Murder & kidnapping mystery in Spoorloos: Steynhof

Local 06 July 2021

Spoorloos: Steynhof’s headwriter and director, Christo Davids, and young performers Jane de Wet and Brent Vermeulen, take us inside this season’s mystery.

Murder & kidnapping mystery in Spoorloos: Steynhof

A new season of drama series Spoorloos arrives has arrived on kykNET (DStv channel 144), and you don’t need to be a Spoorloos pro to get in on the action, because this is an anthology series. Each season’s mystery involves a new cast of the best in best local talent, with its own new storyline and characters.

Spoorloos: Steynhof S3 centres around the prestigious farm Steynhof where a baby is kidnapped following her parents’ murder.

Actor, writer and producer Christo Davids, who joined the production team behind Spoorloos from S2, is this season’s head writer and director, along with playing one of the characters in the story. He’s giving us all the juicy details about Spoorloos: Steynhof, and why this is going to become your next TV obsession.

“I think people are attracted to Spoorloos because they don’t know what to expect in every season,” says Christo. “It’s jampacked with drama, romance and riddles, and in the end, everyone not only wants to know whodunit, but whydunit. I received many offers with Heksejag (Spoorloos S2) to reveal who was behind it all and what really happened, but I kept my mouth shut. It’s lekker to keep people glued to their screens!” teases Christo.

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Christo’s path to Spoorloos

Producer and filmmaker Ilse van Hemert, who created the Spoorloos series as well as the thrilling drama series Lioness, invited Christo to Spoorloos in S2, and she’s been his mentor and friend since then. “Ilse and I have a very good relationship. There are few people I know who have such an in-depth understanding of every aspect of making content for television,” says Christo.

“During Spoorloos: Heksejag (Spoorloos S2), Ilse took me step by step through the process of single-camera drama, with the understanding that I will do the next season on my own. It is quite rare to meet someone with such a desire to share their knowledge. Being trained as a head writer by Ilse is one of the greatest blessings that can cross any writer’s path,” insists Christo. “She has a keen eye for story detail and knows almost immediately when something is not going to work in a certain scene or story. This is knowledge I hope to pass on one day. Few things make me as excited as to tackle a new story with other writers and pick their brains,” Christo adds.

Christo’s roots are in theatre, and he had assumed that that’s where he would stay. “I never thought I would be part of the television industry at this level, it was never on my bucket list. Life gave me countless opportunities, and I took them. There are so many people I want to thank who have walked this journey with me up to now, and that includes Ilse and the crew at Spoorloos.”

“To me the most important thing is always to tell new stories that carry a message, because that’s how I was raised,” says Christo. “My grandfather always said, ‘If your audience left your show unchanged, then it was a flop.’ Like a preacher needs a pulpit, I need a clean page and a jar of ink.”

Christo is the creative force behind Spoorloos: Steynhof.

Christo is the creative force behind Spoorloos: Steynhof.

Binge Spoorloos from the beginning on Showmax

Spoorloos is an anthology series, meaning that each season has a self-contained storyline, so there’s no need to have watched the earlier seasons in order to get into this third season. However, if you are in the mood for a good mystery and don’t want to wait, both previous seasons of Spoorloos are available on Showmax. What they have in common is that there’s always someone missing and a mystery to be solved. The first season (simply called Spoorloos) is about children disappearing in the fictional town of Digtersdal. The second, called Spoorloos: Heksejag, features a young man suffering from amnesia following a car accident and a 2-year coma.

The truth will out in the Spoorloos: Steynhof mystery

Young actors Jane De Wet (drama series The Girl From St. Agnes) and Brent Vermeulen (comedy series Alles Malan) play the lead roles in this 8-episode season, and both will take viewers’ breaths away with their performances as Adri van Tonder and Xander Malan, respectively.

Xander is immediately obsessed with Adri when she joins his school.

Xander is immediately obsessed with Adri when she joins his school.

The story starts in a flashback scene in which we see 6-month-old baby Rochelle Steyn being kidnapped by her babysitter, Liena April (newcomer Annabel Kohl), from the Steynhof farm on the same night that baby Rochelle’s parents are murdered. Liena then sells the baby to Therese van Tonder (Franci Swanepoel, comedy series Elke Skewe Pot), who raises her as her own, calling her Adri. And Liena disappears, changing her identity.

15 years later, we get to know Adri and her mother, Therese, who are living in the small town of Stilfontein. Therese and Adri’s mother-daughter relationship is not in a good place, especially because Therese abuses antidepressant medication, and teenage Adri has to play the role of comforter, mother and caregiver. When Adri must once again start over at a new school, the school asks for her birth certificate, which Therese can’t provide. Things start to unravel for Adri when one of her classmates, Xander, a genius on the autism spectrum, tells her that Therese can’t be her biological mother. And when Therese fails to prove it, the truth comes out that Adri is, in fact, baby Rochelle Steyn, who disappeared from Steynhof farm 15 years earlier.

“Adri is not your average 15-year-old,” says Jane. “She is a loner and her only true friendship is with her mother, Therese. Still, given the chance (if they ever stop moving around), Adri will probably thrive. She is smart, independent and above all, adaptable. Her approach to life may sometimes seem harsh and unemotional, but it’s simply self-preservation. Under the mask hides a young, insecure, vulnerable girl in search of answers and identity.”

Adri had no idea that Therese isn’t her biological mother.

Adri had no idea that Therese isn’t her biological mother.

"Xander is a super intelligent child with the inability to lie,” adds Brent. “He does not know how to deal with emotion and falls obsessively and suffocatingly in love with Adri when he sees her for the first time at school.”

Xander helps Adri discover her true life.

Xander helps Adri discover her true life.

Also look out for Christo playing the role of Jason Prins, Veronique/Liena’s husband, and Stiaan Smith (drama film Meisies Wat Fluit), who plays Adri’s uncle, Daniel Steyn. Diaan Lawrenson (comedy movie Susters) takes up the role of Joey Steyn, Adri’s aunt.

Get ready for S4!

Christo is already working on Spoorloos S4, set to air in 2022 and which he says will be more action-driven than mysterious.

Watch Spoorloos: Steynhof S3 from Tuesday, 6 July on kykNET (DStv channel 144) at 20:00

kykNET (DStv channel 144) is available exclusively on DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus. To upgrade your existing package, click here. Or if you'd like to Get DStv, find a service that suites your needs here.

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