Inspector Derrick: how does it end?

Between 1974 and 1998, “Inspecteur Derrick” established itself as a veritable institution on the small screen. If you didn’t follow everything well or if your memory challenges you, we tell you the end of the series.

Warning, spoilers. The following article reveals key plot elements of “Detrick Derrick” as well as its ending.

Pioneer and cult, Inspector Derrick is considered one of the most successful series in the history of German television. The police show was, in its time, a major international success, having been sold and broadcast in more than 100 countries – including France where a whole generation of spectators has become faithful to the police investigations of the determined detective.

And at the heart of the series, it is a shocking duo that we have been able to follow for 24 years: Chief Inspector Stephan Derrick (Horst Tappert) and his trusty sidekick, Detective Sergeant Harry Klein (Fritz Wepper). Together they have successfully solved many criminal cases in and around Munich: in fact, there are only 3 in all that they have failed to solve!

It is said that the end of the series in 1998 came when Horst Tappert had reached the age limit he had set. Anyway, the end of the show left more than one faithful saddened to no longer see their favorite inspector on TV.

Thus, it was on October 16, 1998 that the final episode, “Le Grand Jour” (25×5), was broadcast on the German channel ZDF after 25 seasons and 281 episodes of good and loyal service for a series that had become an emblem. German and French television in particular.


It all starts with threats: at night, in a moving car, we overhear someone on the phone ordering the murder of Chief Crime Detective Inspector Stephan Derrick to a stranger – anonymous and not visible. The reward is 250,000 marks, the date, within the next 15 days. Name of sponsor: Kaschonnick. The plot is launched.

It is now daylight and we find Derrick arriving at the police station: all the officers who meet him warmly congratulate him, just like Harry Klein, his lifelong sidekick, when he joins him. Derrick is about to get a promotion which he says only comes from being old and therefore nothing out of the ordinary. And yet, as Harry says, it is not every day that one is appointed Chairman of the Europol Coordination Committee.

Inspector Derrick how does it end
Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

Anyway their boss is asking to see him – probably about the party being thrown in his honor in 15 days, as Harry assumes. It is there that he learns the news: death threats have been made against him. Albert Kaschonnik, a murderer whom Derrick sent to prison 5 years ago and who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, has sworn to kill the inspector before his going away party. Derrick then decides to handle the case himself.

The inspector first goes to the prison to meet Albert Kaschonnik (Uwe Friedrichsen) in person: he wants to know his intentions directly and the latter does not hesitate to give him what he wants. The criminal tells him that he won’t be able to attend his party because he will be dead long before. That’s all Derrick wanted to hear: the investigation can then begin.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG


Against the advice of all his colleagues, Derrick makes it a point of honor to settle the matter himself. But like the man of influence that he is, Kaschonnick has an extensive network of supporters: from his family to his friends, many would be ready to accept this mission. So many suspects that Derrick, accompanied by Harry, must now interrogate.

He is the sponsor’s brother, Walter Kaschonnick (Dirk Galuba), managing Albert’s affairs in his absence, who is first on his list. At the club that Walter now runs, he meets him and the family matriarch, Vera Kaschonnick (Maria Becker). Both know very well who Derrick is, remembering him as the man who put their brother and son in prison.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

Derrick tells them about the death threats against him and the two play the disbelievers. Smug, mother and son stand up to the inspector and provoke him, pretending not to know if the threats are to be taken seriously and even asking him if he’s scared.

Derrick then questions Andrea (Michaela Merten), the daughter of Kaschonnick, who is then in the middle of a photo shoot in small lingerie. She also knows who she is dealing with and has been warned of their arrival: she is not intimidated. As she announces, her father still has influence over her like many others and it’s up to Derrick to find out who was hired to kill him.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

Next on the list: Udo Templin (Tobias Nat), a young man whose father – now in a wheelchair – is a friend of Kaschonnick. When he questions Udo at the boxing club where he trains and then his father Johannes Templin (Florian Martens), at home, both have the same attitude as the members of the Kaschonnick family: they owe a lot (financially and personally) to the criminal and are indebted to him; two potential suspects who also taunt the inspector.

