Scandal! series producer Ilse van Hemert lets us in on the serial killer storyline.
Last week on Scandal! Sasha’s suspicions were confirmed when an informant, Graham Wilson told her she was on the right track: there is a serial killer and he has murdered four women.
On last night’s episode Sasha developed a detailed profile of the serial killer and named him The Sleeping Beauty Serial Killer. The killer targets powerful women and takes them out on dates. When they reject him, he murders them.
We chat to series producer Isle van Hemert to find out what inspired the storyline.
Tell us about the serial killer storyline. What can viewers expect?
One of the reporters from the New Voice, Sasha, is tracking incidents that she believes will lead her to a huge scoop, and save the lives of the women who are the killer’s next victims. During the course of her investigation, she falls in love with the widower of one of the victims, so it is both a thriller and a love story.
Why has Scandal! decided to do a storyline on a serial killer?
Scandal! is set in the world of the media. The drama of a mystery killer out there and the suspense of not knowing when he will strike makes for life and death stakes and should keep viewers glued to their TVs.
Is serial killing something that is prevalent in South Africa?
Not specifically more than in other parts of the world, but the fear of becoming a victim of random violent crime is very real to all South Africans.
How did the idea for this storyline come about?
We wanted to give Sasha a love story, so we thought it should blossom right in the center of a high stakes story she was chasing; we wanted the drama of professional and personal needs coming into conflict.
Why is he named the Sleeping Beauty serial killer?
Scandal! gets broadcast in family viewing time, so we didn’t want a gory killer that would give children nightmares. So we decided our killer would inject his victims and arrange their bodies as if they are sleeping. It was part of his profile, that he saw himself as a prince and his victims his princesses.
How did you cast for this role? What were the challenges?
I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.
How did the writers research for the storyline?
We have a researcher, Nonhlanhla Simelane, who sourced information about typical serial killers, their profiles and their psychology. The story-liner is the brilliant Thomas Hall, who is an Emmy-nominated writer. Don’t miss it because it leads straight into the biggest drama this show has ever seen.