Given the political turn of events in the last couple of days, being a contestant on The Mole almost seems like a walk in the park.
12 contestants will again compete in this sixth season of the franchise for a pot rumoured to be $250,000. Starting with nothing in their kitty they will compete in challenges to add money to the pot but it’s never as easy as “win and add money” – there’s twists, turns, advantages, disadvantages and near political machinations at play within the group as they decide to work together or have individuals play the game for themselves. AND one of the 12 is the Mole, hell bent on subterfuge and sabotage so that each challenge is failed and the least amount of money is won, all while remaining undercover.
Throughout the challenges there will be a quiz where each contestant faces questions about how much they think they know about the Mole, with the person who knows least being terminated (not eliminated) from the game. Cue gunshot.
Host Shura Taft does a fair job of stepping into a role made famous by Grant Bowler (then fresh out of Blue Heelers). The host is more than just “we do this, now do that” – they have to follow a very explicit gift and keep the tension ebbing and flowing across the entire series. Taft at time felt a little smug in his delivery though that can be understandable when he knows what the next moves/challenges are. (Best not to talk about the Tom Williams season – that’s essentially non-canon.)
Though promoted at the start of the year as “The Mole: Culture Clash”, the tag line has been (thankfully) dropped and the contestants are let loose on each other on equal footing. From the get go each of the contestants are suspicious of every move each other makes. Alliances are formed and there is plenty of misdirection (or as they call it “Mole-ing”. Shudder.) to try to put others off the scent of the real Mole. Viewers will side with their favourites very quickly and have a list of suspects for the Mole in no time.
In previewing this series I’m glad I watched the first six episodes as stretching the first termination across three episodes makes it very protracted. Things pick up significantly in the subsequent eps and this added pace is a vast improvement to what came before. Perhaps even the producers are testing the audience?
The Mole is a welcome return to our screens for wanna-be criminologists and amateur sleuths alike. The best part remains: Who is the Mole?
The Mole – Tue/Wed 7:30pm & Thu 8pm, Ch7.