The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Sunday 9:00 PM on BBC
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 7

    A Real Botswana Diamond

    Aired 5/10/09

  • S 1 : Ep 6

    Beauty and Integrity

    Aired 5/3/09

  • S 1 : Ep 6

    A Real Botswana Diamond

    Aired 4/19/09

  • S 1 : Ep 5

    Problems In Moral Philosophy

    Aired 4/26/09

  • S 1 : Ep 5

    Beauty and Integrity

    Aired 4/12/09

  • Cast & Crew
  • Anika Noni Rose

    Mma Makutsi

  • Jill Scott (II)

    Precious Ramotswe

  • Desmond Dube


  • Lucian Msamati

    JLB Matekoni

  • Thabo Malema


  • show Description
  • Alexander McCall Smith's popular detective series comes to the small screen courtesy of HBO and the BBC. Oscar winner Anthony Minghella shepherds this project with a two-hour pilot shot in Botswana. Leading the cast is R&B singer/songwriter Jill Scott playing the role of Precious Ramotswe, a good-natured, intuitive mid-30's woman who took to heart the inspiring lessons of her deceased father. The series tells of her adventures as she puts up the first and only female detective agency in her native country of Botswana. The detective dramedy has been nominated in the 2009 Television Critics Association Awards for Outstanding New Program of the Year. While the fate of the show still hangs in the balance, HBO has announced that the 1st season DVD is set to be released on September 8, 2009.moreless

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (74)

    • Mma Ramotswe: There is no problem so great that it cannot be solved by a cup of bush tea.

    • Mma Makutsi: (reading from her report) The Case of Happy Bapetsi and the Dubious Daddy. No developments. No leads. No progress. Endless cups of bush tea. Mma Ramotswe: Excellent. Very accurate report.

    • Kremlin Busang: (after kissing Mma Ramotswe) I can't go home. I will die. I will die of passion. I will die of holding in all this passion. Mma Ramotswe: Good things come to those who wait.

    • (after Mma Ramotswe found out Daddy Bapetsi was an impostor) Daddy Bapetsi: What about my things? What about my laptop? My bluetooth? And what about my boom-boom box? My satellite dish? Mma Ramotswe: Get off with you. You are not a man. You are a worm, and worms have no possessions!

    • Hector Lepodise: Well, God sees us. BK: You think so? I think we're so tiny when God looks down at us. It's like the hair on your head. Millions of them. But God sees the whole haircut.

    • JLB Matekoni: I've never been able to lie. My tongue swells up. People always know. Mma Ramotswe: That is what I admire about you, Rra. But sometimes, a lie for a good reason is a good lie.

    • Mma Ramotswe: I will do anything you ask. JLB Matekoni: Is it? Would you perhaps marry me, then? Mma Ramotswe: Anything except that.

    • Mma Ramotswe: Secretary is free? Mma Makutsi: That is correct. My calculation, after these agency expenses, is that we have solved five cases for a net profit of exactly nothing. As long as you earn nothing, neither will I. But, when the Ladies' Detective Agency becomes the pride of Botswana, as it most surely will, then I will be the first to enjoy the fruits of our labours.

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    Notes (23)

    • International Show Titles: Czech Republic: Vůně Kalahari (Scent of Kalahari)

    • Original International Air Dates: South Africa: August 3, 2009 on M-Net Czech Republic: February 9, 2010 on HBO

    • The producers signed a ten-year lease with the Botswana government for an area at the foot of Kgale Hill, the central setting of the film pilot/series where they created an entire shopping complex set. They have expressed the intent of letting the buildings stay even after the series ends and make the location a tourist attraction.

    • Jill Scott, who plays Precious Ramotswe, was cast two weeks prior to the start of production. Filming of the pilot began on July 9, 2007.

    • The set, designed by Johnny Breedt and located at the foot of Kgale Hill, simulates a real-life shopping center which has the following offices, shops, and stalls: • The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency • Last Chance Hair Salon • Bottle Store & Liquor Restaurant • Sorinyane Hi Tek Electronics • Sepadupa Spares and Repairs • Patels Comfort Store • Meat Great & Butchery • Kgale Post Office • Blue and Red General Dealer • car wash, Kwik Recharge cubicles, vegetable stalls, etc.

