The Tunnel is an Anglo-French crime drama, adapted from the 2011 Danish/Swedish crime series The Bridge (Broen/Bron). It stars Stephen Dillane as Karl Roebuck, the main English detective and Clémence Poésy as Elise Wasserman, the main French detective who find themselves working together after a body is discovered on the exact mid-point of the Channel Tunnel. This is just the first act of a very dangerous criminal. Can the English and French teams overcome years of stereotypes and prejudice to combine forces and catch the “truth terrorist”?
The plot initially follows that of “The Bridge” very closely, but from episode 2 onwards it very soon moves away from the focus of the original story to concentrate on other areas.
The Tunnel was first broadcast from October-December 2013 on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and from November 2013 on Canal+ in France.
Video + Audio
An excellent 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, as first broadcast. Nothing wrong from a technical point of view. We also get a choice of soundtracks which is a nice bonus - you can choose from a DD5.1 surround track or a DD2.0 stereo soundtrack (as first broadcast).
Both are perfectly fine technically but the surround soundtrack offers just a little more interest with some nice bass at times and a few surround effects.
Yes! At last some reasonable extras on a recent TV release. There’s a “making of” feature, which has some good behind the scenes footage from filming in the Channel Tunnel as well as insight into how it all came about. There are also cast and crew interviews with an extended interview with the writer probably the highlight. It’s a welcome addition to the set, much better than just chucking out a vanilla set.
Don’t watch until you’ve watched the series (the extras screen helpfully warns you of this too!)
Lots of things to talk about here. Initial knee-jerk “oh my god they remade The Bridge/Bron” reactions (soon forgotten as the story moves on). Keeley Hawes doing her best “Doreen from Birds of a Feather” impression. Odd French police officers who seem to be from Vulcan (again, handled differently from the Danish version). Some French dialogue that seems to have been written by GCSE students (it seemed easier to understand than some more “natural” French conversation, although that could be intentional). Cheap stereotypes. Entente cordiale. People going up in flames. Sleazy tabloid journalists. Extra-marital activity. French swearing not being translated in subtitles.
All of these things combine to make a very watchable crime drama. The “Nordic noir” origins do shine through at various points, but it’s very much an Anglo/French piece. Both Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy are excellent as the lead characters, and really keep the pace of this series going.
If you missed this on Sky Atlantic (probably because you don’t have it, as Sky have priced it out of the hands of anyone but their own subscribers) then it is well worth watching, for any fans of crime drama, Nordic noir or just good drama. Ignore those naysayers who think that it shouldn’t have had a remake. The ends definitely justify the means. Recommended.