Series: The Tunnel

Venez dans mes bras
Closer to me, dear
Donnez-vouz à moi
Set aside all fear
Restons enlacés, pour l'éternité
Yes, you shall be mine, till the end of time.

— "The End of Time," Charlotte Gainsbourg

The Tunnel is the 2013 French/English remake of the Swedish/Danish Nordic Noir series Bron|Broen, and not to be confused with the American/Mexican remake known as The Bridge US. Though it closely follows the plot of the original, a key difference (as the title would suggest) is that a body is found in the Eurotunnel rather than on a bridge, right on the border between France and England.

It follows the investigation of British police DCI Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and French Brigade Criminelle Captain Elise Wasserman (Clémence Poésy), who are forced to work together due to the location of the body. The task is given an extra twist when they realize that there are actually two bodies: the head and torso of a French politician and the lower half of an English prostitute.

The investigation soon turns into a hunt for a terrorist (nicknamed the Truth Terrorist, or TT) who is leaving strange messages on social media sites, claiming that everything he does is to draw attention to social problems in both countries.

A second series has been commissioned and set to air in 2016.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Elise Wassermann
  • Adult Fear: The Truth Terrorist kidnaps a busload of schoolchildren, sets several teenagers of fire and later kidnaps Karl's son and almost blows up his wife and two daughters.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Happens regularly, though with various psychos.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: As with her American and Swedish counterparts, Elise is implicitly hinted at having some form of autistic/Asperger syndrome.
  • Asshole Victim: Danny Hillier, the obnoxious journalist.
    • Kieran Ashton/ The Truth Terrorist, who is painfully blinded after Karl fires an antique pistol too close to his face.
  • Axe Crazy: Benji, a mentally ill man groomed by TT into not taking his medication. He later beheads his psychiatrist and several pedestrians with a katana before killing himself.
  • Best Served Cold: The ultimate goal of Kieran's plan, having felt betrayed by Karl and blaming him for his wife/son's death in a car accident.
  • Big Fancy House: Danny Hillier lives in a sleek, modern beach side property on the English coast.
    • DCI Roebuck lives in a fancy, converted barn in the Kent countryside.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Just like the other incarnations of Bron|Broen, The Tunnel features dialogue in English and French, with English as the lingua franca for coordination between the bi-national police forces. It's even present in the song that's in the main titles!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: John Sumner, a man who befriends Laura Roebuck and takes her and her children on an outing. He is later revealed to be Kieran Ashton/The Truth Terrorist, and almost kills them with a bomb.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: As a British cop, Karl does not carry a weapon. However, when he decides to go after TT himself after his son is kidnapped, he arms himself with his grandfathers old Mauser C96 Broomhandle.
  • British Brevity: Ten episodes long.
  • The Casanova: Karl. He has five kids by three different women, and a string of former lovers. He later has an affair with Charlotte Joubert during the investigation.
  • The Cavalry: The French police dispatch an elite unit of Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (riot control) officers to apprehend the Truth Terrorist. He is able to escape after killing and overpowering most of them.
  • City of Adventure: Folkestone and Dover in Kent, and Calais in France.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Truth Terrorist kidnaps an elderly war veteran and demands that if four wealthy businesspeople donate a significant amount to charity, he will let the man freeze to death live on the internet. Only one of them has the heart to make the donation.
  • Criminal Mind Games: TT's entire modus operandi.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: For his fourth 'truth', the Truth Terrorist murders several youths by placing a potent form of white phosphorous in their pockets. This then sets them on fire, and is so corrosive it dissolves their clothes and ''burns of 90% of their skin" before killing them.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Karl and Laura have a young son who disappears totally in the last two episodes.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: The firearms officers in the season finale are more than willing to shoot DCI Roebuck, their superior, if he tries to kill Ashton.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Daily Citizen, the tabloid newspaper Danny Hillier works for, is an obvious stand in for the Daily Mail.
  • Forgiveness Requires Death: Laurent Delgado, a cop who killed a teenager in a riot, is forgiven by the boys family despite TT setting up the perfect situation for them to kill him. However, as he leaves the family, TT guns him down himself.
