Such is the shape-shifting world of TV commissioning that remakes of foreign dramas often take on a life of their own soon after discarding their original inspiration. The Tunnel (Season One) was a transposition of the Danish drama The Bridge about collaborating police forces from Denmark and Sweden, but with the tunnel between France and England as the focus of investigations instead of the Øresund bridge.
This second series eschews most links to its former influencer, not only in the characters’ evolution but in plot, too. One constant remains, however – the lead female detective, played by the gifted actress Clémence Poésy is, just like her Scandinavian counterpart, a complex soul with deep-seated ‘spectrum’ tendencies rooted in childhood trauma that reveal themselves in social awkwardness, a sharp – if skewed – investigative insight and nonchalance in the face of authority and personal relationships.
The other major evolution in TV drama is the budgets afforded to them, so this season, entitled Sabotage, sees plenty of cash-splashing set pieces as our cross-Channel sleuths – Poésy’s Elise Wasserman and Stephen Dillane’s Karl Roebuck – investigate the mysterious downing of a plane in the English Channel. It’s gripping stuff, brilliantly acted – entente cordiale in a post-‘Brexit’ Europe.
The Tunnel: Season 2. Director: Various. Starring: Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy. Cert: 15. Running time: 381 minutes on two discs
From France Today magazine