Room 9 is a South African science fiction police procedural television series created by Darrell Roodt, Ivan Milborrow and Michael Swan, produced by DV8 Films, Urban Brew Studios and Home Pictures 1 in association with the Department of Trade and Industry and set in a parallel, post-apocalyptic, futuristic, Pan-African world, which follows the only paranormal, occult detective unit on Earth that deals with supernatural cases on a daily basis.
The series premiered on SABC1 on Thursday 8 November 2012, at 20h30. It went on hiatus after 11 episodes had aired to accommodate the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament.
The series resumed with Episode 12 on 14 February, 2013. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 13 hour-long episodes in one season.
In an alternate, parallel world eerily familiar to our own, and in a city that could be Johannesburg or Kampala, Nairobi or Lagos, a war is being waged; a war between light and dark, between good and evil.
This is the New Azania. The provinces as we once knew them in South Africa are no more. Instead this new world is divided into Sectors. These sectors are as follows:
Sector 1: the old Gauteng
Sector 2: the old Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West
Sector 3: parts of the old Northern Cape and Lesotho
Sector 4: areas in the old Eastern and Western Cape
Sector 5: the old Swaziland and places like KZN's old Harrismith, Pietermaritzburg, etc.
Sector 6: all of South Africa's old coastal towns
Standing in the way of perpetual darkness is a ragtag team - a special, under-the-radar division of the NAPD (the New Azanian Police Department) - who deal exclusively with the paranormal, the supernatural, the sacrilegious, the twisted and the unexplainable.
This division, situated in a cavernous, dingy basement, called Room 9, is perceived as a shadowy unit, a backwater for every bizarre case, past, present, unsolved, and unwanted. Other departments disparagingly refer to this team as "Zombie Cops".
Young, ambitious, driven, straight shooting police officer Alice Kunene (27), played by Zethu Dlomo, is excited at the prospect of being transferred to this division, because it is her first post as Detective - but she has no real idea what Room 9 is and what cases she will be dealing with.
She is thrown into the deep end on her first case, when a domestic worker is found savaged to death in a Killarney-esque suburb, thought to be the work of the Tokoloshe.
She immediately bumps heads with 57-year old Detective Gabriel "Darkness" Harkness (David Butler) - the ageing, grizzled, head of Room 9 - because she is fundamentally a non-believer of all things supernatural.
Alice is brought in, initially against her will, and indoctrinated in the ways of Room 9, which include working with key members of the unit, like Siri-using tech guru Ruby Prins (Angela Ludek), who despite being blind has preternatural powers of foresight; and Nigerian expert on all things paranormal, voodoo man Solomon Onyegu (Anthony Oseyemi).
Alice, a disciple of science and pragmatism, becomes the audience's way into the story and it is definitively through her point-of-view that we get to discover this new, strange, sinister world in which nothing is as it seems.
Her arc over the series begins as a hard-boiled sceptic, but over the course of 13 episodes, in which she is confronted by all manner of "otherworldly" powers, is she able to finally embrace her ancestral roots and believe in phenomena science has no explanation for.
Welcome to the playground of the devil, where Satanic cults, muti murders, the Tokoloshe, demons, poltergeists, zombies, werewolves, aliens, vampires and even a mermaid are all on the menu.
The series is written by Darrell Roodt, Athos Kyriakides, Zee Ntuli and Thuso Sibisi and produced by Jeremy Nathan, Danie Ferreira, Moroba Nkawe and David Dison. It was directed by Darrell Roodt, Athos Kyriakides, Zee Ntuli and Charlie Vundla.