Solid, fact-inspired adventure-melodrama -- as skulduggery plagues the separate French and English attempts to dig a Channel tunnel in 1911. Chief of the English project is James Bannerman (veteran of the Hudson River Tunnel in New York), whose new air-pressure technique has speeded up the digging. But horrible things are going wrong: Bannerman himself is nearly killed during an explosion and flash fire which he barely succeeds in squelching. The source of the sabotage? A German-Irish spy network led by Lieut. Colonel Eric Von Dom and operating through the Irish nationalists who are in heavy supply as sandhogs. (Germany, you see, fears that a commercial and military rapprochement between England and France will reduce Germany to a second-class status). And it is First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill who smells a German snake among the Irish fanatics and brings in Scotland Yard, as well as the Royal Marines, for a big shootout in the mined tunnel. Derring-do plus high-toned nostalgia and authentic engineering detail -- a satisfying blend for fans of historically-colored suspense-action.