Gaz'lam is a South African educational drama television series created by Barry Berk, Peter Esterhuysen and Lauren Segal from an idea by Ngaire Blankenberg, S'bu Nxumalo and Clarence Hamilton and produced by Ochre Moving Pictures which explores love, sex and relationships, with recurring themes of male and female identities and expectations, sexual negotiations and betrayal and conflict between "tradition" and modernity, against a backdrop of HIV/AIDS.
The series originally aired on SABC1 from 3 October, 2002 to 5 August, 2005. There are 52 half-hour episodes in four seasons. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 4 originally aired on SABC1 from 20 May to 5 August, 2005, on Fridays at 20h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
A rebroadcast of Season 4 premiered on SABC1 on Thursday 28 November 2013, at 22h30. Thereafter new episodes broadcast in a double bill weekly, at 22h00. There are 13 episodes in the fourth and final season.
The show uses modern mythology to transport viewers into the worlds of the living, the dead, and the in-between. The guide through these worlds is the spirit of GP, a ghost who serves as the story's narrator.
He relates Sifiso's story as a cautionary tale and with a message of hope: that it is never too late for us to make the right choice and make a change in our lives.
While the first two seasons deal with the sacrifices, compromises and problems associated with trying to make relationships work, Seasons 3 and 4 also look at the relationship with oneself, with particular attention to the concept of love.
What is love, in all of its manifestations? Love for self, love for others, conditional love, unconditional love, healthy and unhealthy love.
Does someone make a choice to love someone? If so or not, what choices does a character make out of or for love?
Central to the storyline are the recurring themes of male and female identities and expectations; sexual negotiations and betrayal; conflict between "tradition" and modernity; the maturation of love and the consequences of the choices we make, all set against a backdrop of South Africa’s HIV/Aids pandemic.
The tagline for the series is "Love, sex, and relationships in the new South Africa." Gaz'lam means "blood that binds" or "brotherhood".
The first episode of the series was dedicated to the memory of series star Sipho Mzobe, who was murdered in July 2002, months before the series was broadcast.
Series Producer and Head Writer
Indra de Lanerolle
Alex Yazbek (26 episodes, 2003-2005)
Barry Berk (13 episodes, 2002)
Bronwyn Berry (7 episodes, 2005)
Hlomla Dandala (6 episodes, 2005)
Charlie Sapadin (28 episodes, 2003-2005)
Barry Berk (13 episodes, 2002)
Neil McCarthy (13 episodes, 2003-2004)
Bongi Ndaba (4 episodes, 2005)
Craig Freimond (3 episodes, 2003)
Stephen Simm (3 episodes, 2005)
Nick Warren (3 episodes, 2005)
Alex Yazbek (3 episodes, 2005)
Series exclusive to SABC1. Rebroadcast dates included.
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 3 October 2002 | Finale: 26 December 2002 | Thursdays, 20h30
Premiere: 4 April 2013 | Finale: 18 July 2013 | Thursdays, 22h00
Season 2 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 10 October 2003 | Finale: 2 January 2004 | Fridays, 20h30
Premiere: 25 July 2013 | Finale: 10 October 2013 | Thursdays, 22h00
Season 3 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 18 February 2005 | Finale: 13 May 2005 | Fridays, 20h30
Premiere: 17 October 2013 | Finale: 28 November 2013 | Thursdays, 22h00
Season 4 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 20 May 2005 | Finale: 5 August 2005 | Fridays, 20h30
Premiere: 28 November 2013 | Finale: 9 January 2014 | Thursdays, 22h00