Summertide’s waters run deep

09 February 2024
Messy love, family conflict, and a loss so deep.

M-Net’s new family drama, Summertide, has already delivered plenty of talking points. And there are still 50 episodes to go in season 1.

The show, which premiered on M-Net on Sunday 28 January and runs weekly at 18:00, tells the story of a marine biologist and father of two, Martin Field (Frank Rautenbach), who moves to the idyllic False Bay after the death of his wife, Julia (Amalia Uys). The family – including Tristan (Jan Combrink) and Lucy (Evangelina Hallock) – move in with Martin’s parents, Wilma (Terry Norton) and Jack Field (Andre Jacobs) – the latter a retired naval commander who runs his household like a military operation.

Martin's youngest brother, Gavin (Ty Keogh), is a surfboard shaper who also lives in the family home. Gavin is ‘casually’ seeing Rebecca Solomons (Monique Rockman), who returned to the Cape after her father’s death from a job as a Michelin star chef in New York. She was Martin’s first love.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

  • Being a stranger in your own country is difficult: Martin and Tristan are both referred to as ‘tourists’ early on – the former when he almost runs over a penguin and the latter as a precursor to the fight with Wesley du Plessis (Matthew Vey) which lands Tristan at their home doing garden services as reparation. Martin’s purchase of Rebecca’s father’s old fishing boat and his status as a conservationist sets him at odds with the local fishermen who see him as a threat to their already threadbare livelihoods.

  • Everyone struggles with love and loss: Martin, Tristan, and Lucy all pine for their mother, Rebecca must prop up the family business after her father passed away – while dealing with difficult Uncle Freddy (Maurice Carpede). Jack Field finds himself out of the loop as his retirement from a prominent naval position, draws near. Tristan, struggling to settle in the Cape, must juggle his family responsibilities with his feelings for girlfriend Elena (Amber Morgan) at ‘home’ in Cyprus – and the effects of an unexpected kiss from Yolande du Plessis (Cassiel Eatock-Winnik).

  • Love is messy: Despite being in a ‘casual’ relationship with Rebecca, Gavin has deeper feelings which she seems to brush off – in front of long-standing love interest Martin. Gavin also has another love interest Emily (Mila Guy) from the restaurant. What does that mean in the face of Rebecca’s reaction –  when she also clearly has unresolved feelings for Martin. How will this love triangle pan out?

  • Money can’t solve all problems: Having sold her father’s old fishing boat to Martin for R150 000, the proceeds could help keep family business Salty’s afloat. Will old debts be called in against the windfall?
  • Conservation and livelihoods collide: Martin’s passion for conservation leads him to forge his own path by creating the Julia Field Conservation Trust, in his wife’s name. Local conservationist Amanda Skhosana (Ntombi Makhusthi) – who was expecting to work alongside Field – doesn’t give him an easy time. Will he further drive a wedge between himself and the local fishing industry as he fights to save local ocean life, but they need to fish to put food on the table for their own families?

  • Family conflict is generational: Jack’s world view was shaped by his upbringing and his time in the navy, which makes him a strict operator. Martin chastises him for never being there’ while Tristan rails against Martin’s efforts to integrate him into life in False Bay. Will he give his Dad’s deal, of being able to visit and study in Cyprus after committing to life in the Cape for a year, a chance?


  • The Cape coast is a character of its own: The sparkling water, the ring of mountains and the stunning False Bay views play their own role in Summertide – whether as a backdrop for the lovers, a playground for the families or a birth right-assigned working environment for the local fishermen who feel squeezed out by quotas.

 The series, already stacked with local talent, will see more stellar local actors joining over the next few episodes and the duration of the season. Keep an eye out for Cedwyn Joel; Casey B Dolan and Marcel van Heerden, amongst others.

 Ride the emotional waves with Summertide on M-Net (DStv channel 101), every Sunday at 18:00. This leads into Carte Blanche (19:00) and the Sunday night blockbuster movie (20:05).  All shows will be live streamed on DStv Stream and are available on DStv Catch Up. Join the conversation on Instagram, TikTok, X, and Facebook.