25 January 2024
Catch Me A Killer: Charlotte Hope plays Micki Pistorius, South Africa’s first serial-killer profiler
Showmax has just released the first trailer for Catch Me A Killer, premiering on the African streamer on 12 February 2024, with new episodes on Tuesdays until 10 April 2024.
“Catch Me A Killer is the true story of the first serial killer profiler in South Africa,” says lead actress Charlotte Hope, who played Myranda in Game of Thrones and headlined Starz’s The Spanish Princess as Catherine of Aragon. “She is called Micki Pistorius and, frankly, she’s amazing.”
South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Rene van Rooyen (Oscar entry Toorbos, Alles Malan, Summertide) agrees. “Living in South Africa amid a wave of violence, we have all been asking for a superhero, and here we have the true story of a superhero in the 1990s,” says Rene, who alternates directing duties with SAFTA winner Brett Michael-Innes (Fiela Se Kind) and Tracey Larcombe (Silent Witness).
Watch the trailer for Catch Me A Killer
Adapted from Pistorius’ memoir of the same name, the 10-part series follows Pistorius, a newly qualified forensic psychologist, as she tracks down South Africa’s most feared killers. Each episode looks at another of her cases, from the Cleveland Killer to Stewart ‘Boetie Boer’ Wilken, taking viewers across the country.
“Catch Me A Killer is about Micki’s experience of trying to understand the psychology of serial killers, but it’s also more than that,” says Charlotte. “On one hand it’s a true crime: every week we have a different episode, a different serial killer and a different case to solve. But it’s also a character study. This is a woman who goes through a huge emotional journey; in understanding the psychology of the killers, she’s also aware of what’s happening psychologically to herself.”
As her character says in the series, “Whoever fights monsters should see that in the process he does not become a monster too.”
A co-production between Showmax and Germany’s Night Train Media, Catch Me A Killer is also a classic underdog story: Micki is the only female profiler in a predominantly male police force, many of whom are deeply suspicious of the whole concept of psychology and think trying to understand the killers is a waste of time and resources.
The series is also a time-capsule for 1990s South Africa: when the optimism of the country’s new democracy was undermined by a string of serial killers.
SAFTA winner Amy Jephta (Oscar entry Barakat, Devil’s Peak, Showmax Original Skemerdans) is the lead writer, alongside the likes of Sarah Hooper (Shameless), Jessica Ruston (Harlots) and Oliver Frampton (Sister Boniface Mysteries). Among other episodes, Amy scripts the two-part pilot, which tells the story of the Station Strangler.
“The series opens in the place that I come from, Mitchell’s Plain,” says Amy. “I was in grade 1 at the time of the Station Stranger killer and my mother was a police officer at the same station that Micki was assigned to in 1994. I was in and out of that police station. So I remember the fear in that community and what it felt like to be a kid at a time where there were these boys being abducted. So I could draw a lot on my first-hand feeling.”
“It’s not a whodunnit; it’s a whydunnit,” adds Amy. “You’re inside the perspective of these killers and the victim’s families as much as you are inside Micki’s perspective. Can she get to the heart of understanding the mind of the killer she’s tracking? Why did these people commit these acts? It’s a fascinating cat and mouse story.”
Apart from Steven Ward (One Piece) and newcomer Donna Cormack-Thomson as series regulars, the supporting cast changes each episode. Look out for the likes of Lemogang Tsipa (Shaka iLembe), Waldemar Schultz (Die Byl), Ivan Zimmermann (Alles Malan), Frank Rautenbach (Lioness, Summertide), Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel (Gaia), and SAFTA winner Louw Venter (Swartwater), not to mention SAFTA nominees Albert Pretorius (Spinners) and Sean Cameron Michael (Fried Barry) as Stewart ‘Boetie Boer’ Wilken and FBI profiler Robert Ressler respectively.
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