Innocent Times is a South African television mini-series created by Geoff Newton and Justin Strydom of Shoot the Moon Productions for M-Net Original Productions, which makes use of unprecedented special effects to tell the violent story of a young woman with a deeply disturbing past intent on catching her up.
The mini-series premiered on M-Net on Wednesday 23 April 2008, at 20h00. It replaced the previous mini-series, Ella Blue.
There are six hour-long episodes in the series. The show carries an age restriction of 18VSN.
Saturdays: 21h00, on M-Net Extra (Channel 103)
There were good times. There were bad times. And there were innocent times.
Innocent Times takes us on a road trip both past and present. It is the story of four people locked together by fate and their damaged pasts. It is a road movie, love story and a darkly comic thriller.
When Genevieve Scott-Thomas is let out of prison after 15 years, her son Zac is killed when he falls off a balcony. Most think it is suicide, but Gene knows differently.
To her it is a sure sign that her past is catching up with her. She decides to team up with award-winning journalist Jeff Levine and takes him on a journey into her dark past.
As she reflects on her life, we flash back to a landscape of the mind, a strange world where a murder spree took place.
The show has a stylized film noir and ‘comic book’ look. The lovers are idealized and the villain has a grotesque and slightly metaphysical quality - a man who has done a deal with the devil and now harvests the souls of the damned.
Innocent Times is very much a love story – as twisted as the love sometimes is, it is still very real and very much the driving force of our four main players. All are seeking to outrun their destinies and live the perfect life.CharactersYoung Genevieve Scott-Thomas
A beautiful but much damaged teenager who knows that her looks are the only asset she has in life. Deeply psychotic, Genevieve sees life as one long battle where only those who take their destiny into their own hands live meaningful lives.
Intelligent and manipulative, but at the same time naive and unworldly, Genevieve was also, for a time, romantic and obsessed with the notion of ‘true love.’
But the brutality of her life soon convinces her that ‘love’ is a cruel joke.Older Genevieve Scott-Thomas
Still beautiful but hardened after her 20 years in prison, Gene now works as a hairdresser in Primrose. She is a complex person, not so much embittered by the events that shaped her life but still carrying a deep seated anger towards those who used and abused her.
Half of her wants to settle and live a quiet life – the other half would love a reckoning.Zac Fouche
Zac Fouche is the classic rebel without a clue. During a stint in prison as a young man for minor drug offences Zac was raped and should have come out hating the world and the system that had done this to him. Yet Zac’s view of the world is naively optimistic.
Good looking, charismatic and somewhat versed in the ‘beat’ philosophy of Jack Kerouac, Zac cuts a romantic figure for Gene. But Zac is still damaged goods – a firecracker waiting to go off. All he needs is a cause – someone to fight for.
Gene recognises this in him and even thought she does love him, uses it to her own ends.Eddie Brok
"The Reaper" has been Eddie’s nickname all the way from fighting as a mercenary in the Congo to the war on the borders up to when we meet him. He’s now a senior detective in murder and robbery in Durban.
Eddie sees the world as a battle ground. He’s a true psychopath in the Athol ‘Ivan the Terrible’ Visser style. Loathing mankind and corrupt to the core Eddie runs a brothel and sells his youngest girls to a list of high profile clients.
Yet, deep in his twisted psyche Eddie does, he thinks, love one thing – Genevieve.
During the 20 years of Gene’s incarceration, Eddie has been working freelance as an assassin. But now Gene is out and he has one job left to do.Jeff Levine
Jeff is a good looking, highly intelligent and an award-winning writer. He has been following the story of ‘Baby Doll with a Gun’ for some years now and like other scribes he desperately wants to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
But Jeff has his own hidden agenda which makes a shocking revelation in episode four.
He too is damaged goods - the little boy who lost his mother and father at 10, was adopted by a benevolent Jewish couple – hence the name.
When he finally gets to meet with Gene he doesn’t for a minute think he is going to find himself a player in the last and final bloodiest chapter.Zac Jnr/Marlene
Zac is Gene’s now 24-year-old son. Zac is gay and a talented female impersonator but also lost to the world of hard drugs.
Consequentially, he lives in a complete fantasy word where dreams of stardom mix with the brutal world of a cocaine addiction.
Zac’s world is sordid and chaotic, yet when he’s performing on stage at the seedy Club Berlin, he finds a momentary escape in the music and applause.
Zac’s life is a true tragedy - short and painful.Stills
Quentin Krog and Nina Milner as Zac and GeneJuliana Venter as Older GeneJustin Strydom as Eddie BrokQuentin Krog and Nina Milner as Zac and Gene
CreditsExecutive Producer, Head Writer
Geoff NewtonCreative Producer, Writer
Justin StrydomAssociate Producer
Sibusiso MamboDirector: On Location
Alex YazbekDirector: Chroma Key
Tristan HolmesVisual Effects Supervisor
Greg van NiekerkColourist
Keith FraserLead 3D Artist
Carlos VilelaDirector of Photography
Trevor CalverlySound Design
Shaun FourieHead Editor
Sandra VieraProduction Co-ordinator
Lucia MeyerRelated Articles
Must See: Innocent Times
(contains behind-the-scenes pics)