Count Heinrich von Alternberg/Henry Altern

Created by Brian Clemens

Now here’s a name you don’t hear everyday: COUNT HEINRICH von ALTERNBERG.

No wonder he changed it.

It seems Heinrich was the prodigal son, returned home to England to discover that the vast wealth and estate his German father had left him was toast, and that he was virtually penniless. A bit of a flake, he decides to swap the ten-dollar nomenclature for something a little less hoity-toity, and as HENRY ALTERN goes into the private eye biz, occasionally aided and abetted by his ex-wife Lisa, a reporter, while legendary French actress Capucine played his mother. But the Count is not dead — the impulsive, crafty Henry’s more than willing to play the title card, using it to impress suspects, clients and even creditors.

That’s the premise of Blaues Blut, a short-lived British/German co-production, that ran on German television back in the nineties. Series creator Brian Clemens originally intended the show for British television, and in fact the 1988 pilot was filmed in English. Unfortunately it didn’t go over particularly well. But dubbed into German, it was picked up by German television and ran for ten episodes. Rumours are it also ran for a while on CBS in the States.

It’s all sorta fluffy — one reviewer on IMDB even refers to it as “Eurobland” — but remember, this was the tail-end of a decade that had already given us Simon and Simon, Matt Houston and Riptide. So there were plenty of pretty women and fancy cars, chases, “very special” guest stars (Lauren Hutton!) and numerous “exotic” settings, as Henry jet setted around Europe, visiting Germany (naturally), France, Italy, Spain and Austria.

Creator Clemens is a long time veteran writer of crime shows, having written episodes of everything from The New Adventures of Martin Kane to The Avengers and The Professionals.

TELEVISION

  • BLUE BLOOD
    (Known in English as “Scandalous”)
    (1988, TMG)
    Pilot
    Created by Brian Clemens
    Written by Brian Clemens
    Directed by Robert Young
    Starring Albert Fortell as COUNT HEINRICH von ALTERNBERG/HENRY ALTERN
    and Ursula Karven as Lisa Prentice
    Also starring Capucine, Lauren Hutton, Lewis Collins, Friedrich von Thun, Arthur Brauss, Hannelore Elsner
  • BLAUES BLUTBuy this DVD.
    (Known in English as “Blue Blood”)
    (1990, TMG)
    Created by Brian Clemens
    Writers: Brian Clemens
    Directed by Sidney Hayers, Robert Young
    Starring Albert Fortell as COUNT HEINRICH von ALTERNBERG/HENRY ALTERN
    and Ursula Karven as Lisa Prentice
    Also starring Capucine
    Guest stars: Lewis Collins, Franco Nero, Lauren Hutton, Fernando Rey, Barbara Wussow, Friedrich von Thun, Marisa Berenson, Hannelore Elsner, Gottfried John.

    • Season One
    • “Wer zweimal lebt, stirbt einmal mehr” (January 15, 1990)
    • “Gegen die Uhr” (January 22, 1990)
    • “Sein letzter Coup” (January 29, 1990)
    • “Das Mädchen aus dem Meer” (February 5, 1990)
    • “Dunkle Pfade” (February 12, 1990)
    • “Schatten der Vergangenheit” (February 19, 1990)
    • “Der Skandal” (February 26, 1990)
    • “Das Ende feiner Herren” (March 5, 1990)
    • “Wo der Teufel wacht” (March 12, 1990)
    • “Tödliches Wochenende” (March 19, 1990)
Respectfully submitted by Chris Baldemor, our film/television editor, and Kevin Burton Smith.

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