Inside tonight’s SABC3 'Isidingo' finale

Lerato Makhetha and Stefanie Sandowns in 'Isidingo.' (Instagram/@isidingo_)
Lerato Makhetha and Stefanie Sandowns in 'Isidingo.' (Instagram/@isidingo_)

When the liquid gold opening theme of Isidingo plays for the last time after 21 years on SABC3 tonight, the entire cast will be huddled together in a secret Johannesburg location to watch the series finale together.

The South African public broadcaster abruptly axed the long-running soap in November 2019 because SABC 3 can no longer afford to make expensive local shows like Top Billing or ones that support a large ensemble cast like Isidingo.

READ MORE: SABC3 making wholesale changes after losing 'Top Billing' and 'Isidingo'

The last episode is exactly how it would have been originally. The SABC's cancellation came with no warning for the show to do anything properly to wrap up the soapie or any of the major storylines, since the writing team already wrapped for the season.

The series finale tonight will include some shockers and surprises ... including gunshots as "one man avenges himself".

The show is, however, staying tight-lipped as to whether any characters might get killed off or whether the final Isidingo scene will leave long-time viewers with a satisfying conclusion or on a shocking and never-to-be-resolved cliff-hanger ending.

On the last day of filming - 24 January - the cast and crew kept up appearances, choosing to focus on getting the work done and getting the last scenes in the can.

"They have always been a very positive cast and crew to be around, and they're all just crazy and laughing all the time usually. On the last day, emotions were there, but we didn't really dwell on the situation," Isidingo publicist Catherine Sidyiyo tells Channel24.

"People were happy and good and fine on set. On the last day – it wasn't everybody who was there – but it concluded with a jovial spirit and a spirit of togetherness really."

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A dream team! ???????? #Isidingo #Isidingo21

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After Thursday SABC3 will broadcast themed Isidingo repeat episodes for the next few months during its primetime timeslot until the channel figures out what it can or wants to do during the 19:00 half hour where the soap's viewership has plunged to between 900 000 and a million viewers per month at most.

READ MORE: 5 times 'Isidingo' paved the way for SA TV