Lockdown, the most-awarded drama series at last year’s SAFTAs with six awards under its belt is coming with a brand new season this month. The hit prison drama has moved from Mzansi Magic and is coming only to Showmax from 30 January 2020, with two episodes added per week every Thursday on Showmax.
Lockdown takes viewers into the daily battle for survival in the cells and offices of Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional Facility. Its the show’s custom to bring a new star each new season and this time we see an addition to this all-female cast, a new star,
Sophie Lichaba, best known as Sophie Ndaba, who became a household name in South Africa during her two-decade-long starring role as the feisty receptionist Queen Moroka in the SABC 1 soapie Generations. In Lockdown, she plays Palesa, the head nurse at Kgotsong Asylum, a key location this season where Monde’s sister, Katlego (portrayed by Natasha Thahane), has been transferred.
This is what Sophie had say about her character: “Palesa’s a broken woman who’s been through it all, she’s so broken she will do anything to feel better, even if it’s not right.”
She is joining one of the most impressive casts on South African television, which also includes SAFTA winners Nomsa Buthelezi and Linda Sebezo as fan favourites Slenda and Maki, and the multi-award-winning Patricia Boyer as Sue.
Both Zola Nombona and Lorcia Cooper say Lockdown helped them escape being typecast. “At the beginning of my career, I was starting to be typecast as the bimbo with the hair and boobs and short skirts,” Zola remembers. “I was tired of that, so when this came along, I was like, ‘Thank you, Lord; you’ve answered my prayers; I’ve always wanted to play a character as bare as I can be, without without my beauty being enhanced.”
Similarly, Lorcia says, “Before getting Tyson, I was always typecast. I think people always saw the pretty coloured girl with the good body and straight hair… to a point where I used to go to auditions and people would say, ‘You don’t look coloured enough.’”
Mandla N, Lockdown creator who still directs every episode, started his career as an actor on shows like City Ses’laand Ses’Top La before moving into directing. That experience helped turn him into “a cast whisperer,” to quote Zola.
“Authenticity is everything,” he says.“Prison is a gritty, dirty, grungy world and we can‘t glamourise that. So when you see the ladies in prison in Lockdown, you think: ‘This person could give me a run for my money.’”
That authenticity is helped by his decision to film the series at Constitution Hill, the historic prison complex where the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Albertina Sisulu served time.
As Lauren says, “As soon as you get here, you feel the history and the stories that have come out of this prison. It really changes your mindset as soon as you walk in here.”
This season, Dawn Thandeka King says fans can look forward to more action than ever.
‘“I’m excited about the audience seeing the stunts that we are going to be doing this season,”she says. “There’s a heist, we blow up stuff, I was in a van that was burning, and there’s a lot of shooting. I shoot a real gun this season. It’s been exciting; I’ve never done these kinds of stunts before.”
We cannot wait for 30 January 2020 as we are going to get the first ever episode exclusively on Showmax & every Thursday we get two episodes. It’s exciting times ahead when it comes to local content in Mzansi.
Watch the trailer below: https://youtu.be/oJF2bCYOADc