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Reyka: Season 1 (The Cane Field Killings)

by M-Net


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.
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.

– Screen Anarchy, Peter Martin

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


SAFTAS 2022: 8 Nominations and 4 Wins:
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



Iain Glen is downright chilling as the monster responsible for her trauma