Arende

TV series, 1989-1994

Acclaimed drama series following a group of Boers during some critical events in South Arican and Afrikaner history. The first series is  set mainly on St. Helena and follows the fate of the Boer prisoners-of-war of Deadwood Camp. Among them is Sloet Steenkamp, a Cape Rebel who had his death sentence commuted to a life-sentence on St. Helena. But for Sloet, life behind a barbed-wire fence is a fate worse than death, and from the outset he plans to escape and return to his wife and farm. He soon finds his nemesis in Captain James Kerwin, a charming British officer who is detested by the Boers but adored by the two young woman on the island: governor's daughter Jo-Ann Wilks and Princess, the beautiful daughter of a local fisherman. In the second series the war has ended and the Boers have returned to the mainland - but not necessarily to freedom. Here we meet new characters, including Meisie, who has been left unable to speak by a traumatic experience, and her mother Cornelia, who has sworn revenge. The third series introduces the Dorsland Trek. Sloet and his friends decide to shake the yoke of British rule and trek across the Kalahari desert in the hopes of finding freedom across the borders of South Africa. The three series won numerous awards and were distributed in about 12 other countries, including Poland, Spain, Taiwan and Japan, under the name Cape Rebel. A film version of Arende was produced from scenes from the first series.

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Production summary: 

Premiere date:

27 April 1989

Channel:

TV1

Language:

Afrikaans; English

Genre:

Drama series; Historical drama

Number of series:

3

Number of episodes:

33

Production company:

C-Films

Director:

Dirk de Villiers

Writer:

Paul C. Venter

Translation of title:

"Eagles" (literal); "Cape Rebel" (official translation)

Cast and Crew: 

ActorCharacterSeries
Ian RobertsSloet SteenkampSeries 1-3
Gavin van den BerghCaptain James KerwinSeries 1-3
Andre RoothmanP.J. BuysSeries 1-3
Percy SieffBenny MentzSeries 1-3
Brian O'ShaughnessySergeant StewartSeries 1-3
Libby DanielsAnnette SteenkampSeries 1
Susanne BeyersAnnette SteenkampSeries 2-3
Jana CelliersCornelia ViljeeSeries 2-3
Elma van WijkMeisieSeries 2-3
Tim MahoneyJimmy KitchenerSeries 1-3

Crew
Dirk de VilliersDirector; Producer
Paul C. VenterWriter
Louis van RensburgMusic
Jakes de VilliersCamera; Director of photography
Gerrit SchoonhovenAssistant director

Theme song: 

Episodes: 

Series 1

Episode 1
Original air date: 27 April 1989

A Cape farmer, Sloet Steenkamp, is convicted of treason after joining the Boer republics in the Anglo-Boer War. At the very last minute, his execution is stopped: instead of being condemned to death, he is banished to a prison camp on St. Helena - for life. His wife, Annette, has to stay behind to look after the farm.

Episode 2
Original air date: 4 May 1989

The conditions at Deadwood Camp are appalling. Sloet, who refuses to be imprisoned in any way, starts planning his escape. Young Danie wants to join him, but he can't swim and Sloet is not too willing to teach him. Back in the Cape, Mees Mouton is showing a lot of "neighbourly" concern for Annette Steenkamp.

Episode 3
Original air date: 11 May 1989

Annette is very cool towards Mees. Stewart threatens to make life very difficult for Kortgiel if he doesn't come forward with the missing map.

Episode 4
Original air date: 18 May 1989

Sloet is almost out of the camp when one of the soldiers discover his escape tunnel. The island is searched.

Episode 5
Original air date: 25 May 1989

Annette tells Adam that she doesn't believe Sloet will ever come back. She also admits to Mees that she's tired of being on her own.

Series 2

Episode 1
Original air date: 13 February 1992

The war is over and the prisoners are allowed to go home - if they swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown. Sloet refuses, but is nevertheless determined to leave the island. P.J. and Sloet are not satisfied with the punishment Kitchener got after Paul's death. Buys realises that Sloet is up to something. As the last ship departs for the Cape, he disappears and climbs down a rope leader, guarded by Princess, and swims towards Sam's boat.

Episode 2
Original air date: 20 February 1992

Kitchener is questioned about the death of Princess. Stewart sees Sam's boat and how P.J. and Benny help Sloet aboard the ship.

Episode 3
Original air date: 27 February 1992

P.J. and Benny admit that Sloet was on board the ship, but reckon that he must have jumped overboard again.

