|For the version from Eva's World, see Ulrich Nielsen|
- "Do you know why I became a policeman? When my brother vanished back then, they made every mistake in the book. The chief investigator was a drunken moron. And I... I swore I'd do everything differently. That I'd do things right. That I wouldn't become an incompetent asshole pig like him. That was 33 years ago. And now look at me. I'm a joke. I cheat on my wife. My son has vanished. I can't do anything. Thirty-three years. Everything is the same. Just that now I'm the incompetent asshole."
- ―Ulrich Nielsen to Charlotte Doppler[src]
Ulrich Nielsen is a headstrong police officer. He is married to Katharina Nielsen but has an affair with Hannah Kahnwald. Following the disappearance of one of his children, Mikkel, he fiercely attempts to find him, becoming entangled in Winden's mysteries.
- 1 Personality
- 2 Biography
- 2.1 1971
- 2.2 1986
- 2.3 2019
- 2.4 1953
- 2.5 1954
- 2.6 1987
- 2.7 2019 (alternate version)
- 2.8 1986 (alternate world) (time travel)
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
Rebellious and resentful as a teen, Ulrich grows to become a carefree and loving (albeit unfaithful) family man. However, after his son Mikkel disappears and memories of his brother's disappearance resurface, he becomes unequivocally committed to finding them. Eventually, he turns reckless and obsessive to the point of attempting to murder a child.
Ulrich is seen as a troublesome youth in 1986. The disappearance of his brother, Mads Nielsen, and the inability of the police to locate him leaves him deeply resentful. He channels this emotion in rebelliousness, from wearing a jacket with the punk slogan "No Future" to listening to loud, aggressive music with lyrics like
- My only aim is to take many lives
The more the better I feel
He becomes friends with young Hannah Krüger after both meet during a stormy night at a bus stop. Hannah has a profound crush on him, but he is oblivious to it, and his romantic interests are directed to Katharina Albers.
Jealous of the relationship, Hannah later presents a false testimony to police investigator Egon Tiedemann, accusing Ulrich of rape after seeing him and Katharina have sex. Egon was already suspicious of Ulrich in the case of Mads' disappearance, thinking he might be involved with Satanism. Katharina's physical injuries, actually inflicted by her mother, also seem to corroborate the report. As a consequence, Ulrich spends several days in jail.
Ulrich is finally released and his mother, Jana Nielsen, vows to get Egon off Mads' case following the unjust arrest. Ulrich, seeing Egon as a drunk incompetent, vows to become a police officer himself to do it the right way.
On the morning of their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Ulrich tries to pressure Katharina into having sex, but is interrupted by Mikkel, who enters their bedroom having developed a red rash all over his body, which his mother recognizes as rubella. As they go to the hospital, they find Jonas Kahnwald, who has really just traveled from another time. They are surprised he is not at the lake with the others and offer him a ride but he declines. Ulrich, Katharina, and Mikkel stop at the Kahnwald home to pick up some glasses for their party that evening.
Later, as the anniversary party draws to an end, Ulrich and Hannah kiss passionately, starting their affair.
Following Mikkel's disappearance, Ulrich becomes obsessed with finding him, taking him from Jürgen Obendorf's garage to the grounds of the Winden Nuclear Power Plant, the latter leading to his suspension from the police force. He tries to end his affair with Hannah, but she warns that she will not be gotten rid of so easily. During the course of the investigation, he finds parallels between his son's and his brother's cases, which eventually leads him to conclude a body found in Winden's forest was, in fact, Mads'.
As his marriage and personal life deteriorate, Ulrich further concludes that the elderly Helge Doppler is somehow connected to the disappearances occurring in Winden in 1986 and 2019. He confronts Helge in his room at the nursing home, then later follows him into the Winden Caves.
After following an elderly Helge Doppler through the forest, Ulrich ends up finding the wormhole and traveling back to 1953. There, he meets the child Helge and, convinced he can change the future by preventing Helge from kidnapping his brother and son, attempts to kill him. He fails to kill him, however, and paradoxically sets in motion the events that would lead Helge becoming Noah's henchman.
Ulrich also encounters a younger Egon Tiedemann, who later ends up arresting him, but his ranting and raving lead the police to think he is a maniac. He is arrested on suspicion of being connected to the disappearance of Helge Doppler; he refuses to say where he left Helge's body, or who he is, and is beaten up in his jail cell. He does inform Egon that his marriage is about to break.
Ulrich is eventually committed to a mental asylum, where he is subjected to wearing a straitjacket and the administration of heavy medication. Other than an unheard attempt on June 23, 1954, he has never revealed his name.
Hannah travels from 2020 to 1954 and inquires to the police about her missing "husband". She introduces herself as Katharina Nielsen and Egon takes her to the institution where Ulrich is being held.
