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Charlie Jade is a science fiction television program filmed mainly in Cape Town, South Africa. It stars Jeffrey Pierce in the title role, as a detective from a parallel universe who finds himself trapped in our universe. This is a Canadian and South African co-production filmed in conjunction with CHUM Television and the South African Industrial Development Corporation. The special effects were produced by the Montreal-based company Cinegroupe led by Michel Lemire.
The show started in 2004 and was aired on the Canadian Space Channel. It premiered on the Space Channel April 16, 2005 and aired in Eastern Europe, France, Italy, on SABC 3 in South Africa, on Fox Japan, and on AXN in Hong Kong. The show began airing in the United Kingdom in October 2007, on FX. The Sci Fi Channel in the United States premiered the show on June 6, 2008, but after 2 episodes on Friday prime-time, moved it to overnight Mon/Tue.
Interster was a weekly science-fiction Supermarionation television show made for children and shown in South Africa from the late 1970s. South African Broadcasting Corporation children's programming was quite innovative during the late 1970s to early 1980s — the impossibility of purchasing Thunderbirds forced the SABC to produce Interster, but also the technical challenge offered the opportunity to truly flex the SABC's creative muscles.
The main plot involved an undercover planetary defence agency operating from Cape Town under the guise of an interstellar shipping company. The show mirrored the real world political issues of international isolation facing Apartheid South Africa with the Earth being depicted as a galactic pariah of the "Interplanetary League" due to its cold war with the planet "Krokon". The villain in the series was depicted by Prince Karnati or his evil henchmen.
The spaceships used in the show were called Impalas after the South African Air Force aircraft, the locally assembled Italian Aermacchi MB-326. There was a pragmatic reason for calling the aircraft Impalas - the basis of the models were 1/48 scale plastic model kits of the AM326, so that they would be recognisable to South African youth.