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Devil's Peak

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What you need to know about Devil’s Peak’s Benny Griessel

23 October 2023
Fast facts about the popular fictional detective.
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He is one of the most iconic characters in South African literature and on Sunday 29 October viewers will meet Benny Griessel on screen for the first time when the five-episode crime thriller Devil’s Peak debuts on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 20:00.

The series is based on the book Devil’s Peak, written by Deon Meyer and first published in Afrikaans as Infanta in November 2005. The first English publication of Devil’s Peak was in 2007 and it was also translated into French, Dutch, and German.

In Devil’s Peak, Benny is tasked with tracking down a righteous yet bloody vigilante called the Assegai Killer. While circling one another, Benny and the vigilante are brought into the orbit of desperate single mother Christine, a woman willing to do anything to achieve a better life for herself and her daughter.

Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the character and the actor who portrays him:

  • Benny, played by Hilton Pelser, is a Detective Inspector at Cape Town’s Serious and Violent Crimes Unit. He is a troubled man driven to depression and alcoholism due to his exposure to Cape Town’s rampant violence and corruption. His escalating panic attacks are getting the better of him and his drinking threatens to derail both his marriage and career.
  • Benny is married to Anna Griessel (Shamilla Miller), a fearless journalist. They have a daughter that Anna is practically raising on her own. An article about the disappearance of a young boy draws her into the Assegai Killer case.
  • Devil’s Peak is the first book where Benny is the protagonist. He has since been the main character in seven books that have been translated into English. Leo, Deon Meyer’s latest book, was released in Afrikaans earlier this month and is also a Benny Griessel novel.
  • Benny’s name in the Afrikaans books is spelt Bennie, but was changed to Benny for the English translations. The Dutch translations use Bennie and the German and French translations use Benny.
  • Hilton Pelser is best known for his roles in the series Dangerous Liaisons and the Kissing Booth film trilogy, as well as the South African films Moffie and Glasshouse. He was also in Home Affairs: A Christmas Tale and Home Affairs: A Love Story. The latter four are all available on Showmax. Hilton was born and raised in Cape Town and developed an interest in acting through his older sister who taught drama at AFDA.

Here's what you can look forward to in episode 1:

Devil’s Peak is produced by Lookout Point and Expanded Media Productions in association with MultiChoice Studios and BBC Studios Distribution. BBC Studios, who own Lookout Point, will also distribute the series internationally.

Devil’s Peak is proudly brought to you by M-Net and DStv – the home of the best world-class entertainment from the world’s top studios and streamers. The series will premiere on Sunday 29 October at 20:00. It will be live-streamed on DStv Stream and is available on DStv Catch Up after broadcast. 

Stay tuned to our platforms for more information. Join the conversation on FacebookXInstagram, and TikTok using #DevilsPeakSA.