Sunday, 22 December 2013

The end of The Tunnel - and Lucan - TV reviews

Two notable crime dramas came to an end this week. The Tunnel and Lucan were very different, and in fact illustrate well the range of crime drama. The tenth and final episode of The Tunnel was at times slower-paced than the sometimes frenetic earlier episodes, but it continued to grip me to the end, and the decision to avoid the obvious happy ending struck me as a sound one.

The performance of Stephen Dillane, as the cop whose character flaws had, though he didn't realise it for a long time, set in motion the events that led to the exploits of the "Truth Terrorist" was superb - what a fine actor he is. The convoluted plot required suspension of disbelief on a massive scale, but the storyline did have a crazy logic, and it worked for me, despite innumerable implausibilities. Because of the wildness of the story, I didn't find The Tunnel quite as affecting as Broadchurch, which I thought the best crime drama of the year (so far) but it was still very powerful..

I wasn't sure whether the decision to spin out Lucan to three hours was a good one, but it's a tribute to both Jeff Pope, the scriptwriter, and the excellent cast that it worked, and I didn't lose interest during the second and concluding part of the story. Who knows what Lord Lucan's precise fate was - in this version, he was thrown off a ship when his continued existence became an embarrassment to his posh friends. It can safely be said that he was no great loss, but above all I felt sorry for the parents of the luckless nanny who was killed simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As they said in the screenplay, despite all the fuss about Lucan and his circle, it is wrong for her to be forgotten.


newnumbertwo said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the Tunnel (albeit the plot was outrageous); the characters were great, including the supports (especially that worried French team). My chief reaction to the ending was 'are these two really rubbish detectives?'. TT got away with more or less everything. I suppose an interesting criminal has to get away with some crimes to make him interesting, but to have the detectives merely following him after the fact?

Martin Edwards said...

Good points, thanks. It's fair to say credibility was stretched!