Episode 4
Original air date: 5 March 1992

Kerwin says that Sloet should be sent back to St. Helena. Jacobus plans to catch Kitchener.

Episode 5
Original air date: 12 March 1992

Benny takes P.J. to his house, and they learn that his wife is gone.

Series 3

Episode 1
Original air date: 28 October 1993

Kerwin is recovering in Oudok's house after the shooting and in his wounded state he hallucinates. Sloet is sick and tired of British oppression and the high prices for everything. Kerwin has to appear before a military court.

Episode 2
Original air date: 4 November 1993

Lady Grace Kerwin is on her way to South Africa with her servant, Ismail. Cornelia asks Izak for a wagon and Sloet offers to go find a guide to take them across the dessert into German-West Africa.

Episode 3
Original air date: 11 November 1993

Katrina Stewart realises that her son has conned the stock exchange. The court case begins, and Benny Mentz has to testify against Stewart and Kerwin. Sloet and Fiek decide to trek to German West Africa.

Episode 4
Original air date: 18 November 1993

Morkel tries to get rid of Hamish, and Stewart is furious to hear that his son is a conman. P.J. Buys testifies in the court case and loses his temper. Liefie wants to go on the trek with Izak, and the court case takes some dramatic turns.

Episode 5
Original air date: 25 November 1993

Katrina visits Annette to find out if Sloet will be back in time to testify. Everybody is worried when he doesn't appear at court. Things are looking very bad for Kerwin and Stewart. Meanwhile, Sloet pays Annette's bail and Grace discovers that Ismail is being held for manslaughter. Liefie tells Benny his eyes are as beautiful as her late Jurgens'.

Awards: 

Arende I

  • IDEM award: best script (Paul C. Venter)
  • ATKV director's award (Dirk de Villiers)
  • Star Tonight! Award: Best drama series on TV1, TV4 or M-Net
  • Star Tonight! Award: Best script (Paul C. Venter)
  • Star Tonight! Award: Best actor (Ian Roberts)

Arende II

  • Star Tonight! Award: Best script (Paul C. Venter)
  • Star Tonight! Award: Best actor (Ian Roberts)
  • Star Tonight! Award: Best actress (Susanne Beyers)

Arende III

  • Five Star Tonight! Awards

Arende Film

  • M-Net Film Award for Film of the Year
  • M-Net Film Award for Best Director (Dirk de Villiers)
  • M-Net Film Award for Best Actor (Ian Roberts)
  • M-Net Film Award for Best Supporting Actor (Gavin van den Bergh)
  • M-Net Film Award for Best Script (Paul C. Venter)

Sources: 

  • Karen Hart, Die Arende Vlieg Weer! Huisgenoot, 28 Maart 1991, p.165.
  • Sloet Pak die Dorsland. Huisgenoot, 28 Oktober 1993, p.96.
  • Zirk van den Berg, Sloet Wil Net Wegvlieg. Die Burger, 7 Mei 1988, p.8.
  • Elmari Rautenbach, 'Arende', 'n Nuwe Konsentrasiekamp-Reeks. Die Burger, 18 April 1989, p.6.
  • Nita Olivier, Nuwe 'Arende' Gaan Kykers Weer Vasnael. Die Burger, 13 Februarie 1992, p.6.
  • Annchen Nel, Kameras Begin Rol vir Nuwe 'Arende'. Die Burger Snuffelgids, 30 April 1992, p.1.
  • Martjie Roos, Twaalf Lande Raap 'Arende' op vir hul Kykers. Die Burger Snuffelgids, 3 September 1993, p.6.
  • Nita Olivier, 'Arende' Trek Dorsland toe. Die Burger Snuffelgids, 22 Oktober 1993, p.1.
  • Martjie Roos, Derde Arende-reeks Kom vir Televisie. Beeld Kalender, 23 Augustus 1991, p.1.
  • Annchen Nel, Gewild Reeks arende nou na die Silwerdoek. Beeld Kalender, 26 Maart 1993, p.1.
  • Martjie Roos, Arende: Sloet Gaan Chinees Praat! Beeld Kalender, 1 September 1993, p.3.
  • Ronel Nel, Beklangs: Arendsvlug. Beeld, 17 Oktober 2009, p.6.
  • Stoffel Cilliers, TV-Skrywer Venter Wys Hy's Meester van sy Vak. Beeld, 14 Desember 2009, p.17.