season 2–16). An older police officer and good friend of Semir's, until he was killed in the line of duty.
  • Gottfried Vollmer as Officer III Dieter Bonrath (season 3–17). Horst's partner with a teenage son. Also killed in the line of duty.
  • Carina Wiese as Andrea Gerkhan (née Schäfer). She was the precinct's secretary before becoming Semir's wife and the mother of his two younger daughters (season 2–14, 16-present).
  • Gizem Emre as Dana Gerkhan (née Wegener), a police officer and Semir's illegitimate daughter (season 19-present). Tesha Moon Krieg played her as a child in season 16.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
19March 12, 1996 (1996-03-12)May 7, 1996 (1996-05-07)
26March 11, 1997 (1997-03-11)April 15, 1997 (1997-04-15)
316October 14, 1997 (1997-10-14)June 18, 1998 (1998-06-18)
416October 1, 1998 (1998-10-01)May 6, 1999 (1999-05-06)
516December 16, 1999 (1999-12-16)March 24, 2000 (2000-03-24)
611November 9, 2000 (2000-11-09)May 31, 2001 (2001-05-31)
714November 8, 2001 (2001-11-08)May 2, 2002 (2002-05-02)
814September 5, 2002 (2002-09-05)April 10, 2003 (2003-04-10)
918September 11, 2003 (2003-09-11)May 13, 2004 (2004-05-13)
1018September 9, 2004 (2004-09-09)March 31, 2005 (2005-03-31)
1112September 15, 2005 (2005-09-15)May 28, 2006 (2006-05-28)
1220September 7, 2006 (2006-09-07)May 10, 2007 (2007-05-10)
1314September 20, 2007 (2007-09-20)April 24, 2008 (2008-04-24)
1415September 4, 2008 (2008-09-04)April 9, 2009 (2009-04-09)
1515September 3, 2009 (2009-09-03)April 22, 2010 (2010-04-22)
1613September 2, 2010 (2010-09-02)April 14, 2011 (2011-04-14)
1716September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15)April 19, 2012 (2012-04-19)
1815September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06)April 18, 2013 (2013-04-18)
1914October 17, 2013 (2013-10-17)May 15, 2014 (2014-05-15)
2015October 9, 2014 (2014-10-09)April 30, 2015 (2015-04-30)
2116September 10, 2015 (2015-09-10)May 26, 2016 (2016-05-26)
2220September 1, 2016 (2016-09-01)May 18, 2017 (2017-05-18)
2319September 14, 2017 (2017-09-14)May 3, 2018 (2018-05-03)
2418September 13, 2018 (2018-09-13)June 6, 2019 (2019-06-06)
259September 12, 2019 (2019-09-12)November 14, 2019 (2019-11-14)
2614August 20, 2020 (2020-08-20)August 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)
273October 20, 2022 (2022-10-20)November 3, 2022 (2022-11-03)


  • The opening titles of the first 158 episodes (1996-2006) had the following preamble:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihr Tempo ist mörderisch (They work at break-neck speed)
Ihre Gegner: Autoschieber, Mörder und Erpresser (They're up against car thieves, killers, and extortionists)
Einsatz rund um die Uhr für die Männer von Cobra 11 (They're on call around the clock: the men of Cobra 11)
Unsere Sicherheit ist ihr Job (Our safety is their job).

  • During Episodes 159-243 (2007-2012), the preamble was:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihr Einsatz heißt: volles Tempo (Their mission: full speed)
Ihre Gegner von heute: extrem schnell und gefährlich (Their enemies today: extremely fast and dangerous)
Verbrechen ohne Limit – Jeder Einsatz volles Risiko (Crimes without limit – every job at full risk)
für die Männer von Cobra 11 (for the men of Cobra 11).

  • Since Episode 244 (2013), the preamble was:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn. (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihre Gegner: extrem schnell und gefährlich. (Their enemies: Extremely quick and dangerous)
Verbrechen ohne Limit. (Crimes without limit)
Jeder Einsatz - volles Risiko (Every job: at full risk)
für die Männer von Cobra 11. (for the men of Cobra 11)

  • From 2014 to 2019, the preamble was:

Ihr Revier ist die Autobahn. (Their precinct is the autobahn)
Ihre Gegner: extrem schnell und gefährlich. (Their enemies: Extremely quick and dangerous)
Volles Risiko (Extremely risky)
für die Männer von Cobra 11. (for the men of Cobra 11)

Episode 365 onwards features an all-new variation of the theme song, but lacks any opening preamble.

International broadcastersEdit


Game adaptationsEdit

The series has also spawned numerous game releases in Europe, primarily for PC, but they have generally met with mixed receptions. The latest title is Crash Time 5: Undercover. Crash Time was also dubbed into English and sold in many other markets worldwide.


In 2002, a spin-off named Alarm für Cobra 11 – Einsatz für Team 2 [de] (Alarm for Cobra 11 – Team Mission 2) was started. Because of its limited success, only two seasons were produced.


  • Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei was regularly parodied as "Alarm für Kebap 11 – Die Dönerpölizei" by Freitag Nacht News [de], a German comedy sketch program. The segments feature the team talking in exaggerated Turkish accents and many references to Döner Kebab. Erdoğan Atalay and René Steinke themselves have made cameo appearances in some.
  • The series has also been parodied on Switch TV and Switch reloaded.
  • Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei was also parodied in the Latvian comedy show Savādi gan.

World's Wildest Police VideosEdit

Some of the clips from season 1 to season 5 were used as crash test footage in World's Wildest Police Videos, alongside Der Clown and one crash from Die Wache.


  1. ^ GmbH, DWDL de. "RTL setzt "Alarm für Cobra 11" als Eventfilm-Reihe fort". Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Der Tagesspiegel: Berliner Grenzkontrollpunkt Dreilinden wird versteigert -". Archived from the original on 3 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps.
  4. ^ "FTL Filmautobahn und Teststrecke" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  5. ^[permanent dead link] Coverage of announced 2011-2012 programming highlights for United States Spanish language broadcaster V-me, documenting intent to broadcast Alerta Cobra (Spanish title).

External linksEdit