Party tourism in Playa de Palma, craved by many today, saw its boom after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic. For the first time in a series, “The King of Palma” shows how Mallorca rose to become a tourist stronghold and how difficult the multi-million dollar business with Germans reunited in the early 1990s was.
Bucket drinking, (semi-naked) parties and bumblebee nights: Party bunnies know exactly what’s going on at Ballermann. But very few people know what the early history of Mallorca was like. The new series “King of Palma” wants to bridge this gap. Season 1 celebrated its online premiere in February – and will now also be available on free TV on RTL through Easter.
Lead actor Henning Baum spoke about his role as Matty. But the creators of the series also explained what makes the series so successful and that the story isn’t so fanciful…
Mallorca in the 90s
Through “The King of Palma” the viewer is presented with a completely different dramatic image of Playa de Palma, which is very colorful and party cheer. In six rows, RTL shows in an interesting way how mass tourism began to thrive in our 17th federal state after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The series is set in the 1990s with Henning Baum as “Matti” Adler. In the middle of his life, he realized that his life was not enough for him. He moves to Mallorca with his family and rents a lot of money to open a beer garden there. However, Matty falls into a whirlpool of bribery, extortion and violence.
In short: the Mallorca mafia wants to kill him. But if anyone can put a stop to that, it’s Henning Baum as the tough guy. as always…
Henning Bom always “just” the tough guy?
As is often the case, the 49-year-old, 1.85-meter giant plays the “tough guy” – but this time he’s probably better than ever. Henning Baum sees it this way for himself. “As a character, I bring with me something suitable for certain roles,” he told the Mallorca Zeitung last year. This is not a flaw, but a correspondence. “It just suits me. I don’t have to play everything. The complexity of this role is so great. It has so many sides that I don’t even know if I can capture them all.”
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Perhaps RTL saw it this way and asked the actor (“The Last Bull”) for the role three years ago. Fortunately for the announcer, he contributes to the success of the series.
The first success as a streaming series
Because after the first broadcast of “Der König von Palma” on RTL+, the enthusiasm and positive response has been tremendous. Screenwriter Veronicer Priefer explains this in a statement from RTL:
“We tell a fairy tale of Mallorca at eye level with the protagonists of the game. Without the usual satirical distance and also without the moral categorization that Mallorca often experiences. The series plunges into the drama of a family who left their safe homes and embarked on an adventure.”
It’s also about “freedom, getting out of everyday life, realizing dreams – and what lies by the wayside,” adds producer Johannes Konkel. “Through the eyes of our main character Matthias “Matti” Adler and his family, we experience a reality that contrasts with the glossy images from holiday brochures. Surrounded by happy tourists, our characters discover a parallel world in which they have to cross more and more borders.
Fiction or real story?
But is this all a fantasy? No way. Because the story is largely inspired by real events. And soon they leave the sun, the beach and the sea the feeling of being associated with Mallorca fades into the background.
“No one knows what happens behind the scenes of mass tourism,” Konkel said. Mattie, his family, and the other characters are fictional, but in the ’90s Mallorca was actually a very hot place. Then he summarizes what happened:
“In this era, a lot of money was made and fought with hard drums. From corruption to murder, it all happened and it inspired us.”
In addition, the two spoke to different eyewitnesses beforehand – from the former consul to the local nightlife stars of the time to the service personnel.
“We did an incredible amount of research and (…) we read nearly every issue of Mallorca Magazine from 1989 to 1991,” says producer and screenwriter.
You can hardly tell a more realistic fairy tale.
A second season is already being planned
Speaking of originality: RTL brought in his son and singer, Lucas Cordales, for the role of Costa Cordales (1944-2019). The Cordales family built Finca in Mallorca in the 1980s and finally moved there in 2002.
“My father took me to the island when I was a teenager,” Lucas Cordales told the Mallorca Zeitung newspaper. “But she always went straight to the party stronghold of Arenal, and I didn’t even know what it was like elsewhere. Later, I often performed here myself and was the first in my family to move permanently to Mallorca.”
RTL will show the six episodes “Der König von Palma” in double episodes on April 15, 18 and 19. Always at 8:15 p.m. All episodes can also be viewed on RTL+. The radio also announced that there will be a second season, expected to arrive in early 2023.
Henning Baum: His Seven Most Famous Film Projects
1999, 2001-2002: Sinan Toprak is the outcast
2002-2006, 2010: Heart and Handcuffs (22 episodes)
2008: sea wolf
2014: The Mirror Affair
2010-2014: The Last Cop (60 episodes)
2018: Jim Button and Locke Engine Driver
2019: The last bull