  • Genre Savvy: Laura figures out that Karl cheated on her almost instantly. It's mingled with a little Wrong Genre Savvy as at first she playfully warns him off Elise — only for him to sleep with an entirely different woman.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Truth Terrorist. In addition to being a criminal mastermind, he is also able to physically overpower and escape several elite police officers sent to arrest him.
  • Government Conspiracy: Vincent reveals to Elise he was part of 'Peloton', a joint operation of several European intelligence agencies who were responsible for killing Alain Joubert. It's later revealed that Kieran Ashton/TT also worked for Peloton.
  • Groin Attack: TT kicks Karl in the balls, which gives Elise the first clue that he might be someone known to them (Karl having just had a vasectomy).
  • Hope Spot: In the sixth episode, Laurent Delgado is freed from captivity and spared from death at the mercy of the family of the boy he killed. Relieved, and dripping in gasoline, he stumbles towards a police officer. The officer, actually TT in disguise, then shoots him square in the chest four times, and walks away.
  • Impersonating an Officer: The Truth Terrorist disguises himself as a French riot control officer in the sixth episode to assassinate Laurent Delgado.
  • It's Personal: As they eventually discover, the Truth Terrorist is Karl's former college out for revenge.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Between Kent Police and Brigade Criminelle. It is the reason the Truth Terrorist places the first body in the Eurotunnel.
    • Between Brigade Criminelle and the DCRI, who want to question a suspect the latter is using as an asset.
  • Killer Cop: Laurent Delgado, a French riot control officer who killed a teenager during a riot.
    • The Truth Terrorist is revealed to be Kieran Ashton, a former police officer and colleague of Karl.
  • Man on Fire: TT finds a way to set people on fire due to an invisible and scentless chemical placed in their pockets.
  • Married to the Job: Elise lives alone with boxes full of case files, whereas Karl lives in a large country house with his wife and five children. Elise's dedication to her job is best shown when she calls up Karl in the early hours of the morning with a lead.
    Elise: The lower half of the body belonged to another woman. We believe she was British.
    Karl: Right, I'll call you as soon as I am on duty.
    Elise: Then I need the number of someone who can do it now.
  • Meaningful Name: Karl's name is spelt with a 'K' as his father (a miner) was an avid supporter of Communism and Karl Marx's ideology.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: A variation. After TT has kidnapped a school bus full of children, he promises to release them only if the public riots against stores that exploit child labour. Once his hostages are whittled down to two, the terrorist holds an on-line vote to decide which child shall be set free and which shall be executed. One is a black boy, the other a white girl. No prizes for guessing which one the public votes in favour of.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Sky News reports on several of TT's attacks in the show.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Karl and Elise to each other. Ironically, she's probably the only significant female character in the show that Karl hasn't slept with.
  • Police Brutality: Laurent Delgado, a French police officer, is accused of killing a teenager during a riot.
  • Red Herring: In episode 2, Elise tracks down an Anti-Zionist farmer in relation to the first murder. He is a strong suspect, as he owns slaughtering equipment similar to what was used to cut the bodies in half, and human remains are found in his storage cooler. However, when she notices he can't speak English (like the TT), she understands he has been framed and his complicity is ruled out.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: For his fourth 'truth', the Truth Terrorist murders four youths who were arrested in the 2011 London riots, by setting them on fire with white phosphorous.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Elise, who has minimal makeup and dishevelled hair. If the page wasn't already spoken for, she'd be a shoe-in for the trope image.
  • Wouldnt Harm A Child: Played with. On the one hand, TT doesn't go through with killing any of the children on the school bus. On the other, he doesn't seem to care much about Karl's daughters in the explosive-laden house, nor did he care much about attempting to off the runaway teen who had seen him. If Laura hadn't kept her foot on the trigger, they would have been killed along with her.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Karl allows himself to be seduced by Charlotte Joubert whilst he is investigating the case. It's also revealed he slept with Kieran Ashton/TT's wife before she died, hence why he targets Karl.
    • Alain Joubert, the wealthy banker who is hit by a speeding train in the first episode. He lived a complete second life with another woman in another house.