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Local drama inspired by true criminal cases

Seputla Sebogodi (Brigadier Funani Twala) Pic supplied

The Ravens are an elite crime-fighting unit, formed to fight crime under the media spotlight.

In front of the camera, they have to win back the trust of the South African public.

Behind the camera, they have to win each other’s trust.

The Docket is an all new local drama that will debut on SABC 3 from Wednesday3, August 22, 2018 at 21h30.

Hlubi Mboya (Captain Ntsiki Motshe) Pic supplied

The Ravens are a specialized unit set up to investigate high-profile crimes in the public eye.

The squad members have been chosen for their outstanding investigation skills, but their media relations are more challenging as colonel Marlon van Wyk is not the most diplomatic person.

Enter Detective Ntsiki Motshe who has a talent for dealing with the media’s many questions.

Together they solve crimes and warm relations between the public and the police.

Each episode will be inspired by true criminal cases, mostly solved by the South African Police Services.

Each case will form the solid structure on which each episode is based.

The personal and professional lives of the Ravens squad members will be weaved throughout the criminal investigation.

The SAPS is a microcosm of the entire nation.

It is one of the few places where people from literally all walks of life are flung together and expected to work and live together, very often under difficult and dangerous circumstances.

The fact that Captain Ntsiki Motshe, Colonel Marlon van Wyk and the rest of the team are fighting crime makes what they do important to all of us.

The fact that they are winning this battle on the streets, gives us hope and inspiration too!

Cast List:

Played by Character Name
Hlubi MboyaCaptain Ntsiki Motshe
Duncan JohnsonColonel Marlon van Wyk
Seputla SebogodiBrigadier Funani Twala
Ashish GangapersadDetective Terry Jahib
Brendon EngelbrechtDetective Neil Hall

Will the Ravens catch the perpetrators of crime without causing a PR nightmare? Tune in to The Docket to find out every Wednesday at 21:30 from August, 22 2018 on SABC 3 “The Stage Is Yours”.

EPISODE 1: A WAKE OF VULTURES

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels

Teleplay by: Sean Robert Daniels and Samantha Wocke

Directed by: Khayelihle Dom Gumede

The Ravens have been operating for over a year. They have solved cases, but failed in their mandate to win over the public via good press. This is, primarily, due to Colonel Marlon Van Wyk’s terrible relationship with the press. Brigadier Funani discovers Captain Ntsiki Moche and her skill with spinning a story. When Kgosi (a famous musician) is murdered, Brigadier Funani brings Ntsiki into the Ravens to handle the press. Marlon objects, but is ordered to let Ntsiki help with the investigation. Ntsiki and Marlon have to dig through a conspiracy between those closest to Kgosi and secrets in his past to find the murderer.

A team of detectives

EPISODE 2: A LEGION OF DEVILS

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels & Hannah Hamilton

Teleplay by: Nonzi Bogatsu and Samantha Wocke

Directed by: Khayelihle Dom Gumede

Willem Thorson is the 17-year-old survivor of a farm attack. The outcry from the community brings the Ravens onto the case. Blood from Willem’s parents, and two alleged attackers, is found on the scene. Ntsiki notices that the Thorson’s dogs are nowhere to be found. Testing the dogs’ food bowls reveals that they were poisoned. This line of inquiry leads to Pula – owner of a local butchery. The prime suspect becomes Mohavi, Pula’s son. Mohavi had stolen jewellery from the Thorson’s and had been fired from working on their farm. The forensics only makes sense if there was a third attacker – but Pula is adamant that Mohavi only had one friend/accomplice – Katleho. The team find the missing shotgun on the farm and as they dig through the secrets of the town, the Ravens learn that all was not as it seemed…

EPISODE 3: AN EXTINCTION OF DODOS

Written by: Nonzi Bogatsu , Sean Robert Daniels  & Lizane Jordaan

Directed by: Khayelihle Dom Gumede

Rhonda, a famous vegan chef, is diagnosed with having Kuru. Kuru is a very rare disease and the main risk factor is eating human brain tissue which can contain the infectious particles. The Ravens soon prove, though, that Rhonda is not a cannibal. She seems an innocent victim, until it is revealed that she belonged to a club that ate exotic and endangered animals. In fact, two more of that club have been diagnosed with Kuru too. The Ravens’ investigation uncovers that the victim is Colin Doyle – an anthropological researcher who went missing a decade ago while researching orang-utans and cannibals in Papua New Guinea. But how did three South African chefs get Kuru (Kuru is a disease of the nervous system)?