Ulrich is taken to Hannah in his straitjacket. He asks if she is real. He asks about Katharina and his children. Hannah, sensing that he cares more about Katharina and his family, asks him who he would choose between her or Katharina, or if he ever loved her. He tells her he loves her and will leave Katharina if she can get him out of there. But his words sound hollow and desperate, just in the hope she will get him out. She tells Ulrich he does not need her now and turns around as Ulrich is brought back, yelling in desperation. She tells Egon that despite a slight resemblance, Ulrich is not her husband. Bitter that he still loves Katharina instead of her, however, Hannah leaves him there.
Ulrich spends the next 34 years locked in a psychiatric hospital, gaining a bit of notoriety among the patients and staff who call him the “Inspector” since no one knows his real name.
An elderly Egon Tiedemann visits Ulrich in the hospital. Egon has been revisiting his old cases, trying to understand the unusual events that unfolded in Winden. Ulrich again refuses to give his name and dismisses the retired officer. He spooks Egon when he informs him he knows when he will die.
Egon returns to Ulrich and tells him he recognizes the lyrics Ulrich repeated to him first in 1953 and then the day before. Ulrich at last reveals his name and that he is from the future. Later that day, Egon shows Ulrich a picture of a boy who he suspects might be Ulrich's son Mikkel from the future. Ulrich flies into a rage that Egon has been hiding this from him and attacks him. He makes plans to escape the institution to find Mikkel.
Ulrich finds Mikkel at the Kahnwald residence, where Ines Kahnwald has taken him in, and Mikkel recognizes him as his father. Ulrich attempts to return to the Winden Caves to take him back to their proper time but is stopped by the police and Ines. An enraged Ulrich vows to kill Egon before he is taken back to the hospital, where he is strapped down to his bed.
Katharina arrives in 1987 from 2020 and learns that Ulrich is a patient at the psychiatric ward where her mother worked.
The elderly Ulrich is playing chess by himself. Katharina sits down in front of him; at first, he is unaware of her. She calls him by name, he looks at her and realizes it is Katharina. He becomes emotional, his hands tremble Katharina steadies his hands and promises to get him out of there.
After convincing her mother to let her see Ulrich, she tells him to wait by the door so she can get him out later. Ulrich only nods. Katharina tells him they will go home and bring Mikkel with them. Ulrich apologizes for everything, and Katharina nods understandingly.
That evening, Ulrich waits by the door as instructed by Katharina. Looking at a clock, he sees that Katharina is half an hour late, which saddens him. Katharina never shows up, getting killed by her mother at the lake before she can.
2019 (alternate version)
In the alternate world, Ulrich marries Katharina and has Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel as in the other world. However, when he begins cheating on his wife with Hannah, his marriage does not last long. They get a divorce and Ulrich later marries Hannah, conceiving a child with her sometime in early 2019. Sometime, Ulrich becomes the police chief of Winden.
Ulrich walks into Hannah's room and awakes her. Hannah tells him she had trouble sleeping. Ulrich tells her he took a while to make it home because the baker's was full and jokes the apocalypse is nearing them. Hannah asks him to stay, but he has to leave for work. He tells her they will see each other that evening, and Hannah stands up, revealing she is pregnant. She tells him she loves him, and Ulrich tells her she is beautiful.
Ulrich states to the rest of the police station that Erik Obendorf has been missing for nearly two weeks. Torben Wöller is present in the meeting, with both eyes intact, but missing his left arm. When Ulrich asks for ideas, Charlotte Doppler mentions they have not received the shift schedules from the power plant yet. Ulrich nods and asks her to check with Aleksander Tiedemann at the power plant.
Charlotte returns to the police station, where she is called by Ulrich. In there, Ulrich begins kissing her, and she says they need to stop. Torben walks in and gives them information which Ulrich finds irrelevant, but Charlotte tells him they can work with it. At the police station, Ulrich tells Charlotte he is going to the parents meeting and offers her a ride, which she accepts.
At the police station, Ulrich lets everybody know that Bartosz, Magnus, Kilian, Martha, and Franziska found a body at the Doppler's bunker the night before. Crying, he mentions that the clothes are from the '80s and that they found a card which identified the body as his brother Mads Nielsen. Charlotte pulls Ulrich away and tells him he does not have to be there at such a difficult time for him, as Wöller can do briefings and she can do forensics. Ulrich reminds her that he spent 33 years looking for his brother, and mentions in disbelief how the body had all of Mads' things, which were kept until the moment the body was "placed" in the bunker. Charlotte asks him if he believes the killer was connected to Mads, Erik, and the boy in the bunker. Ulrich does not give a direct answer and reminds her that he became a police officer because when his brother went missing, the detective was a moron and did every mistake the could have possibly made. However, Ulrich is now looking at himself and believes he is becoming worse, as he cheated on his wife, and cheated on Hannah as well. After he comes to this realization, he leaves.
