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NB! This story is a two-parter and continues in episode 5. If you don’t want spoilers, log into your Showmax account on the evening of Tuesday, 7 May and stream episodes 4 and 5 of Die Spreeus as one binge-watch session.
The Ghost Of Uniondale is one of our country’s best-known ghost stories. Maria Charlotte Roux died during Easter on the Barandas-Willowmore road in the Western Cape in 1968. She fell asleep on the backseat of her fiancé’s “Volla” (his nickname for his Volkswagen Beetle). Maria’s fiancé lost control of the car in a violent storm, rolled off the road and she died in the accident. Years later, in 1973, a man claimed that he’d picked up a hitchhiker who asked him to drop her at 2 Porter Street. But just after she got into his car, she disappeared into thin air, leaving only the scent of apple blossoms.
In episode 4 of supernatural thriller series Die Spreeus, titled Two Porter Street, detectives Bas and Beatrice (Chris Vorster and Monique Rockman) are called to investigate the case of Innes (De Klerk Oelofse), a young man who was in a car accident shortly after he picked up a woman named Maria (Rolanda Marias) on the side of the road.
What makes this case unusual is that there have been 19 similar incidents on the same road. During Bas and Beatrice’s investigation, they become acquainted with strange characters including the ghostly Maria. But the storyline isn’t about scaring viewers – to highlight the gloomy atmosphere, show writer Tertius Kapp has added dark humour to give viewers a lighter feel to the ghostly drama.
Here are a couple of scenes to get you giggling at the ghoulish theme…
While searching for clues at the scene of Innes’s crash, Bas gets nostalgic while staring at the open road and feeling the Karoo wind in his hair. Beatrice, meanwhile, is glued to her smartphone screen, which leads to Bas telling her, “You young people living in those screens. How small is that world?”
She retorts with, “I’m chatting to my friend in Sweden,” attempting to prove that her world is bigger than he realises thanks to technology.
“And how are you describing this landscape to her,” asks Bas.
“With a selfie,” says a snooty Beatrice as she snaps a photo of herself with the landscape in the background. How very Kardashian of her.
Bas and Beatrice inspect the wrecks of the VW Polo and BMW involved in Innes’s accident. Beatrice asks the mechanic Koert (Melt Sieberhagen), who towed the cars to his workshop, what’s wrong with the cars. “Shocks, brakes, whatever?”
“There’s quite a lot wrong with both cars now,” replies Koert sarcastically, mistaking Beatrice for a simple poppie who doesn’t know anything about cars.
That isn’t Koert’s only snappy comeback. Later, while Koert is drinking beer with his pal Henk (Hannes Brummer), Bas brings up the town’s ghost problem. Henk tells them how he was so lonely once that he went looking for this lonely ghost woman, to which Koert adds, “The next morning, we found him by the roadside, wearing just his undies.”
“Best night of my life,” says Henk without flinching.
The swear word: Alice
Bartender Lanie (Caren Bester) strikes up conversation with Beatrice while she’s sipping on a drink at the bar. Beatrice first thinks that Lanie is just chatting as a bartender, but her body language tells another story and Lanie is soon spilling everything while flirting with Beatrice.
Bas interupts the ladies and asks his colleague what her investigation has found so far, to which Beatrice replies, “Curiouser and curiouser,” unknowingly quoting Lewis Carrol’s storybook Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (1865).
Well-read Bas asks, “Down the rabbit hole?” referencing Alice falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland.
“Hmm?” asks Beatrice.
“Alice,” replies Bas.
“Who the f**k is Alice?” snaps Beatrice.
While Bas thinks that she’s talking about the book now, Beatrice thinks that Bas is talking about Smokie’s 1976 song Living Next Door To Alice, the lyrics of which have become popular Afrikaans euphemisms and turns of phrase.
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