And when asked if he would kill Derrick if Kaschonnick ordered it, Johannes, who owes his life to the criminal, replies that it would depend on the risks he would run, that it is difficult to answer coldly but that the answer is not no…


As they later discuss the case, Derrick and Harry find that each of the interviewees keeps their distance, not feeling concerned about the murders in general. A woman then arrives in the room: her name is Stefanie Bauer (Eleanor Weisgerber) and is a psychologist sent to accompany Derrick during this investigation which could prove stressful for him since his life is directly threatened.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

After further pressuring the family members, the inspector is back at the station where his bosses, very worried, want to postpone the ceremony so that he can retire for a while. Derrick refuses. Close protection then? He also refuses. He wants to do his job normally until the last moment and push the murderer out of hiding.

It is then that he leaves to challenge Andrea in the street and takes her to the town hall where the ceremony in her honor will take place. There, seeking to destabilize the young woman, he tells her of the discourse he intends to pronounce on human beings who are only spectators like her. Andrea announces, angrily, that her father is what he is and that everyone must take responsibility. She leaves, upset.

Back at Johannes Templin, Derrick wants to know if the latter knows his murderer. Johannes does not answer but seems nervous. As his son Udo arrives, he says he doesn’t care about the issue. Just like his son.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

While visiting Stefanie, the psychologist asks Derrick what he thinks and he can’t help but think back to his career and the number of people he has met who are only spectators of their own life: a theme that bothers him…


Back home, Derrick receives a call from a man parked outside his home – whom he had spotted. The man in question is Kucora (Franjo Marincic) and announces himself as a low-level petty mobster who heard about the contract to kill the inspector but refused to cross that line. However, he offers the inspector to find the one who accepted the mission in exchange for his future police help if he ever needed it. Derrick closes the deal.

Building on the pressure again and again, Derrick does not budge and continues to visit Andrea at her workplace, telling her that he will always come back to the charge: the young woman is really starting to be nervous. Above all, he tells her that the party in her honor will take place earlier: tomorrow evening. Once the inspector leaves, Andrea hurries to make a call.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

At home, Derrick receives a visit from Kucora who has found out who his future assassin was: a national of the former Yugoslavia who has been living in Germany for 2 years has accepted the mission. While the police bosses want him arrested immediately, Derrick refuses as he has yet to commit a crime to speak of. He asks that everything go as planned and that the man be watched and then arrested during the evening.


The time has come: the ceremony is about to begin: in the audience are the Kaschonnicks and friends. At the same time, the entire police apparatus is mobilized and on the alert. On stage, Derrick makes his speech: he then speaks of crime in general, which has become commonplace, of the complicity of people who remain passive, of the fact of being a spectator… He thus addresses his detractors in a disguised way.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

Meanwhile, a suspicious van pulls up in the City Hall parking lot, and the police lead a raid to neutralize the men inside. They are soon arrested and their plan foiled. Derrick, who has just finished his speech, hears the news from Harry and rejoices.

It is therefore with a smile on his face that he approaches Vera and Andrea who are about to leave and asks them if they appreciated his speech. But Andrea suddenly has a return of conscience and asks him, distraught, not to leave the building. Derrick tells them that it’s all over: they arrested those who were going to kill him. Vera doesn’t look happy.

At the bottom of the town hall, Derrick announces to his bosses, Stefanie and Harry that he would like to be left alone now. The emotion is at its height in this last scene of the series, especially when Derrick approaches Harry and says to him: “Harry, thank you, with all my heart, thank you for all that you have done.” Then he goes alone.

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Telenova Film und Fernsehproduktion / ZDF / ORF /SRG

As everyone watches him leave, Harry finally replies “Good luck Stephan”. The latter turns around and looks at him one last time before resuming his journey, moving away in the dark to the rhythm of the melody of Hey Mr. Gentleman by Helen Schneider. End of Inspector Derrick.

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