BBC One’s Dark Money has shed some much-needed light on the grim goings-on in the Hollywood film industry

In a world where sexual abuse from film producers and celebrities is an alarmingly regular feature in the news, it’s not surprising to see a TV series mirror the events of the real-world industry and that’s just what BBC One’s mini-series Dark Money explores in gripping fashion.

The self-critiquing Dark Money series – also stylised as Dark Mon£y – has arrived at arguably the perfect moment in the history of the entertainment industry with it desperately needing to clean up its act.

The series follows the Mensah family after their son, who is an up and coming talent in the world of acting, is abused by a Hollywood film producer and details their attempts to bring about some justice for what’s happened to their son.

It’s a story we’re hearing more and more about as abuse victims are slowly coming forward to expose just how rotten some previously respected individuals are at heart. 

What’s Dark Money about?

The incredibly resonant series follows a young actor Isaac Mensah and his family’s toil after he’s abused by a Hollywood filmmaker.

The series details the attempts to cover-up the abuse by paying off the family but accepting the money does not bring an end to the drama for Isaac and his parents, especially when having to attend the film premiere alongside the abusing producer.

It’s not necessarily a pleasant watch by any means but given the powerful message behind the series is makes for some truly enthralling stuff.  

How many episodes in the series?

The short series only began on July 8th but it is already coming to an end.

The four-episode series has been split over the past two weeks with the first and second episodes being broadcast on July 8th and 9th and the final two episodes hitting our screens on July 15th and 16th respectively. 

Keeping the number of episodes to a minimum is ideal for bringing the hard-hitting message of the series to the fore in quicker fashion.

In similar style to HBO’s recent, and quite brilliant, Chernobyl series, it’s far more effective keeping the series short, sharp and to the point in order to avoid any unnecessary guff that could dilute the message of the series.

The final episode of Dark Money hits our screens at 9pm on BBC One on Tuesday, July 16th.  

Who’s in the Dark Money cast?

Max Fincham as Isaac Mensah

Who are they? Isaac Mensah is a young child actor who was abused while filming in America by a Hollywood filmmaker. He is central to the plot as said Hollywood producer aims to buy his family’s silence with a huge pay-out.

What else have they been in? Max Fincham is only just breaking into the industry but has already put in a performance in one of 2019’s biggest films, Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Fincham’s first credited role came in the 2018 series The Alienist. 

Jill Halfpenny as Sam Mensah

Who are they? Sam Mensah is the mother of young filmstar Isaac and leads the attempts to bring the offending film producer to justice. 

What else have they been in? Jill Halfpenny is probably best well known for appearing in both ITV’s Coronation Street and the BBC’s EastEnders. Aside from her soap career, Halfpenny has played roles in Waterloo Road, In the Club and Humans. More recently, she secured a role in Channel 4’s period police comedy Year of the Rabbit.

Babou Ceesay as Manny Mensah

Who are they? Manny Mensah is the extremely proud father of Isaac and is left devastated by the harrowing news of his son’s abuse at the hand of the film producer.

What else have they been in? Ceesay has recently appeared in several big-name projects including but not limited to Guerrilla, Eye in the Sky, Free Fire and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in which he appears briefly as Lieutenant Sefla. 

John Schwab as Jotham Starr

Who are they? Jotham Starr is the world-renowned film producer working on the blockbuster in which young Isaac Mensah is starring.

What else have they been in? As well as his role in Dark Money, Schwab has recently appeared in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom but only in a minor role and also played a part in 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty. His most major appearances have probably come in the much-loved video game series The Witcher, where he voices the larger than life character Dandelion.

Rebecca Front as Cheryl

Who are they? Rebecca Front plays Cheryl in Dark Money who is the chaperone of young Isaac while he is away filming in America as his parents have to stay at home for work.

What else have they been in? Front is arguably the most recognisable face in Dark Money having appeared in a range of TV programmes over the years from The Thick of It and The Wrong Mans to Poldark and police drama Lewis.

Rudi Dharmalingham as Dominic Nadesan

Who are they? Dominic Nadesan is a journalist who specialises in cases such as Isaac’s where the rich and famous have abused children

What else have they been in? Rudi Dharmalingham has appeared in several TV series in recent years ranging from The Split to the BBC’s Our Girl. Rudi has also appeared in one episode of Doctor Who the bizarre yet hilarious Dinosaurs on a Spaceship episode as well as an uncredited appearance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

The rest of the major cast for Dark Money is as follows:

Toby Oliver as Hayden

Joseph May as Brett Huntley

Susan Wokoma as Sabrina Stevens 

Olive Gray as Jess Mensah

Ellen Thomas as Maggie Mensah

Tut Nyuot as Tyrone Stevens-Mensah

Hannah-Lee Osborn as Mira Starr

The fourth and final episode of Dark Money is set to air at 9pm on BBC One on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019.

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