With the release of The Tunnel, it had a big job to do. Being the remake of The Bridge, it had to make it out of the Nordic Noir show’s shadow. With the first season it arguable managed to do this, but can it do it again with The Tunnel: Sabotage?
The Tunnel: Sabotage brings together the team of Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) and Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) as they investigate the disappearance of a husband and wife in the Channel Tunnel which leaves a small child abandoned. When a plane travelling from Paris to the UK is seemingly brought down by remote control hacking though, they find themselves pulled into an even darker case which will put them even more danger.
I enjoyed the first series of The Tunnel, mainly because of the character of Elise. Similar to Saga (Sofia Helin) in The Bridge, she is a character that is somewhat lost in a world she hides from. With zero personality skills she attempts to fit in, but with often disastrous results. The audience though tends to bond closer with her than any other character in the show, as we see the real person beneath. Especially in The Tunnel: Sabotage as we find out more about her past and what has made her the person she is.
While there are connections to the first series of The Tunnel, The Tunnel: Sabotage does tend to be accessible to new audiences. Friendships are easy to pick up, and if themes are continuing and have an effect on the character, this are explained enough so as to keep people from being lost. The special bond between Karl and Elise is obvious to the audience and that is what really matters. The truth between the two is very endearing and gives the show power.
The story itself does manage to keep the audience in the dark for the most part, though as we get closer to the finale many of the story elements are easy to work out. The inclusion of the British secret service does feel a little invasive to the plot, but it is understandable that they would be a part of the story, especially with the connections to terrorism, people trafficking and illegal immigration. I’m not sure the intrusive nature of these characters is handled as well as it could be though, and this is somewhat of a problem.
For the most part though, Elise’s story keeps the audience invested in the events that are occurring. We are some of the few people who realise what lies underneath her robotic character, and see what lies behind those eyes. It is Clémence Poésy’s performance that adds layers to a complicated character, and really makes us empathise for her. She is the one we want to succeed, no matter if she is making a mistake, or just trying to live through her strange life. The fact that we see these same qualities in The Bridge’s Saga shows what an extraordinary character this character is, in both versions.
The Tunnel: Sabotage may not match the first series of the show, and may not be as good as the original version of The Bridge, but if you are a fan it is well worth watching. This continues the story of Elise, and even if the investigation she is a part of can’t live up to her own personal story, it is her that will keep you invested. For that reason alone this is well worth a watch.
The Tunnel: Sabotage is available on DVD in the UK now.