Dark Money Episode 1

BBC’s drama about a young boy who went to Hollywood to film a movie but came back after being abused by the producer of the film.

It was quite the beginning to a show that looks like it’ll be a hard one to sit through without a box of tissues. Isaac’s abuse wasn’t hidden throughout the episode, he arrived back in the UK and as soon as he had a chance told his parents, what this show really seems to be about is the aftermath and how a family deals with such things.

What the show did really well was make you care about all the characters super fast from a cheerful and proud dad to just a normal mum and family that care and love Isaac to the moon and back. All the characters came across as being real and sympathetic in every sense. It made everything so heartbreaking the moment it happened because you didn’t get to know Isaac beforehand or his family life, they instantly had to make you care about a family that is about to be thrown into turmoil and they did it effortlessly.

For me Babou Ceesay as the father Manny made the episode. He was so happy and came across as a man who just wanted what was best for his family even if he failed at times to deliver, the news of what happened to his son because he let him go to America on his own destroyed him and he spent most of the episode lost, wondering how he could help whilst also kind of being the only character listening to his son.

That seems to be something that will become a theme of this show though.

No one listening to the actual victim.

There is a lot of his parents trying to do what is right but no actual moment where they decide to try help in more then just a revenge kind of way. They see a solicitor who warns them of what the process to take Starr to court would be like and Manny thinks of going to a journalist but there is never a scene where they bring up therapy to Isaac or sit down and talk to him.

I don’t know if that is done on purpose or that we’re just meant to believe that they would have done that but it felt odd to me. Not that I could ever even imagine being in that position but the episode ended without anyone really taking into consideration how to help Isaac heal away from money and doing “the right thing”.

Whilst the majority of the story is really good and I think the cast is one of the strongest they could hope for I do find that they add unneeded drama to the story for the sake of having other little bits to hold onto.

This couldn’t just be a poorish family who struggled by.

No this has to be a family that has seen the father cheat on his wife and have another child.

Little moments like that feel like a warning that it’ll be used to bring up tension between Manny and Sam that just doesn’t need to be there. A story about their son being abused should be enough, by the end of the episode it becomes obvious they have signed a NDA and taken three million in payment to keep quiet so I don’t see why we need that extra drama shoehorned in for extra “I hate you for this completely different reason” moments later in the series.

It isn’t enough to ruin anything but it makes you worry a little that the story will at times become derailed from what it is meant to be about.

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