DR’s major drama series The Spider takes viewers back to the time just after the occupation—1949 more precisely—and post-war Copenhagen. Denmark was still suffering from shortages and the more or less shady commercial transactions of the occupation, but the country was also preparing to enter the more orderly 1950s.
It was an age full of trickery and fraud, lawlessness and corruption. The city gangsters and black-marketeers were having the time of their lives—they could lay their hands on anything from extra ration coupons, spirits, and cigarettes to American cars.
Furthermore, the country was suffering from a moral hangover after a time without a police force, and the temporary Crisis Police did not engender much respect among the population as a whole.
The central figure in The Spider is Bjarne Madsen, an idealistic young journalist desperate to provide his readers with some hard evidence of the corruption that is going on. But the paper already has a regular crime reporter, the deeply honourable H.C. Vissing, who bases his work on mutual trust with the police.
One day Bjarne receives a tip-off about organised crime on the grand scale and his ambitions to unravel the threads of an extensive criminal spider’s web become reality. Vissing and the editor-in-chief, Taulov, think the story is too far fetched – but Bjarne continues his own studies in the field and undertakes investigative journalism among hookers and black-marketeers in search of the truth.