Johannesburg - ShowMax internet TV isn’t just known for their exciting international and local catalogue of series but also for their homegrown shows, like Afrikaans serial killer thriller Die Byl. The 13 episodes, each running at 90 minutes, make you feel like you’re watching a string of intriguing movies.
1. The show stars beloved former 7de Laan actor Waldemar Schultz, who was popular Laan businessman character Jan-Hendrik Terreblanche. He plays the Sherlock Holmes-esque character (similar to Elementary) of Piet van der Bijl… aka Byl. Waldemar put his acting chops to good use in bringing Byl’s crime-solving mannerisms to life – from how he’s often sucking on his pipe, to chucking back headache powder sachets with no regard to their bitter taste.
2. Retired real-life cop Piet Byleveld is a local legend in SA and he served as technical advisor on the show. “The stories and characters in Die Byl are entirely fictional, but thanks to Piet’s input, the end result is frighteningly authentic,” says executive producer Herman Binge. “We had to place our story in an Afrikaans language environment and invent our own murderers and victims. So although he inspired our scriptwriters, we could not use Piet Byleveld’s real-life cases.” But as a thank-you to Piet, they used his first name and nickname for Waldemar’s character.
3. Byl may be the series lead but he’s not the only intriguing character in the cast. Fans are fond of quirky rock-‘n-roll-loving doctor, medical examiner Fritz Barnard (Eric Nobbs), whose analysis of the various corpses helps Piet and his team unmask their killers. Eric says to prepare for role he consulted a real pathologist from Hoogekraal in the Western Cape where he lives.
4. Each episode features a different serial killer. Watch out for the murderer in episode 3 who keeps fingers from his victims as creepy keepsakes, killers who dress their victims in 80’s clothing (episode 2), and a teacher-obsessed killer who stages his victims’ corpses in ice baths (episode 6). Things get a little hot under the collar when Captain Lena Maree (Lika Berning) goes undercover in episode 8 as a sexy model to catch a psycho who only kills models.
5. All the stunt work was done by the actors themselves. From running after a suspect to handling a Beretta handgun (that shot blanks, not real bullets). Waldemar was already a pro when it comes to handling a gun. “I find them fascinating and learned how to use them when I played the role of gun-crazed Klein-Geoff in the drama Woestynbloem (1994),” he explains.
6. And Die Byl’s not just about crime-solving action – there’s a dramatic love triangle spicing things up between Byl, Advocate Nicky Swanepoel (Milan Murray) and General Neels van As (Tertius Meinjes), who’s Byl’s superior and Nicky’s ex. Don’t miss episode 5 when Byl and Nicky share their first kiss on a cliff overlooking the sea. But their relationship causes huge friction between longtime friends Byl and Neels, who’s still in love with Nicky.
Watch a teaser here:
Watch all episodes of Die Byl right now on ShowMax. ShowMax is a video on demand service that gives you access to thousands of the best series and movies when you want it. Watch online, on smart devices, laptops smart TVs and on your DStv Explora for just R99 a month. Go to ShowMax.com to sign up.
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