»The consoling thing about Ferguson’s new drama series The Imposter is that the actor producer couple is not appearing in the series. Unless if a cameo appearance is planned down the line of the series airings. It would be great if the present status quo is kept as it is so that we can enjoy their craft from behind the scenes as they erect a stage for other talent to flex their muscles in the burgeoning South African television coliseum•
The Imposter is an interesting proposal and risky too if one keeps in mind what the contemporary television viewer is bombarded with these days. The screen and its multitudes of channel feeds is awashed by prison break dramas and prison soap operas or soap operas that goes into a rogue mode when a principal character goes to prison and the audiences loyalty is split between the old saying ‘crime does not pay’ and the empathy solicited on behalf of the incarcerated character; to be set free.
In this new series the Ferguson Films has managed to put together some of the most experienced actors gracing our television and film screens in South Africa. Some of these actors have worked with the Ferguson on other series’s they produce. In this light then the Ferguson’ entrenchment in the television industry is undeniable. Having experienced actors will come handy as The Imposter’s narrative discourse submerges deeper over the following weeks.
Here is a case of two identical but opposite twins Matshepo and Mantwa (played by Thishiwe Ziqubu), by way of persona, put into contrast with each other with one seeking vengeance by way of wanting her sister’s life following her imprisonment seventeen years ago. She escapes from prison, that we are not shown, only her plot to achieve this is nuanced here and there through her sexual liaisons with Warden Moloisi (Owen Sejake). She in turn incarcerates her twin sister with the help of her suspiciously manipulable lover Caesar (Khulu Skenjana) on their fortieth birthday.
As Warden Moloisi lies in hospital following an attempt on his life when Mantwa escapes his son Junior (Zenzi Ngqobe) vows to catch the woman who has put him there. As the first episode draws to a close and Matshepo, except that it is not her, finally arrives home her husband Regi (Mpumi Mpama) waiting with their family and guests notices unusual behavior in her. The police finally arrive too to notify them of the escape from prison of the ‘evil’ twin.
The Imposter, like I said earlier on in the present writing, is an interesting proposal put forward to a seasoned audience which has grown up on familiar plot of what it might be about. Its strong point as it unfolds will be to deviate from cliché plot and to surprise us all the way until we reach its climax. For now it has my attention.
The clever usage of double photography to depict the twins is an ingenious repertoire in bringing the narrative closer to reality as much as possible. Khulu Skenjana is believable as a naïve boyfriend who is being manipulated to achieve the antagonist’s main goal. To set the narrative in Tshwane is also a strong point in breaking with tradition of our television production houses that always base most South African stories in Johannesburg.
I award the series 3efDPoints out of 5 (♦ ♦ ♦_ _ ) with a dash of hope.
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2017