Alternate reality Martha is on her bed, but gets up when she hears the doorbell. She opens it up only to see her father at the door. Ulrich asks if he can come inside, and Martha allows it. He asks if Magnus is in the house, and asks Martha to tell him what really happened in the bunker. Martha tells him that she meant everything she had said when she told him the bunker was empty when they got there, but after a light shined, a body fell into it. Ulrich asks if they had taken anything that might have altered their perception, and a shocked Martha asks if he really thought that. Ulrich restructured his question, asking if Kilian had given her anything as Magnus walked down the stairs. Ulrich asks him what he had taken before entering the bunker as well and Magnus asks him if he means it seriously and if he had suddenly become the caring type, as he normally does not care what they do. Martha repeats that what they had originally told him still applies. Magnus asks Ulrich if that was it, as his mother was going to be home at any minute and it would be best if he left. He also sarcastically comments that it was nice that he had dropped by to see how they were doing. Ulrich leaves after that, and calls the dorms Kilian was staying in, asking him if he had slipped Martha something.
When Helge confessed to Mads' murder, Ulrich gets to the police station. Shaken, he grabs Helge and asks him what he did to Mads before Helge simply recognizes Ulrich is alive, and realizes that it was him while holding up the necklace with the coin. Ulrich asks what he is saying, while Helge repeats that it was him, referring to the man who destroyed his eye.
Hannah opens the door for and receives Charlotte, who is looking for Ulrich. Hannah mentions Ulrich is in the shower, but Charlotte asks if she can wait for him because what she wants to tell him is urgent. Hannah nods, and asks her how she is; when Charlotte says she is alright, Hannah tells her that Ulrich is hers, which would not change. Ulrich gets downstairs, and wonders what Charlotte is doing there. Charlotte mentions she wanted to show him the file she had before they leave. Hannah tells them they should all hang out together while she still can. She goes upstairs and Ulrich tells Charlotte to never show up there unannounced before Charlotte shows him the pennies on Helge and Mads were the same penny, which Helge had had as long as she knew him. She believed the penny had traveled through time. Ulrich races to the police station after asking where Helge is and is told he is in pre-trial custody.
Ulrich visits Mads' body who is said must have died immediately when the body was found. Ulrich asks if it is possible his body had been preserved, but the lady at the morgue finds it hard to believe. He notices something about the scar on his brother's chin, which worries the doctor.
Helge is in his cell when he is visited by Ulrich, which scares him. Ulrich grabs him and asks how it is possible he murdered Mads and a boy showed up that looks just like him. Helge says he was forced to send the boy to the future by a woman to fill the gaps. Ulrich puts Helge down, and asks him about the pennies, to which Helge only responds he must stop a man. Ulrich grabs him and asks who it is he needs to stop and is surprised to hear it is him who needs to be stopped. Ulrich tells Helge he can leave, and so the latter does.
Ulrich follows Helge to the caves. Ulrich calls Charlotte and leaves a voice mail saying the thing with the pennies was the same thing that had happened to the body in the bunker. He asked her to test a DNA sample, as he was sure the boy in the bunker was Mads before running into the cave after Helge.
1986 (alternate world) (time travel)
He finds Helge as a middle aged man and attempts to kill him, destroying his eye in the process. As soon as he finishes bashing his eye in, Ulrich takes him into the bunker, possibly to kill him for good. An old Helge then comes to the bunker and kills him.
- He is the only character to appear in all of the 10 episodes of the first season.
Season 1 
- Episode 1 "Secrets" (2019)
- Episode 2 "Lies" (1986, 2019)
- Episode 3 "Past and Present" (1986, 2019)
- Episode 4 "Double Lives" (2019)
- Episode 5 "Truths" (1986, 2019)
- Episode 6 "Sic Mundus Creatus Est" (2019)
- Episode 7 "Crossroads" (1986, 2019)
- Episode 8 "As You Sow, so You Shall Reap" (1953, 2019 --> 1953)
- Episode 9 "Everything Is Now" (1986, 2019 --> 1953)
- Episode 10 "Alpha and Omega" (2019 --> 1953)
Season 2 
- Episode 2 "Dark Matter" (1987)
- Episode 3 "Ghosts" (1987, 2019 --> 1954)
- Episode 5 "Lost and Found" (1987)
- Episode 6 "An Endless Cycle" (2019)
- Episode 7 "The White Devil" (2020 hallucination; 2019 --> 1954)
Season 3 
- Episode 1 "Deja-vu" (2019 alternate)
- Episode 2 "The Survivors" (1987)
- Episode 3 "Adam and Eva" (2019 alternate)
- Episode 5 "Life and Death" (1987)
- Episode 6 "Light and Shadow" (2019 alternate)
- Episode 8 "The Paradise" (2019 alternate)
- → See 95 images of Ulrich Nielsen at Images of Ulrich Nielsen.