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How the pilot became so much more

How the pilot became so much more

The stately representative room of the Amalthea Verlag House in Vienna on Monday barely had enough space for all the guests invited to the book presentation. ORF“Time of Governance” series. A real community seems to have emerged around the broadcast team and the castles we've already visited. Many of the castle owners from the program were in attendance.

Guest show Johann Philipp Spiegelfeld He confirms the impression in the KURIER interview: “I think you can tell that people enjoyed being on the show. Of course, at first there might have been some turbulent feelings here and there because you didn't know who was coming to visit. But it's a great, fun team, and we're making sure we don't break any Something. The mood is always good. In the evening we sit together for a beer and think about our day and it brings us together in a way.”

In Bernstein's Castle: Fireside conversations as a fixed point

It was also important for him to make it clear “that these people – although you don't have to feel sorry for them – have to earn money through creativity so that the castle does not collapse.”

Behind the scenes stories

And now all this can be read in book form. “We wanted to write the history of these families and castles again, but we also wanted to offer ‘behind the scenes’, with very funny stories behind the scenes,” says Spiegelfeld.

Judgment times!  - Visits to Johann Philipp Castle

Rohrau Castle: Comparing the Nose to Joseph Haydn

Spiegelfeld himself always contributes a skewed version of the Beatles' evergreen “Yesterday” to broadcasts. Bush points out in the book that it is also about addressing the “yesterday” of the old walls, but: “Yesterday is the only piano piece that is difficult for our star pianist to play.”

He said the fact that Spiegelfeld also had an odd job as an airline pilot was one of the reasons he was chosen ORFProgram Director and Head of “Seitenblike”. Ines Schwandner In the show. There was also an indication that Spiegelfeld, as a scion of a former aristocratic family, was able to respond well to his hosts. However, he had to go to the casting, but according to Schwandner, it was said: “He came, he saw and he won.”

"Judgment times" As a book: How a Pilot Became So Much More

Introducing the book: Martin S. Bosch, Katarzyna Lotica, Ines Schwandner, Johann Philipp Spiegelfeld

Movable clam castle

The show was actually a surprise hit. Originally intended to fill the summer slack, a shorter pilot was filmed at Clam Castle. These 25-30 minutes convinced the officials and five episodes were commissioned.

When it became clear that the ratings were not “summery” at all, but rather more competitive, “Burg Clam” was supposed to be broadcast as a “bonus”. In order to reach 45 minutes, filming had to take place in August. The episode then aired as the big season finale, Spiegelfeld wrote in the book. It was not noticeable that some hairstyles and shoes might look a little different. The fact that the red bag, now a cult item, didn't exist yet — just a brown bag — didn't really bother anyone.

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“Everyone said how much I had grown over the course of the season, how confident and relaxed I was,” Spiegelfeld notes with self-deprecation. “But those were actually the first minutes I was in front of the camera.

"Judgment times" As a book: How a Pilot Became So Much More

Johann Philipp Spiegelfeld, Martin S. Bush: “Times of Reign”, Amalthea Publishing, 272 pages, 30 euros, with many illustrations

To a person
Spiegelfeld is an AUA pilot, trained historian and Maltese volunteer paramedic. Since 2020, moderator of “Times of Reign!” – Visits to Johann Philips Castle.

Season 1 reached an average of 497,000 viewers in summer 2021. Visits in Season 4: Castles of Kohfidisch (Bgld.), Prugg (Lower Austria) and Frauental (Stemk.)

In the book there are QR codes for playlists containing songs from the shows.
Here as a sample: “Kaiservilla Bad Ischl”

Season 4 – And then?

Season 4 is scheduled to air next August, but with only three new episodes due to the Olympics. These become castles Covidish (picture), Bruges (No and Frontal (STMC) lead.

When asked if we would continue with Season 5, Schwandner said: “This is a great wish, but at the moment we are a little short of money at ORF. But the intention is there.”

But fans shouldn't worry too much. Because Spiegelfeld and Busch are already planning another “experiment” – for the possible new formula “Herrgottsszeit!”

That's why you want to visit monasteries. First of all, Herzogenburg Monastery (Lower Austria).