March 4, 2018

Original Title: 터널

Country: South Korea

Format: TV Drama

Episodes: 16

Broadcast Year: 2017

Production Company: OCN

Starring: Choi Jin-Hyuk, Yoon Hyun-Min, Lee Yoo-Young

My Rating:

I always love watching realistic dramas with a touch of fantasy. It gives me a sense of hope that miracles can happen in real life. Tunnel is a time travel drama with lots of twists and turns that will surely keep you on the edge of your seats. Read on for my review for the South Korean drama, Tunnel.


In 1986, Detective Park Gwang-Ho desperately tries to catch a serial killer. He chases after the serial killer and goes through a tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, Detective Park Gwang-Ho finds himself in the year 2017. The serial killer has resumed the killings that began 30 years ago. Detective Park Gwang-Ho works with Detective Kim Sun-Jae and Professor of Criminal Psychology Shin Jae-Yi to catch the killer.


The Good

  • Great acting
  • Realistic characterization
  • Interesting story

The Bad

  • Nothing bad from what I can remember


Time travel stories tend to leave some plot holes here and there but South Korea’s time travel dramas are always quality entertainment. Tunnel is just one out of many.

The story begins by introducing us to an experienced detective who is trying to catch a serial killer. While chasing down the suspect, he enters a tunnel. After running through it, he finds himself transported into the future — 2017. He happens to assume the identity of a rookie cop who just so happens to have gone missing and also has the same name as him (but trust me, this will be explained as the story progresses). As he tries to find a way back to his time while working as a cop, he starts to notice that the same serial killer he was chasing is now committing similar-style murders in 2017.

Kim Seon-Jae and Park Gwang-Ho. Photo © OCN

I was really impressed with the characterization in this drama because these characters have so much depth to them and you really start to feel for them as the story goes on. It also helps that they cast well-versed actors. Choi Jin-Hyuk delivers an outstanding performance as Gwang-Ho, the detective who travels to the future. He is very charismatic and brings his character to life. As an experienced detective with an ego, he can be rough around the edges and gruff but he also shows a gentler side when he’s spending time with his wife. Pair that with the cold and aloof detective from the future, Kim Sun-Jae, and the emotionless Professor of Criminal Psychology, Shin Jae-Yi, and you’ve got yourself some pretty interesting interactions. It was also touching to see how these three characters grow and change their perceptions of each other as they work together to solve the murder case.

I also like the little nuances they added throughout the story. What happens when you have someone time-traveling to the future? Culture shock and disorientation, of course! “What are cell phones? What’s GPS? If only DNA was around in the ’80s, solving crimes would be much simpler.” These are just some of the small touches scattered throughout the drama to improve characterization. They’re also comedic scenes that Gwang-Ho go through and offer a refreshing and light-hearted feel to the show.

Photo © OCN

Despite being a time travel drama, the story is not too hard to follow. The scenes that take place in the past have been given a tinge of sepia so you will never get confused about which scene takes place in what time period. You can also expect twists and turns so the story never becomes stale. If you enjoy a good mystery that can keep you watching episode after episode, watch Tunnel. You won’t be disappointed.

More Information: AsianWiki

Like time travel mystery dramas? You might also like Signal.
This is my drama review and is entirely opinionated. Your opinions may differ. Any offense caused by my rants and ramblings is unintentional. Thank you for understanding.

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