    • Featured Music: • "Botswana wa Tsabakela" (traditional) by The Mogwana Tradi • "Khutshanyana" (traditional) by Jill Scott, Ludo Mogegeh and the Cast • "Re Botswana" by Stampore • "Mmamoledi" by Maxy • "Ditshwanela" by Shanti' Lo • "Baby Ntsoare" by Various Artist • "Zwaka Presa" by Various Artist • "Ntyilo Ntyilo" (traditional) by Guy Barker Quintet • "Seponono" by Botswana Boys Top 10 • "Lethale" by Vee

    • Harriet Lenabe (Mma Notshi) is credited as Harriet Manamela. Tau Maserumule (Apprentice 1) is credited as Tau Maseramula. Kgomotso Tshwenyego is credited as Kgomotso D. Tshwenyego.

    • As the final credits rolled during the first broadcast of this pilot, it was announced that a series had been commissioned for broadcast next year (2009).

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (20)

    • The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Cases: • Case #1: Happy Bapetsi and the Dubious Daddy • Case #2: Alice Busang and the Question of a Cheating Husband • Case #3: Hector Lepodisi and the Fishy Fingers • Case #4: Charlie Kgotso's Missing "Item"

    • Mma Makutsi: At secretarial college, in history class, we were told of a former time, before computers, when typing was done on machines. And our country was called Bechuanaland and dinosaurs roamed the earth! The Republic of Botswana, which became independent from British rule in September 30, 1966, was formerly known as the Bechuanaland Protectorate, established on March 31, 1885. The personal computer have been in use since the 1970s.

    • The telephone number to call for missing persons, as shown on TV, is 089-2929. The details of the missing child Thabiso Moripedi are as follows: Male, 12 years old, Slim build, last seen Monday 9th July.

    • The message typed by Mma Makutsi for Mma Ramotswe at the end of the episode reads: "T ank you. I am ver y g ateful". Both typewriters are missing the letter H, and the one she used is missing the letter R.

    • The plate number on Mma Ramotswe's old white Datsun (missing a 'D') pickup, which was given to her by her father, is B-383-AHR.

    • The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency is located at Plot 105, Box 234, Kgale Hill Shopping Center, Gaborone, Botswana.

    • The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Cases: • Case #1: The Definitely Disturbed Dentist • Case #2: The Disappearing Dog • Case #3: The Absconding Apostolic

    • Precious' father, Obed Ramotswe, was born in 1940 and died in 2007.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (5)

    • Alice Busang: How dare you kiss my Kremlin. You thief! You Jezebel! Jezebel is described as a wicked, manipulative Phoenician queen in the Bible's book of Kings. The term Jezebel, connoting evil, scheming women, has also been used as titles of the 1938 film starring Bette Davis and the '50s hit by Frankie Laine.

    • Young Man in Van: Hasta la vista, baby! (making gun-popping sounds) 'Hasta la vista, baby!' is a catchphrase popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger when he played The Terminator in the 1991 James Cameron action-suspense film Terminator 2.

    • Border Official: Oh, so you're like Mrs. Marple? Jane Marple is the fictional amateur detective character in a dozen of Agatha Christie's crime novels.

    • BK: Wooo! Eh-eh! She will think she's being followed by Robert Mugabe. Robert Gabriel Mugabe came to power as Zimbabwe's head of government in 1980. He was the Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 and the nation's president since 1987.

    • Mr. Patel: A car like mine with sat nav. The world will be my oyster. The line "the world is my oyster" originated from the Act II, Scene II verse in Shakespeare's play The Merry Wives of Windsor which reads "Why, then the world's mine oyster".

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • Why shown as IN SEASON

    By egowen, Feb 08, 2014

  • Gone too soon

    By food_4_thought, Jul 22, 2012

  • A very sweet show, with love just shining through every character. No blood, no gore, nothing disturbing. Forgiveness seems to be the No. 1 attribute Precious brings to her detective agency.

    By just_tere, Apr 27, 2009

  • Incredible story. Incredible acting. Sheer work of utter perfection.

    By 12916studios, Mar 25, 2008

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