Tunnel: Time Slip


In a way, this drama reminds of Signal, but only with the time travel part. Otherwise, it is another fascinating drama by OCN based on the Hwaseong Murders. To give a little background, the Hwaseong Murders is a famous case that was never solved in S. Korea. Several women ranging from ages 14- 70 were strangled by their own clothing by a serial killer. Tunnel features a homicide detective in the 1980s who is in the middle of investigating a series of murders where the victim is strangled by her own pantyhose and the ankles are dotted in the order they were killed. After several false leads, detective Gwang-Ho manages to catch a glimpse of a mysterious man in a tunnel. While running after said man, he is knocked out on the head with a rock by the man. When he wake up and tries to get out of the tunnel, he ends up walking into another world. This world is the same as his, but 30 years in the future. He is extremely confused as to what is going on and tries to make sense of it by going to his police station. He pretends to be an officer with the same name, but his experience gives him away. Coincidentally, a junior officer of his has now become chief at the same station. His junior officer recognizes his friend that had disappeared 30 years ago. In the past, his body is never found and his team is disbanded after the tragic event. Together, in the future, they try to make sense of what has happened, where Gwang-Ho’s wife is, and how to get back to his time. Of course, adapting to the new traditions at the police station is difficult. He ends up clashing with Sun Jae, an extremely smart detective who is also quite abrasive. Joining the bunch is Jae-Yi, a criminal psychologist who lends her expertise to the homicide unit.

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Signal: The Butterfly Effect


Thank the lord for this year’s batch of new crime dramas! If you have ever seen the American movie, The Butterfly Effect, then this takes it to a new level. With crime and a twist of supernatural, Signal creates on the edge of your seat cliffhangers! Signal is based on the Hwaseong serial murder case that occurred in the 1980s. A serial rapist-murderer killed ten women and was never caught and the case is unsolved to this day. Signal starts out by pursuing a 15yr cold case that involved a kidnapping, ransom, and murder of a young child. A man was used as a scapegoat for the murder and the real perpetrator was never caught. Park Hae Young, a young profiler, happened to see the young girl get kidnapped 15 years ago, but the police had ignored his efforts to contribute to the investigation. Fast forward to current times, he accidentally gets his hands on a radio that starts transmitting from a Detective Lee Jae Han….but from 15 yrs ago (although Hae Young did not know it at that time). This leads Hae Young to discover the body of the man that was used as a scapegoat and reopen the cold case before the state of limitations expired. With the help of female Detective Soo Hyun, the police manage to capture the real perpetrator. As a result of this last minute capture, old cold cases are now being reopened and a special crime investigation unit was created to solve these cold cases. However, no one wants to be in this unit due to the fact that this means cases are going to be reinvestigated and police will be forced to admit to their mistakes. Their first case becomes the Hwaseong serial murder case. With no leads, the team is forced to backtrack and ask past detectives on the case for more information. However, at the special time of 11:23pm, Hae Young’s radio start broadcasting again. However, this time, its Jae Han, from 30 years ago as a brand new cop and investigating the Hwaseong murders that were still going on. Unknowningly, Hae Young tells Jae Han about the future murders. This ends up changing the timeline in the future. Hae Young becomes shocked that the information and pictures he has change before his very eyes due to the rippling effect of his words.

I cannot describe how exciting this drama is! I am so hungry to know what happens next. Even though the timeline paradox is a bit confusing as the radio transmits at different times of the past. Even more so, I am interested to see how big or how subtle of a change that mere words one says in the future can effect what happens in the past. I am impressed by Lee Je Hoon’s intense acting as well as the other main leads in the dramas as I have not seen them before. The cases are raw and emotional which make it all the more cathartic when they get solved. Crime dramas or special investigation units as I call them are always done very well! Over and out!