We, Dutch people, are known for various things, like making cheese, walking on wooden clogs and some more illegal stuff. But over the years it has appeared that we are also good at making TV programs that are slowly taking over the world. In the early days we are talking about Big Brother and the crazy guys of New Kids, but more recently Utopia and The Voice. But something I don’t understand is why the most successful Dutch and Belgian tv show from the last 20 years is only popular in Dutch speaking countries? I’m talking about the show Wie Is De Mol/De Mol, which roughly translates to Who Is The Mole. After some research, I found out that there where The Mole series in Australia, The US and the UK but they all ended before 2013.
So I can only guess why this series never lasted as long as it does here (maybe those series miss the fabulous hand of Rick McCullough; who is American btw). But I will do my best to make you just as enthusiastic about this series as I am and channel your inner Sherlock Holmes.
The rules are simple. The program starts with 10 candidates who have to complete assignments to earn money. They seem like easy assignments, but they become quite a lot harder knowing that one of the candidates is the Mole. Whereas the candidates want to earn as much money as possible, the Mole’s goal is to make the assignments fail and keep the amount of money earned as low as he or she can.
But no one of candidates and the viewers knows who the mole is. Throughout the episodes, small hints are given by the makers that lead to the identity of the mole. For example, a bouquet of flowers on a table in the background in the same species as one of the candidate’s name.
At the end of every episode, the candidates take a multiple-choice test about the mole’s identity. The person with the fewest correct answers is then expelled from the show, they are shown a red screen. This goes on until in the finale only two contestants and the mole remain. The winner is the person with the most correct answers in the final test and he or she gets all of the money earned during the previous stages of the game. In the first four seasons, the candidates and the mole were unknown people, but from the 5th season on wards the candidates are Dutch ‘celebrities’ of some sort.
To help the candidates with their test, they can sometimes earn not only money but also tools for the assignments. The three most common are:
– Jokers; they turn incorrect test answers into correct answers.
– Green exemptions; candidates immediately go through to the next episode, regardless of their score.
– Black exemptions; these ensure that all tools in the tests become worthless
Although the episodes only air on Dutch television, they have been uploaded on YouTube afterwards with English subtitles. So please join me in this years search to the Mole!
You can find the episodes here!