The Tunnel is a sky TV drama series adaptation of the popular Danish and Swedish show The Bridge. The Tunnel places both British and French detectives on the case of a killer who places a body on the borderline between France and England in the channel tunnel. This therefore gives both detectives mutual responsibility of the case and an intriguing relationship ensues. The show is simply intriguing from beginning to the end, with genuinely surprising narrative turns around every corner.
The show starts when, without spoiling anything, a politically motivated serial killer named the Truth Terrorist, or TT, comes to the fore by murdering a woman and placing their body in the border between France and England. It is this chase for TT along with the relationships between the detectives which makes this essential viewing. The pendulum swings throughout the series between TT and the detectives and it’s this unpredictability that makes the show so gripping. As the series progresses, more is learnt about the characters, which makes you as a viewer emotionally invested in the actions of the protagonists.
On top of this the Truth terrorist is an engaging and mysterious villain. Many of the politically principles make you uncomfortable as a viewer as you engage in what TT is fighting for, even if the means are rather homicidal. Indeed the truth terrorist gains a degree of support from the wider public. This makes the viewer feel like their is a choice to be made over who to support, TT or the detectives.
However it’s not all positive. Towards the middle of the series the show loses a little bit of pace. The detectives continue to chase TT and the show feels like it is just waiting for something to happen. But something does happen and the show kicks back into life for the final three episodes. This lull in the shows momentum never made me want to switch off, so the implications of this slow down are limited.
The main weakness of this show is the supporting characters, many of which have no impact on the story. The worst of these by far is tabloid journalist Danny Hiller. The character is woefully cliché and annoyed me most of the time he was on the screen. The character is in the role of a facilitator to the main plot and therefore I understand that he is a necessary character, but he is so dislikeable that it was difficult to have any interest in his activities.
I was a massive fan of BBC 1’s detective series Luther. There are many similarities between the two, the foremost of this being the pacing. The imagery is also very similar as well as the engaging villain and an overall air of unpredictability. So if you are a fan of Luther than this is definitely worth a watch.
Overall I would rate this television series as a 9 out of 10, it’s a truly gripping crime drama, with engaging character and plot development. I hope it gets a second series!