Game show in which a group of globe-trotting contestants builds up the winner's cash prize by solving puzzles and completing tasks. One of them is a saboteur. Each week, the person least close to figuring out who that is, gets dismissed.




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Series cast summary:
Michiel Devlieger ...
 Himself - Host (27 episodes, 1998-2003)
Gilles De Coster ...
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For the highly anticipated fourth season of The Mole Gilles de Coster goes with ten unknown Flemings to South America. For three weeks traveling through Argentina, the land of gauchos and tango, and Messi and Maradona. They made a breathtaking tour, but were also test physically and mentally. The ten candidates have a common goal: all jobs do manage to earn as much money as possible. For this they rely on each other and soon creates close ties. Yet, they can't really trust one another, because the group has a traitor, a saboteur. One of them is De Mol. It's a high priority to unmask the Mol. For he or she who knows the most about the identity of the Mol on the end of the trip wins the entire cash prize. Written by MarkyWahlberg

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6 December 1998 (Belgium)  »

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The best TV format ever, sold to USA, Canada etc.
15 September 2006 | by (Flanders, Belgium, EU) – See all my reviews

This is the original version of one of the best program formats ever to leave a brainstorming meeting alive, from the highly successful and inventive production company Woestijnvis ("Desert fish", from a memorable 'Wheel of Fortune' moment) - that became renowned for its original and often renewing television formats (having sold many formats to Holland and other countries) and is by far the best well-known production company in Belgium. To me it is the most successfully realized concept, breaking all viewing records, and through that unfortunately speeding up the upcoming of reality TV, a much detested because not qualitatively fruitful trend in Flemish television. This namely created the habit with other TV-makers to try to match its success, by imitating the personal reality touch. This was fortified as one of the female candidates from the first (of 3) series unexpectedly had a temporary little mental break down near the end.

The 1 winner takes all money collected through mission successes of the entire group, while the mole is paid by the producers to restrict the money gained by failing missions. The adventure/game ends with three people and the winner is he who at the end of the game answered most questions about the mole correctly (he/she is assumed to have indeed found the mole).

The challenges/assignments/missions were often original and always highly varied. Each series comprise of 7 well-montaged episodes, each showing two days from the two weeks of challenges, plus 1 (also prerecorded) reunion episode where the last episode is shown to every candidate so at this time 7 people who fell out of the game get to know who the mole is, alternated with highlights and an overview of possible clues.

The fun of watching was for a greater part in trying to find the mole, and after 3 series, as the viewers become more expertly in finding clues, the risk that the mole would be unmasked before the end of the show became too great. Or: they didn't want to "milk it", as we're officially told...

Remember, for example, this highly charged piece of conversation in the second series between the eventual winner and his/her suspect, when they're alone on their way to their goal on a deserted road, mysteriously exhausting one means of transportation after another (I suspect some manipulation on behalf of the program makers):

1: We're going to succeed, aren't we? 2: Depends on what you mean by succeeding. Followed by mutually amused eye contact, leaving the viewers guessing but at least more knowing.

Let's hope for reruns, or better yet, a new series after all. But perhaps it's better not to ruin our good memory... The show is however still running in Holland as of 2008 as 'Wie is de mol', with Dutch famous people, and in the US as "The Mole" on ABC, with both a non- celebrity and a 'Celebrity Mole' version, totaling 5 seasons and 12 contestants instead of 10. But nothing beats this original version's three magnificent series.

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