Socialist Worker

Follow the Money—dredging up the evidence of a criminal society

BBC Four’s Danish detective drama Follow the Money serves up an engrossing feast of corporate intrigue and financial skulduggery, writes?Charlie Kimber

Issue No. 2496

detective mads juggles his high-pressure sleuthing with caring for his kids and sick wife

detective mads juggles his high-pressure sleuthing with caring for his kids and sick wife (Pic: BBC/DR/Christian Geisnæs)


A worker’s dead body is pulled from the sea. On his jacket is the symbol of Energreen.

It’s a super-modern firm that claims to be working for a fossil-free future. But are its green credentials as false as a Volkswagen diesel?

The opening scenes of Follow the Money set us up nicely for a feast of corporate intrigue, tensions inside the police and financial skulduggery.

The cop called to view the body is Mads. He juggles his high-pressure sleuthing with looking after two children and caring for his wife who has MS.

In many police dramas he would be knocking back the spirits, but at the moment he’s only on the Carlsberg.

Honest Mads is contrasted with the sinister Energreen boss Sander. He’s a media-savvy man whose ruthlessness is carefully hidden.

His workers have mottoes on their desk, such as “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough”.

There’s also a story going on which implies that soaring property prices lead to car theft. Well, exactly.

Engrossing

If you enjoyed the Danish political drama Borgen, you will be cheered that the screenwriter for Follow the Money is the same Jeppe Gjervig Gram.

Some reviewers think the programme is all a bit slow. But I found it engrossing and commendable for not bombarding us with too many unconnected characters and plots.

There’s also a well-acted section about the lives of migrant workers, who are driven to ignore health and safety in order to keep their jobs.

They travel from country to country, desperate to provide for their families. But in doing so they risk their own lives and the devastation of their families.

In a powerful scene the workers decide to trust Mads and expose their bosses’ crimes. Do you think the police will stand by them to the end?

The BBC says this is “a story of our world the economic crisis almost overturned.”

A world “which is still holding its breath as it waits for the next bubble to burst and for the next economic tsunami to strike.”

A deplorable lack of human agency in that analysis, but otherwise not bad.

As Alf from the Financial Crime Squad says at the start of episode two, “We follow the money—everything else is a means to an end”.

Follow the Money
BBC Four
Thurdays, 9pm

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