EPISODE 4: A CRY OF PLAYERS

Teleplay by: Sean Robert Daniels

Written by: Nonzi Bogatsu Hannah Hamilton

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

Sergio, a prominent businessman, is found naked in a dodgy part of town. Before he can explain himself, or get help, he’s run over. The Ravens are brought into investigate. Anya – Marlon’s daughter and Mothusi – Ntsiki’s son, join the investigation as part of a PR exercise to “Bring Your Child to Work” Exercise. Complications arise when two more prominent business people are found naked and dead in public. But what is the link between these victims? What did they do that could have led to their murders? The case leads to Rita, the reclusive creator of Monster Capture – a very popular game; will she be the next victim?

EPISODE 5: A GALAXY OF STARS

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels

Teleplay by: Byron Abrahams

Directed by: Khayelihla Dominue Gumede

Ntsiki and her family are on edge because of the threats by Endless, a suspected serial killer. Marlon is obsessed with finding Endless and does not want to focus on anything else, despite Brigadier Funani’s push to get the Ravens to focus on some of the other cases waiting for them. Ntsiki convinces Marlon to take on a bizarre new case because it’s a scientist that Neil knows well, Mthimkhulu – a world-renowned Genetic Botanist. They do try and keep the case quiet though because it’s about a suspected Alien Abduction and they know the media would have a field day with it. The Ravens are determined to find out what really happened to Mthimkhulu as the scene of the suspected abduction bears all the hallmarks of alien activity, such as the crop circle where he woke up after a couple of days with no idea what happened during the time he has lost. Was this really an alien abduction or is there more to the story than meets the eye?

EPISODE 6: A BASK OF CROCODILES

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels and Shannon Botha

Written by: Nonzi Bogatsu

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

Mr Jones, a popular resident at a local Nursing Home for the elderly, is kidnapped and the Ravens are called in to find him. Why would anyone kidnap an old gentleman, particularly one who is very popular with all the little kids in the area? As the Ravens start investigating the search becomes tricky as they discover that Mr Jones’s identity hides many secrets. Who is Mr Jones really and where does he come from? And then the administrator’s assistant, Stacey, disappears… In the midst of the complicated search, Ntsiki has to deal with the possibility that she might be pregnant. This possibility causes problems during the case and increases the friction with Marlon.

EPISODE 7: A RIOT OF COMEDIANS

Story by: Hannah Hamilton & Sean Robert Daniels

Teleplay by: Byron Abrahams

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

The episode begins with the Ravens warning their families and loved ones about the Endless’ threat to kill one of them. Then there is an attack on Tlala’s Comedy Club, in the confusion following the attack it seems that the Endless might have been responsible for the attack. Tlali is injured, but not fatally. Ntsiki is rattled but she has to focus on the case, it is the best way to keep her family safe. When there is a second shooting, it becomes apparent that the shooter is not the Endless. Ntsiki avoids telling the Press the full truth to keep the shooter unaware that they are on his trail. The Ravens identify the shooter as a troubled young man, Dale, but as they are closing in on him he kidnaps his ex-girlfriend, Ella.  Will they manage to rescue Ella and stop Dale before he kills more people?

EPISODE 8: A SHIVER OF SHARKS

Story by: Hannah Hamilton & Sean Robert Daniels

Teleplay by: Hannah Hamilton

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

A young woman student wakes up in a flower bed on campus; she’s confused and stumbles out into the open. Other students spot her and think she is a first year student who partied too hard the night before and film her on a phone. Then the girl mumbles ‘he raped me’. The students don’t take it seriously and post the video on-line. Detective Terry Jahib stumbles across the video on-line and is outraged by it. He shows it to the team and Ntsiki goes to the campus with him to try and track the victim down. They discover her name is Hester and find her in her res room on campus. She doesn’t want to pursue the case and then her professor shows up and asks Ntsiki and Terry to leave. They keep trying to investigate when they discover there has been more than one incidence of sexual assault on campus. And it seems like the first rugby team might be involved. The dean of the university bans them from the campus and it looks like the university is trying to hide what has been going on. Will the Ravens manage to help Hester to bring her rapist to justice?

EPISODE 9: A DISCORD OF EXPERTS

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels

Teleplay by: Sean Robert Daniels and Dillan Lawless

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominque Gumede

The Ravens would like nothing more than to focus all their efforts investigating the Endless serial killer. However, someone has stolen the ancient fossil of the Taung Child (and others). The Ravens have been garnering a reputation for only investigating the rich and famous, so Funani assigns them the case. Find the missing fossils, and restore faith and hope to the country at large.

