The Tunnel

Watch The Tunnel

  • TV-MA
  • 2016
  • 3 Seasons
  • 7.9  (10,487)

The Tunnel is a gripping British-French crime drama, based on the acclaimed Scandinavian crime series "The Bridge." The series premiered on PBS in 2013 and aired its third and final season in 2018. Set primarily in the English Channel Tunnel, the show follows detectives Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) from England and Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) from France as they investigate a series of complex and gruesome crimes.

The show begins with the discovery of a body in the middle of the tunnel, right on the border between England and France. Karl and Elise are called in to investigate and quickly realize that the victim is actually composed of two different bodies - one French and one English - cut in half and grotesquely sewn together. As they delve deeper into the case, they discover that there is a serial killer on the loose and that more victims are likely.

The overall tone of the show is tense and dark, with plenty of surprises throughout each episode. The characters are complex, flawed, and often distant, which adds an extra layer of intrigue. Although Roebuck and Wassermann are initially at odds with each other due to cultural differences and language barriers, they eventually form a close partnership and work together to solve the crimes. While they become an effective crime-fighting duo over time, they both have their own personal demons and challenges to overcome.

The Tunnel is a show that is unafraid to tackle complex social issues. One of the most significant themes that runs throughout the series is immigration, particularly in relation to the displacement of refugees seeking asylum in both the UK and France. The relevance of this theme remains potent since it is derived from the everyday reality of many countries. The show deals with the issue with sensitivity and nuance, presenting a range of perspectives and leaving it up to the viewer to make up their minds about the situation.

The cinematography and overall production values of The Tunnel are top-notch. The dark and claustrophobic tunnels of the Channel Tunnel make for an intense and unsettling backdrop, while the sweeping landscapes of the UK and France add a sense of scale and grandeur. The show explores some of the fascinating infrastructure that lies beneath the sea while also shining a light on the different cultures and politics of the two countries. The visual style of The Tunnel is slick and cinematic, with a focus on detail and realism.

In addition to the primary investigation which carries across all three seasons of the show, The Tunnel features a variety of compelling sub-plots and character arcs. Karl struggles with his marriage and his relationship with his autistic son, while Elise grapples with her own traumatic past. Both detectives have to navigate the tricky waters of their respective police departments, often clashing with bureaucracy and corruption. These threads are interwoven skilfully into the larger story arc, elucidating the characters’ personalities and lives.

Overall, The Tunnel is a thought-provoking, well-acted, and thrilling crime drama that keeps the audience captive from the first episode. Its commitment to exploring broader social and political themes alongside the central murder mystery sets it apart from other police procedurals, and its dark and moody atmosphere is insistent and entrancing. By the end of it, the show leaves a feeling of sombre satisfaction that so few shows fail to elicit.

The Tunnel is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on June 19, 2016.

The Tunnel
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Episode 6
6. Episode 6
December 14, 2017
In the final episode, Karl and Elise face a tense and gripping showdown with the Pied Piper, while the truth about the Moreau abduction is revealed at last.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
December 14, 2017
Karl makes a foreboding discovery at Elise's apartment, and the pattern of missing people continues.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
December 14, 2017
As a young mother-to-be helps Karl and Elise with their enquiries a new development threatens to tear the pair's partnership apart.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
December 14, 2017
The investigation takes a bizarre and troubling turn when Winnie is sent a box containing a live rat with a set of co-ordinates leading to the latest victim of the Pied Piper.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
December 14, 2017
A shocking discovery is made at an immigration removal centre alongside a sinister animation containing a hidden message.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
December 14, 2017
A burning fishing boat found on the Channel turns into a new case for Karl and Elise
Where to Watch The Tunnel
The Tunnel is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Tunnel on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Apple TV and PBS.
  • Premiere Date
    June 19, 2016
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (10,487)