The Emissary (South Africa: 1988)


Jan Scholtz

Cast list

Ted Le Plat... Jack Cavanaugh
Terry Norton... Caroline Cavanaugh
Robert Vaughn... Ambassador McKay
Patrick Mynhardt... Brochard
Andre Jacobs... Hesse
Colin Sutcliffe... Matthew Holmes
Jonathan Taylor... Christopher Fry
Hans Strydom... Justin Latimer
Ken Gampu... Beamish
Jannie Weinand... Cop
Bill Barber... Bureaucrat


Writer... Jan Scholtz


This South African production, filmed for the most part in Cape Town, explores a lot including top-flight sound engineering, creative cinematography and able direction, but the script by director Jan Scholtz gradually loses its impact. The work features Terry Norton in her first role and she was seen on screen during the majority of the footage as Caroline, wife of a U.S. Assistant Secretary (Ted Leplat) whose diplomatic career is in jeopardy as she is being blackmailed by the KGB, which coindentally counters her attempts at delivering herself from her imbroglio. Caroline's husband Jack serves as courier of a computer disc that the U.S.S.R. desperately wants to get their hands on as having it could make a breach of all American mainframe security programs possible. However, her history of infidelity forces her into taking and delivering the disc to the KGB. Although she is reluctant to directly involve her husband. The initial two-thirds of this film are engrossing as the intricate storyline benefits from some good acting, dialogue and camera-work, combining to keep viewers on edge. Norton creates her challenging part well and there are good turns also from Andre Jacobs and Patrick Mynhardt as the principal KGB operatives while the sound is faultlessly crafted by Leon Nel; Johan Scheepers and Johan Lategan, respectively, handle their cinematographic and editing responsibilities very well.


James Hunt, “Revisiting Star Trek TNG: The Emissary.” Den of Geek (blog)

Jamahl Epsicokhan, “Star Trek The Next Generation: The Emissary.” Jammer’s Reviews

Michelle Erica Green, “The Emissary.” Trek Today

Academic Articles:

Research in African Literatures by Larry Landrum. South African Film, Vol. 26, No. 3, Autumn 1995, pp. 202-205

The Cinema of Apartheid: Race and Class in South African Film by Keyan Tomaselli. Film Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 3, Spring 1990, pp. 60-61