Dark Money - A terrific and timely piece of televison where there are only shades of grey
Some dilemmas seem easy to resolve, but Dark Money (BBC1, Mon/Tues, 9pm) presented us with a really knotty problem this week.
If you knew your child – off to Hollywood to star in a sci-fi epic – had suffered abuse at the hands of hotshot producer, would you take £3m to stay quiet?
Of course you wouldn’t, right? This is your child, other children might be involved.
But what if that £3m could make your life – and the lives of you entire family – so much easier? You could get out from under the crushing weight of debt. Move out of that bad neighbourhood and give your kids chances you never had.
Not so easy now, is it?
And that’s one of the reasons which made Dark Money so good. There wasn’t black and white here, just shades of grey.
The parents (Jill Halfpenny and the brilliant Babou Ceesay) aren’t bad parents or morally suspect, they are just trying to do the best they can in almost impossible circumstances.
The child star, Isaac, gets into trouble at school, but is that because of the abuse, or because he wants to impress his mates?
Meanwhile, Isaac’s chaperone (Rebecca Front) claims she knows nothing about the producer’s activities, but she seems a little too keen to help keep the family quiet.
It’s a terrific drama, and it’s key asset is being totally believable, and that’s down to a fantastic cast, Ceesay and Max Fincham – who plays Isaac –particularly.
The one reservation? As usual, a journalist looking into the story is a weasly type, who is always hanging around in dark corners trying to insinuate himself into the family’s life.
But that is a small gripe – Dark Money is a terrific, timely piece of television. No dilemmas there.
Charles I: Downfall of a King (BBC4, Tues-Thurs, 9pm) showed a disruptive opposition, tapping into populist resentment, leading to a seismic shift in British politics. Sound familiar?
Channel 5 continued its rabble-rousing documentary style with Cyclists: The Scourge of the Streets (C5, Monday, 9pm), from which nobody – motorists or cyclists –emerged with any credit.