Shaka Zulu

Season 1 Episode 1

Part 1

Aired Unknown Nov 02, 1987 on
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Episode Summary

Part 1
In 1823, warriors from the Zulu Empire headed by Shaka, a brilliant but ruthless military strategist, begin to encroach on the outskirts of the colonial South African colony of Capetown, South Africa. In desperation, Capetown's Governor requests assistance from King George IV of Great Britain to bolster their tenuous position, but the British have no more resources to send. Instead, a volunteer cadre of mercenaries, explorers, and professionals are recruited and sent to Zululand to try to make contact with Shaka and assess the real threat of his storied army.moreless

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  • The kickoff episode...

    This first episode in the miniseries is basically the "current" in terms of how this story is going to run, as much of the rest of the miniseries will be as a flashback of the life of the title character that will eventually lead back to the show's present. As such, this installment is a bit disjointed as it tries to establish the particulars and send people packing for Southeast Africa in order to make the necessary "first contact" that will eventually lead to a major historic upheaval and confrontation.

    The performances were good however, although some of the character's British accents were difficult to understand. I'm usually pretty good at it but there are different dialects that blur words or pronounce them quite differently from other UK dialects and it requires some concentration.

    Henry Cele has a standout performance and the episode in general has an epic feel, with a lot of emphasis on the cinematography that highlights the landscape of the area - which was a nice touch given the miniseries was filmed on location in the actual area where the Zulu kingdom was and still is.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Popham: (to the group in reference to Shaka) We have to wait here until he sends for us.
      Ogle: Who's moving?

    • Finn: (to Farewell) There's a legend, Lieutenant, amongst the native witchdoctors, of a child, a prophetic child. They say he'll bring with him an era in which the name amazulu will signify terror and death. Many people see Shaka as the incarnation of that prophesy.

    • Finn: My God?!
      Farewell: Is that an exclamation or a prayer?
      Finn: Well there's your first report to the Colonial Office, Clem. Just eight words - you've not got a cat's chance in hell.
      Farewell: Now don't be downcast gentlemen. Look at it this way - we are entering lands that no white man has ever seen. This moment is tremendous and your names will go down in history.
      Wilkens: Whose history sir? Ours or theirs?
      Farewell: Well, were I a betting man Clem, I'd think I'd probably have to say theirs.

    • Shaka: (to Piet in Zulu but spoken on screen in English) You interest me white man. Since you know our language well, I'll honor you. From now on you are a Zulu and you shall act as my interpreter. You shall teach my people your language and your people my language. If you do well, I'll reward you handsomely. But if you fail me, I shall kill each and every member of your party. Is that clear?

  • NOTES (0)


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