Caught in a Free State
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|Caught in a Free State|
|Written by||Brian Lynch|
|Directed by||Peter Ormrod|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Original network||RTÉ One|
Caught in a Free State was a dramatised television series made by RTÉ in 1983. This four-part series was about German spies in neutral Ireland during World War II, known in Ireland as "The Emergency".
The series was written by Brian Lynch, with music by Seóirse Bodley and directed by Peter Ormrod. The series was the winner of the best drama award at the Banff World Television Festival in Canada and also won a Jacob's Award in Ireland.
Parts of the dialogue were recorded in German with English subtitles, partly in the hope of a sale of the series to a German television station.
- Goetz Burger as "Gunther Schultz" (based on Günther Schütz of Abwehr)
- Peter Jankowsky as Hermann Görtz (chief spy of Abwehr in Ireland)
- John Kavanagh as "Colonel Brian Dillon" (based on Colonel Dan Bryan of the G2 section of the Irish Army)
- Barry McGovern as Éamon de Valera (Taoiseach)
- Niall Tóibín as Stephen Hayes (Irish Republican Army)
- O. Z. Whitehead as David Gray (US Ambassador to Ireland)
The spies are frequently depicted as out of touch with the realities of Irish life. They are also often depicted as individuals highly unsuited for espionage. At times, the absurdities take on a comic dimension - such as in the arrest of Henry Obed, an Indian working for Abwehr. It is notable that the German plans for Operation Green (the intended invasion of Ireland) also included a considerable amount of outdated information.
Whilst dramatised (and some names have been changed, notably that of Schütz to "Schultz") the plots in Caught in a Free State are based on actual events and persons. The anachronistic reference to "Free State" is deliberate as the Irish Free State had been superseded by the new Constitution of Ireland of 1937, which is a recurring theme. Both Günther Schütz and Dan Bryan were still alive during the filming (in 1983), hence the change of names.
- Episode 1: Hermann Görtz is parachuted into Ireland. He tries to return to Germany by boat but is intercepted by the Irish Navy and interned.
- Episode 2: Ernst Weber-Drohl, a 60-year-old former circus strongman, is landed by submarine on the coast of County Wexford.
- Episode 3: "Gunter Schultz" is arrested, interrogated and threatened with execution for spying.
- Episode 4: The end of the War. Herman Görtz commits suicide rather than face deportation.
- History of the Republic of Ireland
- Irish neutrality
- Irish neutrality during World War II
- IRA/Abwehr collaboration in World War II
- Plan Kathleen
- Operation Green
- Oskar Metzke
- "Caught in a Free State (TV Mini-Series 1984)". IMDb. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Lynch, Brian". Irish Writers Online. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Movies". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2012. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Peter Jankovsky". IMDb. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Versatile actor and writer who found peace in the west". The Irish Times. 18 October 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2016.