Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein (TV series)

Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein ("It Can’t Always Be Caviar") is a TV adaption of a novel of the same name by Austrian author Johannes Mario Simmel. Directed by Thomas Engel Siegfried Rauch walks in the footsteps of O. W. Fischer who played the protagonist "Thomas Lieven" already in 1961, just one year after the bestseller[1] had been released. The series is unique for providing a little cooking show at the end of each episode. The book also includes recipes because "Thomas Lieven" is an accomplished amateur cook.

Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein
Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein Logo.jpg
Created byJohannes Mario Simmel (novel)
Ladislas Fodor
Horst Pillau
StarringSiegfried Rauch
Marisa Mell
Nadja Tiller
Christiane Krüger
Heinz Reincke
Diana Körner
Erik Schumann
Rainer Penkert
Reinhard Kolldehoff
Dieter Borsche
Andrea Rau
Günther Stoll
Hildegard Krekel
Günther Kaufmann
Barbara Valentin
Herbert Fleischmann
Wolfgang Lukschy
Walter Reyer
Tito García
Víctor Israel
Antonio Pica
Antonio Molino Rojo
Dan van Husen
Rolf Schimpf
Theme music composerMartin Böttcher
Opening themeMartin Böttcher
ComposersAndreas Köbner
Stefan Traub
Mario Lauer
Country of originGermany
Original languageGerman
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producerArtur Brauner
Camera setupHansjürgen Kiebach
Michael Marszalek
Georg Mondi
Running time60 (including the recipe)
Production companiesBerliner Union-Film
Original release11 May (1977-05-11) –
19 October 1977 (1977-10-19)


Thomas Lieven works as employee of an International bank in the City of London. Occasionally he is the bank's courier for he is fluent in three languages: English of course, but also German and French. In 1939 he is again sent to Germany but this time it is different because the Gestapo arrests him. Thomas Lieven, a pacifist through and through, has no interest whatsoever to even toy with the thought to get entangled in spy business but the German secret service doesn't take no for an answer. So he has to pretend compliance for the time being, just to be able to get home to England. But when he returns to London he gets arrested again, this time by English secret service. It is explained to him that it was his duty to become a double agent. Thomas Lieven is no Eddie Chapman and the mere idea of having to go to Nazi Germany another time seems to be unbearable. So he escapes to France, but is picked up by French secret service. Like German "Major Loos" (Herbert Fleischmann) and British "Mr. Lovejoy" (Rainer Penkert) also French "Captain Simeon" (Erik Schumann) attempts to persuade Lieven that he ought to serve him. In the course of a mission in Marseille he meets the small-time criminal "Bastian Fabre" (Heinz Reincke) who introduces him to his boss, an attractive lady called Chantal (Marisa Mell). She falls for his gentleman-like manners and his exquisite meals. That he she has in common with other ladies he will also acquaint during the adventures about to come: "Estrella" (Nadja Tiller), "Yvonne" (Heidrun Kussin), "Jeanne" (Louise Martini) and eventually "Helen" (Christiane Krüger) who wants to recruit him for the American secret service.

The series covers only the first half of the novel. The second half was never filmed.

Episode overviewEdit

Episode Title Original Air Date Presented Recipe
01 Wie alles begann (How it all started) 11 May 1977 Sauerkraut cooked with champagne
02 Französische Küche (French cooking) 25 May 1977 Palatschinke
03 Wenn die Eisbären flügge werden (When polar bears fledge) 8 June 1977 Romanian onion salad
04 Ich heiße Mabel (I'm named Mabel) 22 June 1977 Stew of beans and goose legs
05 Tote kann man nicht erschießen (Can't kill dead people) 6 July 1977 Chop suey American style
06 Planquadrat 135 Z (Grid square 135 Z) 20 July 1977 Stuffed grey partridge
07 Shakespeare lässt bitten ( Shakespeare asks you in) 3 August 1977 Home fries
08 Lazarus 17 August 1977 "Matelotte" (French fish soup)
09 Chantal 31 August 1977 Bigos, a Polish stew
10 Die ganz feine Tour (In a very distinguished manner) 14 September 1977 Chili con carne
11 Nummer Sieben (Number seven) 28 September 1977 Swiss collarsteaks from porc
12 Nachtigall 17 ruft (Nightingale 17 is calling) 12 October 1977 Rump steak
13 Schwarzmarktgeschäfte (Black market trade) 19 October 1977 Steak tartare with caviar


  1. ^ "It Can't Always Be Caviar (Es Muß Nicht Immer Kaviar Sein), was an international bestseller in the 1960s". Retrieved 2011-11-25.

External linksEdit