Ntsiki & Neil’s Case: A secret side to Neil is that he comes from a family of professional Thieves. Neil has to contact a member of his family, something he was never supposed to do, in order for the Taung Child and the other fossils to be found.

Marlon & Terry’s Case: Marlon and Terry discover the Ravens are not the only ones investigating the Endless serial killer. Two more Profilers have been drawn into the Endless’ web – Kasteel, a rival profiler to Marlon; and Finch – a profiler and woman from Marlon’s professional and private past.

It soon becomes apparent that the Endless has brought Marlon, Finch and Kasteel together as a kind of game. But the consequences of the game are deadly…

EPISODE 10: A SENTENCE OF JUDGES

Story by: Sean Robert Daniels and Hannah Hamilton

Written by: Byron Abrahams

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

A well respected judge, Judge Rapula, has been murdered in his hotel room. The Ravens discover that he was heading up a secret commission investigating political assassinations. The Ravens work out that Judge Rapula was assassinated in the same manner as the victims of his investigation. They find Daluxolo, who has been acting as the middle-man between the hit man and his boss. While the Ravens are focussed on finding the hit man, the Endless, taunts both the media and the Ravens by sending a code – claiming it reveals his next target. As the Ravens investigate Rapula’s death, Mothusi and Anya work on decoding the Endless’ message. Under pressure, Daluxolo names the person hiring the hit man. The investigation is about to wrap up, when Ntsiki notices an inconsistency, Rapula wasn’t murdered by a hit man… Ntsiki stays on the line, and helps Marlon, Neil and Terry on each of the three crime scenes. In fact everyone, including Funani, Tlali, Mothusi, Anya and Lexie help – making it a complete team effort. Ultimately Ntsiki is able to work out and reveal that Rose has been the Endless the whole time. After Ntsiki saves the day, she confirms to the Press that she is staying at the Ravens.

EPISODE 11: A TRAP OF THIEVES

Written by: Byron Abrahams

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

The Ravens are the media darlings thanks to their arrest of the Mayor in Episode 9 and the huge drug bust in Episode 10. They would love to be concentrating on the Endless, but a series of bank robberies has forced their attention to re-focus. The primary reason is Peter – the leader of the bank robbers. He has history with Marlon – dark history, history that makes Marlon not think straight. The episode delves into Marlon’s past and offers some answers for why he is the way he is. The episode also explores Ntsiki’s decision to quit the Ravens in order to keep her family safe. Despite some rocky choices, the Ravens catch Peter. But this isn’t the victory they hoped for… as Peter wanted to be caught. Why? There is an explosion, did Terry and Neil die or have they survived?

EPISODE 12: A GAME OF GANGSTERS

Written by: Byron Abrahams

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

Continuing from Episode 11 – Ntsiki, Marlon, Funani and the Ravens staff are being held hostage by Peter and his gang. Peter is trying to steal the R300m worth of Heroin in the Ravens’ evidence locker. Peter shoots Funani to make Lwazi (acting as negotiator) take him seriously. Ntsiki and Marlon have to resist torture to foil Peter’s plans. Meanwhile, Terry and Neil survived the blast from the previous episode. They enlist the help of Tlali and Lexie to execute an unauthorised rescue of the Ravens. Will the wounded Brigadier Funani survive?

EPISODE 13: AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS

Written by: Sean Robert Daniels

Directed by: Khayelihle Dominique Gumede

The episode begins on the day that the Endless threatened to reveal his “Great Work” to the world. Ntsiki is on Rose’s Television Show, thinking it will draw Endless’ attention away from her family.

She’s correct, not expecting to end up chained to her chair and sitting atop a bomb planted there by Endless. Marlon and the rest of the Ravens are presented with a challenge to save Ntsiki.

She has a control panel with eight coloured buttons. If she pushes four of the buttons in the right order, she will be saved.

The clues for three of the buttons can be found on three crime scenes the Endless set up.

The fourth clue the Ravens will have to work out themselves.

The three crime scenes recreate murders from famous serial killers who taunted the police and were never caught – Jack the Ripper, the Axeman of New Orleans and the Zodiac.

Ntsiki stays on the line and helps Marlon, Neil and Terry with each of the three crime scenes. In fact everyone, including Funani, Tlali, Mothusi, Anya and Lexie help – making it a complete team effort. Will the team be able to save her life and catch the Endless?

 

 

 

 

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