11th Jan2014

‘The Tunnel’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


I guess when starting this review of The Tunnel I will have to state something, yes I know it’s a remake of The Bridge and no I’ve not seen it yet but it’s safe to assume I will be watching it in the future.  Now we have got our way past that I can say that this review will be on The Tunnel and based on the show itself, not a comparison to the original.

When a body is found in the service tunnels in the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France the French detective Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) claims jurisdiction as the body appears to be that of a French politician.  This are complicated though as the body splits apart leaving the legs on the UK side of the border line and the torso in France.  More sinister is the fact that the two-part of the body are in fact different people.  Now as part of a joint investigation Wassermann and her UK counterpart Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) find themselves in a hint for a killer out for revenge on both countries and maybe more.

As the murders escalate into a terrorist event based on “truths” that will be revealed it’s interesting that The Tunnel uses real life issues in the world and manipulates them to become part of a campaign of violence in two countries.  Looking at the recession, the government and the state of the world as it is now we are provided with a story that looks at society and holds a mirror up to it and shows some revelations that actually create the “Truth Terrorist” as something of a social hero, even though in truth he’s a psychopathic killer whose only real intentions are of course revenge.  This story is interesting, though when the initial truths are revealed and the story should be winding down there are three other episodes to go which make the show feel like it goes on just a little too long.  When we finally get to the last episode though and the final revelations are revealed the show can be forgiven for wasting some of the time it’s been given.

What made The Tunnel enjoyable for me though was the chemistry between the two main characters Wassermann and Roebuck.  Clémence Poésy plays Wassermann as an almost robotic character who cares little for people around her, she takes what she needs by any means necessary and she’s very good at her job.  Roebuck is the exact opposite as Stephen Dillane plays his character as a more relaxed police man who’s been through it all and knows how it goes.  These two characters at first clash, but it’s a case of mutual respect that they take each other’s perceived weaknesses and work together through them to make a good team, with Wassermann even becoming more human and removing some of her shield she has built up over the years.  For me out of the two, even if Roebuck is somewhat of the lead character, Wassermann is the better detective and the stronger person, even if she lacks social skills.  Clémence Poésy creates a character in her performance who is distant yet enigmatic and confuses not only the viewer but also most of the characters around her.

Yes The Tunnel is a remake, but for people who have not seen The Bridge, and maybe even for people who have it is an entertaining mystery that will get you thinking, although as it gets closer to the end you do guess who the real person is behind the killings and can tell where it is leading to.  It may even be the case that because of what feels like an extension of the episodes after the “truths” are revealed the story goes on that little bit too long and could do with some tightening up.  Whatever the case, I watched The Tunnel and had to watch it from start to finish in just one sitting, if that’s not a sign that this is a quality series I’m not sure what is.

The Tunnel is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on January 13th.


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