The series based on Deon Meyer’s Trackers will have you obsessed
Political thriller Trackers, one of Deon Meyer’s most popular books, has been adapted for the small screen – and M-Net viewers will have front-row seats.
Trackers tells the story of a diverse group of people whose lives are brought together due to circumstances beyond their control. Ex-Special Forces member Lemmer gets involved in translocating two black rhino, but is ambushed along the way. Former wealthy housewife Milla Strachan takes a lowly job in journalism and finds herself face to face with organised crime and terrorism. Former-cop-turned-private-detective Matt Joubert is trying to trace down missing Danie Flint, a bus-route planner who disappeared. How and why are these lives even interlinked? You’ll have to watch the series to find out!
It’s going to be huge
This is probably one of the largest M-Net local productions to date, and has been done in collaboration with the German public broadcaster ZDF, Cinemax (which will distribute the show worldwide) and HBO.
As most South Africans know, Deon Meyer is one of our biggest-selling authors. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and millions of copies have been sold worldwide. He not only wrote the book the show is based on, but he also supervised the screenwriter and co-producer. British screenwriter Robert Thorogood, who worked on the crime drama series Death in Paradise, is the showrunner. Local creatives involved in the international production include playwright, screenwriter and theatre director Amy Jephta (Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story) and film-makers Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe.
The cast comprises both local and international actors, including Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. Deon Meyer is particularly happy with the casting. “I now find it hard to think of those characters without seeing the faces of the talent,” he says. “That is how convincing they are at playing their roles.” He says the locations chosen really portray the beauty and variety of landscapes in South Africa. “I am really chuffed we will be showing the rest of the world how beautiful this country is.”
Reviews of the book have been overwhelmingly positive. “This is the author’s most accomplished novel to date,” wrote a reviewer in the British Sunday Times. “It’s a mesmerising read, and a startling revelation at the very end suggests that we haven’t heard the last of these engaging characters.”
Meet the characters
After years of abuse, 40-year-old Milla finally leaves her husband, resentful son and life of luxury, but finds herself battling to find work in a job market that has moved on. She’s finally forced to take a lowly journalism job in a government agency. Played by Rolanda Marais (Binnelanders, Wolwedans in die Skemer).
Formerly a member of the Special Forces and ministerial bodyguard who lost his job after a botched intelligence operation, Lemmer now lives in the small Karoo town of Loxton, renovating an old house and dealing with his anger. Played by James Gracie (Siberia, Madiba and The Gamechangers).
As director of the Presidential Bureau of Intelligence (PBI), Janina takes her job of protecting the people of South Africa seriously. She played an important role in the country’s liberation struggle and is vehemently opposed to corruption and anyone who undermines the country’s independence.
Played by Sandi Schultz (Hotel, Binnelanders).
Chief of operations at the PBI, Quinn is second-in-command to Janina and has her job in his sights, although they work together closely. He’s clever, educated and ambitious, and Janina sometimes doubts his intentions. Played by Thapelo Mokoena (Wild at Heart, Long Walk to Freedom).
When and how to watch Trackers
The six-episode series premieres on Sunday 27 October on M-Net (101) at 20:00, in the time slot of the regular Sunday-evening movie. (The movie will follow immediately afterwards.)
To find out more about Trackers, visit the M-Net homepage.