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The first couple of episodes in the series will introduce us to the inhabitants of the valley via a thread of intrigue ignited by the arrival of a detective sent to investigate a mysterious homicide. While the murder remains a predominant thread deep into the series, the role of external visitors will grow and interweave as dynamic devices to activate and develop the narrative scope.

A synopsis of the initial episode is included below, as well as a link to the developing screenplay.  Speculative summaries of subsequent episodes are outlined in the relevant tab.


Detective Inspector Maake’s police van passes the sign: Yes, this IS the right road. He stops and struggles with a stifling collar and a recalcitrant hook at the gate loudly marked: MAAK HEK TOE!!!  The Wiltshires make use of the open gate, roaring by in a bright new Landrover. A shaky, subjective shot gives a hint that the gate is being watched from a secretive distance. This will be repeated on occasion.


Maake pulls in at the Vreemdeling yard. Miems Joubert shows Maake into a cold storage room. The Naked Dead Man is suspended amongst sheep and pig carcasses. A briefcase with broken locks dangles by chain from his wrist. A fractious conversation ensues about why Miems removed the body from where she found it propped against a farm gate and how she thinks it got there.  Miems doesn’t miss a moment to cast suspicion on her neighbours, the Wiltshires to one side, and the 'Boneys' (bikers) to the other.

Maake at Uitspankraal. He contemplates the Boneys menu-wall. He asks Kitty for a burger and a coke; whether they know anything about a stranger with a briefcase; and whether they have a landline as his radio is out of range. “Yes”, she says, “no, and yes.. but it’s been disconnected”. Marlon suggests that “If you climb to the top of that hill you will get enough signal for a mobile phone. Or we can rent you a bike to get up there”. Things get tense when Maake lifts the corner of an oily tarp to reveal the trim of a shiny black Mercedes. Marlon’s explanation is interrupted by Kitty returning and rebuking him for eating the burger supplies. Maake is irritably hot and hungry as he puffs his way up the hill. He has to get a forensics crew and a mortuary van out asap. Below him, the distant figures of Kitty and Marlon in evident dispute.

Another day.                                        

Maake’s policeman shoes walk the stone labyrinth at Jakkalsbos Nature Farm. He checks his watch in frustration. Vultures circle overhead. Eventually Miles Wiltshire shows up. His wife, Skye, hangs back at the green Landrover with their five year-old, Thyme, who asks her if the policeman is looking for ‘Mr Smith’. Skye scans the horizon agitatedly.

Miles is explaining why he has been hard to get hold of.. about the teething problems of their new venture: a borehole blocked, again; the bikers disturbing their guests, etc. They are marketing wellness and tranquility, you see. Maake asks Miles if they serve meals, and if they’ve seen a stranger, perhaps driving a dark Mercedes.

Eventually the detective leaves. When he is out of sight, Miles rips a sign, advertising ‘San Vision Quests’, from a post - with unseemly aggression.

Skye looks up at the wheeling vultures.


Turns out, later, that the vultures are tracking ‘Mr Smith’ - the first client for their commercialized Vision Quest – who they have now lost! He’d turned up at the Boneys desperate for a burger. Kitty had given him some psychotropic root she mistook for the appetite suppressant Hoodia. Both the Wiltshires and the Boneys mistakenly think that Maake is looking for Smith, or that it is Smith that has died. It is not – but he has gone quite feral. He raids the farms at night.. stealing supplies, trying to get to Kitty for more of the drug, sabotaging infrastructure. (Well, the latter could also be Miems). We don’t see Smith, just evidence that he is around, and the occasional animalistic noises.

Maake is increasingly frustrated by the confusing and cagey responses of the suspects, which, by now, is every one of them. As well as the fact that he can never get to question Bonaparte, who he thinks may have the key to everything. Finally, Miems relents, and takes him across the yard to meet him. Bonaparte is a very large, wryly-named pig.


End credits


A dark blue BMW pulls up at Yes, this IS the right road. A man in a dark suit gets out. He pulls a mobile from a briefcase. A grunting, subjective camera observes him from afar. There is no signal.



Contact to request to view a current draft of the First Episode screenplay.

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