Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed Dancing on the Edge, a TV mini-series about a 1930s British jazz band. Mike explained the tumultuous history of Ely Cathedral (you may remember that Jean shared her visit to Ely Cathedral a few weeks ago). Jackie shared photos from a 2007 trip to the Donegal area in Ireland.
Along with Dancing on the Edge, our local PBS station recently broadcast a British / French series called The Tunnel. The story begins with a body placed exactly on the line between the UK and France in the Channel Tunnel. Protocol requires an unusual partnership of a British detective and a French detective. On the British side, we get Karl Roebuck, a man with creative problem-solving skills and messy relationships. Elise Wasserman represents the French. She’s always the most serious person in the room and takes advice from colleagues about relationships because her own instincts are to keep herself as separate as possible. The two together create an interesting mix.
The filming took place on location in Kent in southern England, around Calais in northern France, and in the Channel Tunnel (with unprecedented access given by Eurotunnel and their employees used as extras).
The Tunnel is a very dark police procedural. PBS aired viewer discretion advisories before the showings and they weren’t kidding. We liked it, but as things kept getting worse and worse we were careful about when we chose to watch it from our Tivo. This is not a show to watch when you need something light and frothy to end a stressful day.
When we were in the mood for something gritty, though, this TV series was perfect for us since I love British drama and Rick loves French films. We got the best of both in The Tunnel. The British / French interaction between the two detectives entertained and enlightened our US perspective on both cultures. The best part was the way their relationship was challenged and how it changed through the series.
Full episodes are currently available at the PBS website: The Tunnel. A second series aired in early 2016 in the UK and France. No word yet on when we’ll get to see that in the US.
Since this series was set in France as well as England, this post will do double-duty. British Isles Friday today and Dreaming of France on Monday.
Have you seen this series? What did you think?