TV Review: The Fall


Crime and thriller TV series are some of the most successful in the world. Broadchurch, Silent Witness and Breaking Bad are some of the most popular, and the best. But some of them have been absolute flops, trying to fit in with the trend and utterly failing to do so. The Fall is the opposite of this and I will say that it gives my beloved Broadchurch a run for its money. Well, the second and third series at least.

The Fall hit our screens on BBC 2 in 2013 all through to the end of 2016 with three series of utter magic. Psychopathic, murdering, freaky magic. Written by the talented Allan Cubbitt and starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan as the leads, this series is a fantastic crime thriller. Dornan, who you’ll know as Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades trilogy, portrays the character of Paul Spector, a bereavement counsellor, husband and father of two by day and a sexually-motivated serial killer by night. This, by the way, is what we know from the start. We know he’s a monster from the beginning, a bit like Richard III but without the soliloquies, but we also know he’s a devoted, loving dad too. So you’re kind of in a predicament.

Image result for the fall

Anderson as Gibson (front) with Dornan as Spector (back)

Anderson stars as Stella Gibson, the Special Investigating Officer of the task force set up to catch the Belfast Strangler (Dornan/Spector) who is stalking, strangling and posing young, ‘professional’ women around the capital of Northern Ireland. Gibson, it has to be said, is one of my all-time favourite TV characters. She’s smart, she’s confident, she’s all for women and she’s intimidating and mysterious all at once. She’s not squeaky clean, either, and has a fascinating psychological relationship with Spector in the penultimate and final series of The Fall. Anderson plays the character with such distinction and grace it is marvellous to watch, especially alongside Dornan, who matches her superior level of acting skills by portraying a man we should despise as a man we end up almost rooting for in the end.

Image result for paul spector and daughter

Paul Spector and his daughter Olivia

The greatest thing about The Fall is the depth and variation of the characters and the plot. Nothing is black and white and everything is left open for us, the audience, to infer and make up our own minds on. Usually, I hate TV shows which do this, but Cubbitt, Dornan and Anderson do it so fantastically well that The Fall is impossible not to like. I liked it so much I watched all 17 hours of the show in just two days. Do it. It’s worth it.