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The Tunnel

Wed Oct 16, 9-10pm, Sky Atlantic

Episode one
Les Rosbif versus Les Francais. Up there with the greatest national love-hate relationships and a good scenario to underpin this reimagining of Scandinavian crime drama ‘The Bridge’. When a dead body is found at the midpoint of the Channel Tunnel, it’s inevitably a matter that will involve a certain amount of transnational police cooperation. So it’s a good job that mutual respect between England and France is so strong…

Much of this opener mirrors ‘The Bridge’ almost exactly – avuncular Brit cop Karl Roebuck is battling post-vasectomy discomfort and preoccupied by issues with his teenage son; his French counterpart Elise Wassermann doesn’t so much struggle with social niceties as ignore them altogether. This allows a neat reversal of national stereotypes involving cold-fish Brits and hot-blooded Continentals, but it would only work if the lead actors shared a slow-burning chemistry.

From that point of view, early signs are good; Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy locate exactly the right balance between suspicion and slowly developing trust. A promising start.