The thrilling new crime-drama from the makers of Broadchurch, The Tunnel is adapted from the Danish/Swedish hit series Bron and, off-screen like on-screen, brings together a Franco-British production team formed by Kudos, the BAFTA-winning producers of Broadchurch & Utopia and Shine France Films.
The Tunnel is set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and Elise Wassermann (Clemence Poesy) are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries. The case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership. As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda.
Five directors craft the show's first season: Ceasar-winning writer/director Dominik Moll (Harry, He's Here to Help), BAFTA-winning Hettie Macdonald (White Girl), Thomas Vincent (Borgia), Udayan Prasad (The Yellow Handkerchief) and Emmy and BAFTA-winning director Philip Martin (Birdsong).
Over the past three days my husband and I have watched this series back to back. We loved Broadchurch and understood it was very similar to that. We love murder mysteries guessing who the bad dude is and the motive behind the attack. With Broadchurch we did not have a clue who the killer was until it was revealed but with this show it was very easy to guess who it was and the clues leading up to the great reveal where way to obvious.
I don't think I was invested in this show as much as Broadchurch. Maybe because it skipped between english and french and you had to read subtitles or maybe it was because I did not understand why Elise how to be so socially awkward that it took a lot away from the intensity of the show. I also found this was very talk heavy and could be exteremely slow before something exciting happened. Another issue I had was how they jumped around a bit in lining up suspects. I don't think they explained it very well and how they connected the dots which in some cases the dots where around the corner and several streets away from the original point it at times it just seemed very random.
Where as I did like the acting I think the story had some holes and did not explain a lot. Odd people would be introduced all the time with no real explanation as to what they had to do with the story. Or the lead up would be drawn out and then rushed thru with very little justification. The other major issue I had was when Adam and Becky were talking via computer or the use of subtitles at times was just too quick and on more than one occasion we had to rewind it just to reread what was put up on the screen - definitely would be easier if you spoke French.
It definitely had its elements and where as we did enjoy it and am looking forward to the second series starting next week it had some issues that I hope can be rectified.
This is an absolute must see if you like a great thriller. I think that it is possibly the best series I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to be able to view the full series on DVD. This eliminated the need for me to have to wait for another week to pass to see the next episode. I think that my reaction to the series was a lot stronger as we watched it over a short timeframe. The main problem I am having with this review is how to write down the excitement I experienced as I was watching it as words can hardly describe it. I am also very aware that I don't want to give away too much of the plot as this could easily ruin the experience. With this in mind, I would highly recommend watching the series without any prior knowledge of the plot. Let it unfold in front of you. I am going to do my best to give my thoughts on the series below without ruining it for potential viewers.
The settings moves between France and England and therefore there are characters from both side of the tunnel. The French team speak French when they are together. In the early episodes, there are a lot of scenes where French is spoken and therefore there is a need for subtitles. It took me a while to get used to reading the subtitles while watching the characters. As time moved on, I became more used to it and it became a bit more of a natural part of watching the show. I did find myself missing some of the text throughout my viewing as the French characters spoke rather fast and the subtitles we up for only a short time. I think it would be a huge bonus to be able to understand French.
It is the use of deep, eerie bass sounds at the beginning of the first episode assist the viewer to be drawn in. I bought into the plot right from the beginning and felt like I just had to keep watching as though people's lives depended on it. My husband and I watched all ten episodes over 3 nights. We were falling asleep on the final night as it was so late, but we just couldn't go to bed without finishing it. The storyline was constantly evolving and although the past episodes were important, we were so caught up in the now with the episode we were watching, the past all became a bit of a blur. There are plenty of little surprises and edge-of-your seat moments throughout the series.
There is a considerable contrast in personality of the two main characters. Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and Clemence Poesy (Elise Wassermann) work very well together and make for very interesting viewing and interactions. We follow them through the crime scenes and between England and France to solve the mystery. Again, I am reluctant to elaborate more on the character descriptions as it would give away some of the plot. It is preferable for the viewer to watch without too much prior information.
I would highly recommend this series. In fact, I have already told lots of people all about it and I think they will all be watching it. My mother has read this review and can't wait to get her hands on the DVD set.
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