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Film and Television are Converging...


It's no secret, film and television are converging as technology and viewing habits evolve. Gone are the days when film actors were too good to lower their standards to appear in "inferior" television productions. Nowadays, the TV industry has raised its standards to the point that actors are interchangeable between mediums, not forced to define their careers. The quality of television productions, the advances of the Internet and rise of streaming services has made a major impact on the entertainment distribution model. While this international phenomenon has seen many traditional actors shift into starring roles in TV series, possibly as their between films work, it's also happening in South Africa.

This is the case with Die Byl, a South African TV series loosely based on the life of the late South African super detective, Piet Byleveld. The police procedural follows workaholic, Piet van Bijl, a brilliant detective who specialises in crime sprees and chasing down serial killers. Set five years after the events of series 1, the second series is launching on Showmax. Directed by Quentin Krog, who's best known for Vir Die Voels and Ballade Vir ‘N Enkeling, the TV series has a filmic quality and shows a marked improvement on the original.

Primarily based at police headquarters, Die Byl follows van Bijl and his colleagues, who investigate crimes and bring criminals to book. The series stars Waldemar Schultz as Colonel Piet van Bijl and Lika Berning as Captain Lena Evans, who both won Tempo Awards for Best Actor and Actress in 2017. Some years later, van Bijl's relationship with Nicky van As has capsized, while Evans is married with child. With a number of makeovers from the offices to the lab, this tense crime drama is produced by Marche Media, the company behind Kanarie and Johnny is Nie Dood Nie. With guest appearances from award-winning acting talent such as Denise Newman, Deon Lotz, Marius Weyers and Jody Abrahams, it seems Die Byl - Series 2 is gearing.

From the True Detective inspired opening credits to stranger than fiction investigations, the detective series is finding its identity. Hopefully it can inspire a resurgence of top crime television to rival Britain's long-running and respected array of slow-boiling murder mystery shows. Based on the first episode, Die Byl is loaded with potential... from its classic detective show elements, aim for docudrama realism, homegrown investigations and well-respected ensemble, it could be the start of something great. Catch the first episode as Bijl and his team interrogate suspects around the deaths of a notorious Cape Flats gang, the Sons of Samson.