Eight-part series. A flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht), investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of Kwazulu-Natal.
Having been abducted as a child by a farmer named Angus Speelman (Iain Glen), Reyka is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out.
Reyka premiered on M-Net in South Africa on 25th July 2021. All 8 episodes are currently available on demand.
The series aired on Channel 4 in the UK as The Cane Field Killings from 10th April 2022. All episodes are available on demand.
“Reyka” is a gritty offering that meanders into a world that’s dark and dangerous. The story arcs may be unsettling but it is handled with commendable sensitivity and raw honesty.IOL, Debashine Thangevelo
The acting from the cast is top notch, Engelbrecht probably has a career highlight role.The Citizen
Reyka is not for the faint-hearted. Directors Zee Ntuli and Catharine Cooke don’t shy away from extended, sometimes gruesome close-ups, but lovers of dark crime fiction will find their appetites for the grim and grisly well satiated with this compelling South African Noir.SBS, Beth Hadfield
We debuted the first trailer last week, which reminded me that I enjoy watching complex mysteries that unfold in environments that I have not experienced before.Screen Anarchy, Peter Martin
Now that I’ve seen the first three episodes, I can say that the trailer only hints at what is unveiled. Kim Engelbrecht is very good as Reyka, a police investigator in South Africa who moved to the UK in her youth and has only returned to her native land for a few months.
Iain Glen is downright chilling as the monster responsible for her trauma; he’s a soft-spoken man who kidnapped Reyka when she was just 12 years old, kept her under lock and key, and groomed her to love him and his female companion. Reyka now has a 12-year-old daughter of her own, and her current case involves more than one woman who has been murdered. Who is doing the killing and why?
I love the atmosphere, which looks like an overcrowded hothouse, as well as the multiple languages spoken, which is strikingly different (for me) from a cultural perspective. In addition, the storytelling method by creator and writer Rohan Dickson is quite good, in that it drops morsels of revealing information as it goes, allowing the viewer to piece things together.
Beautifully filmed in stunning verdant landscapes and endless skies, The Cane Field Killings is a drama that sears itself into your consciousness. It does without the occasional element of bleak ironic humour to break the tensions, of the kind you get in British or American crime series. It’s remorseless and unceasing, just like a serial killer in fact.The Independent, Sean O’Grady
- Won Best Actress in a TV Drama (Kim Engelbrecht), Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Drama (Rohan Dickson), Best Achievement in Directing – TV Drama (Catharine Cooke, Zwelesizwe Ntuli), Best Achievement in Cinematography – TV Drama (Tom Marais)
- Nominated for Best TV Drama, Best Actor in a TV Drama (Hamilton Dlamini), Best Achievement in Editing – TV Drama (Lucian Barnard), Best Achievement in Make-up and Hairstyling – TV Drama (Theola Booyens)
- International Emmy Awards 2022: Nominated for Best Drama Series, Best Actress (Kim Engelbrecht)
- Kim Engelbrecht
- Reyka Gama
- Iain Glen
- Angus Speelman
- Anna-Mart van der Merwe
- Elsa Gama
- Hamilton Dhlamini
- Hector Zwane
- Thando Thabethe
- Nandi Cele
- Desmond Dube
- Pastor Zik
- Nokuthula Ledwaba
- Portia Speelman
- Mavuso Simelane
- Samuel Zwane
- Leeanda Reddy
- Alia Sewsunker
- Khayalethu Anthony
- Gerald Steyn
- Nick Tanner
- Rashaan Stackling
- Thuli Gama
- Gabrielle de Gama
- Young Reyka
All photos © Patrick Toselli