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Die Spreeus dives right into Afrikaans literary icon CJ Langenhoven’s short stories in the first episode.

“People say that she is a witch,” says Brigadier Rosa Scheffers (Sandi Schultz) in brand-new Afrikaans paranormal-supernatural series Die Spreeus – setting the spooky tone for the episode.

Emmie van Graan (Lea Vivier) is often seen disappearing into the night, heading to a dilapidated building where she appears to be dancing with ghosts. And then strange marks appear on her arms. It looks like she’s been physically assaulted, but Rosa has her suspicions, “There is something else about Emmie. Something not quite normal…”She needs help to find out what happened.

A love story across dimensions

This first storyline is split over two episodes, so you’ve got viewing options: stream episode 1 and then wait for episode 2 to wrap it up – or wait for both and watch them in one shot. Your choice.

It’s based on CJ Langenhoven’s 1930 tale Die Bouval Op Wilgersdal (The Ruins Of Wilgersdal), an unusual love story between Emmie and Peter (Ludwig Binge). It’s not a straightforward romantic tale – it goes beyond the physical world and into the supernatural dimension. Peter isn’t quite who he says he is – Emmie is becoming terrified of him – and the only place she can feel her true love’s presence is when they’re at the crumbling ruins.

It takes teamwork

Having struggled to find a police division to investigate Emmie’s case, Rosa turns to the one person she knows who will be able help. “We need someone who thinks differently,” she tells Bas Koorts, her former colleague who was also married to her late sister. “Someone like you!” she adds.

Rosa is putting together a unit that will investigate special and unusual cases, kind of like Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in The X-Files. Teaming up with Bas will be sergeant Beatrice Mack (Monique Rockman), a hot-shot detective.

Both Bas and Beatrice have elements in their past that have made them different. Bas’s life fell apart when his wife died.  There are flashbacks throughout the series to that terrible night when Bas found his wife in a pool of blood and a ghostly shape wrapping its claws around his son Dewald (Anderson White).

Beatrice, on the other hand, is using her job to get one up on her businessman dad Bernie (Kevin Smith) as retaliation for having her mother committed for believing in fairies, ghosts and other supernatural creatures. Beatrice also doesn’t like the fact that her dad quickly replaced her mom Erica (Theresa Sedras) with some floozy. Anything she can do to irritate him she will grab with both hands.

Light in the shadows

Mr Scheepers (Schalk Bezuidenhout)

While there is a lot of doom and gloom surrounding Emmie and Peter, there are light-hearted moments to leave you sniggering. Like when Bas’s boss Mr Scheepers (Schalk Bezuidenhout) fires him as a mall security guard at the start of the show and orders him to leave his uniform and go… which sees a half-naked Bas sheepishly walking out of the office clutching his trusty Nokia 3310 cellphone. You know those ones from the mid-90s that were indestructible and had a battery that could last a week even if you played Snake on it all day?

Beatrice gets in on the humour too – stepmom Anel (Stefanie Hough) models a yellow dress for Beatrice’s stepsister’s upcoming wedding and Beatrice tells her snidely, “You look like a Crunchie” – referring to the honeycomb chocolate.

One key short of a melody

Bas and Beatrice start investigating Emmie and Peter and quickly discover something worrying about the pair – and Emmie could be in serious danger.

Find out what happens in episode 2… new episodes available on Showmax every Tuesday night. Stream from the beginning here.

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