The Diggers

TV series, 1980

Action and adventure series set during the 1870s Pilgrim’s Rest gold rush. Main characters are the hapless Sherman, who keeps on having run-ins with corrupt commissioner MacFarlane and bathhouse owner Benny Franks; his right-hand man Samson, an escaped prisoner; young Elizabeth who comes to Pilgrim’s Rest to get married but lands behind the bar counter when the engagement goes sour; Dynamite Dolly, who owns the local hotel and who digs her own claim; and Sonja, the prim and proper shop owner. The series was shot on set in Muldersdrift, with some scenes shot on location in Pilgrim’s Rest.

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

12 May 1980

Channel:

SABC-TV

Language:

English

Genre:

Drama series; Action and adventure

Number of series:

1

Number of episodes:

13

Production company:

Karat Films

Director:

Gray Hofmeyr

Writers:

Margaret Heale; Ian Yule

Cast and Crew: 

Main actorCharacter
Ron SmerczakSherman
Graham ArmitageMacFarlane
Ian YuleBenny Franks
Ken GampuSamson
Michelle MaxwellElizabeth
Janice HoneymanDynamite Dolly
Brain O'ShaughnessyCommandant Marais
Heini van der WaltLofti
Ian LawrenceBushy
Gay LambertNuggets

Crew
Gray HofmeyrDirector
Ian YuleWriter
Margaret HealeWriter
Peter ChurchSet building

Episodes: 

Episode 1
Original air date: 12 May 1980

It’s 1870 and all roads lead to Pilgrim’s Rest: adventurers and fortune seekers arrive by coach and a constable is brought in to keep law and order.

Episode 2
Original air date: 19 May 1980

Sherman and Samson get into trouble.

Episode 3
Original air date: 26 May 1980

More trouble for Sherman and Samson when they come face to face with fists and prejudice. Things are also not working out for Elizabeth.

Episode 4
Original air date: 2 June 1980

Unrest looms when MacFarlane and the diggers committee don’t see eye to eye.

Episode 5
Original air date: 9 June 1980

Diggers take the law in their own hands.

Sources: 

  • Stella du Toit, op die voetspoor van die Villagers. Radio en TV Dagboek, 27 August - 2 September 1979, pp.26-29.
  • Susan Groenewald, Die Goudstormloop is aan! Radio en TV Dagboek, 12-18 May 1980, pp.54-55.