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South Africa's Paranormal Series 'Room 9' Coming To The Africa Channel-UK

by Emmanuel Akitobi
June 28, 2013 9:28 AM
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NAPD detectives ALICE KUNENE (Zethu Dlomo) and SOLOMON ONYEGU (Anthony Oseyemi).
SABC NAPD detectives ALICE KUNENE (Zethu Dlomo) and SOLOMON ONYEGU (Anthony Oseyemi).

The Africa Channel-UK will begin airing popular South African sci-fi/paranormal detective series Room 9 on Monday, July 8, @9PM.

As Tambay first told us in November, when the 13-episode series was set to debut in SA, Room 9 is "set in an alternate "Pan-African universe," where all sorts of unexplainable, paranormal dark threats rule."

From the series' website:

Room 9 (2)

In an alternate, parallel world eerily familiar to our own, in a city that could be Johannesburg or Kampala, Nairobi or Lagos, a war is being waged; a war between light and dark, between good and evil.  This is the New Azania. The provinces as we once knew them in South Africa are no more. Instead this new world is divided into Sectors.

Standing in the way of perpetual darkness is a ragtag team, a special, under-the-radar division of the NAPD (the New Azanian Police Department) who deal exclusively with the paranormal, the supernatural, the sacrilegious, the twisted, and the unexplainable. This division, situated in a cavernous, dingy basement, called Room 9 is perceived as a shadowy unit, a backwater for every bizarre case, past, present, unsolved and unwanted. Other departments disparagingly refer to this team as "Zombie Cops".

Young, ambitious, driven, straight shooting police officer ALICE KUNENE (27) is excited at the prospect of being transferred to this division, because it is her first post as Detective, but she has no real idea what Room 9 is and what cases she will be dealing with. She is thrown into the deep end on her first case, when a domestic worker is found savaged to death in a Killarney-esque suburb, thought to be the work of the Tokoloshe. 

She immediately bumps heads with 57-year old Detective "DARKNESS" HARKNESS, the ageing, grizzled, head of Room 9, because she is fundamentally a non-believer of all things supernatural. Alice is brought in, initially against her will, and indoctrinated in the ways of Room 9, which include working with key members of the unit, including research, ‘Siri’ using tech guru, RUBY PRINS (27), who despite being blind has preternatural powers of foresight, and Nigerian Voodoo man SOLOMON ONYEGU, an expert in all things paranormal.  Welcome to the playground of the Devil, where Satanic cults, Muti murders, the Tokoloshe, Demons, Poltergeists, Zombies, Werewolves, Aliens, Vampires, and even a Mermaid, are all on the menu.

Zethu DlomoDavid Butler, Anthony Oseyemi, Angela Ludek, and Elne Pretorius make up the starring cast.

Looking at the video posted below, and just hearing the name of the paranormal squad's leader (Harkness), on the surface, Room 9 is looking like a Torchwood knock-off.  But because it's an African-produced show, set in Africa, filmed with many local actors, I'm willing to overlook that.

There's still no word on whether this series will ever make it across the Atlantic Ocean. And Room 9 hasn't yet been released on DVD.  So for readers on this side of the world who are interested (myself included), let's keep our fingers crossed.

Room 9 will air on The Africa Channel (Sky 209, Virgin 828)

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More: News, Zethu Dlomo, Anthony Oseyemi

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  • Jessica | July 1, 2013 6:39 PMReply

    I love seeing people of color in genres like this. Hopefully this is the start of a new artistic trend?

  • Ronald T. Jones | June 30, 2013 10:57 PMReply

    At least the protagonist is a black woman, a rarity in genre fiction. Maybe they'll kill off the white guy and replace him with a black guy...or gal.

  • JaySmack | June 30, 2013 12:11 AMReply

    So in a "pan-African" future a white guy is in charge? What a disgrace.

  • Winston | July 1, 2013 12:18 PM

    Yeah, that sucks. But that one casting detail is what makes the show marketable around the world; the white lead gives the show legs. Many South African shows never are seen outside of that country's borders. So as long as the other members of the cast get to eat off the royalties generated by it, the casting of the lead as white is fine by me.

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