Psychological thriller The Fall returned to BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday 13th November 2014 and it was certainly worth the near year and a half wait since the cliffhanger ending of series one. This unsettling drama is not for the feint hearted but once you’re hooked you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.
Leading the cast are Gillian Anderson as the mysterious and seductive DSI Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as sadistic serial killer Paul Spector. The Fall is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland and depicts an investigation into the murders of several young women. Unlike most detective dramas, the identity of the murderer is not concealed. Consequently, this drama moves refreshingly away from the ‘who done it?’ into a darker psychoanalytic examination of a killers motives and desires.
Series one introduced us to Paul Spector, the seemingly respectable family man who, under the cover of darkness, stalks his victims, plans viscous attacks and then chillingly takes tokens such as a lock of their hair. DSI Stella Gibson’s calculative mind and attention to detail aid her unrelenting search for the killer but she is always left one step behind. The two did come within unbearably close reach of each other in series one and in the gripping final episode a phone call between them left us desperate for more.
Now, finally we have series two; set just ten days after the closing of the first series we see Gibson searching for as much information about the killer as possible whilst Spector keeps himself well hidden. If possible, this series already feels as though it will be darker than the first! Eerie silences interrupted by an unexpected presence or noise keep your heart racing. Worse still, Spector sinisterly tying the hands and legs of toy dolls together sends a disconcerting shiver running down your spine.
The Fall has been criticised for its portrayal of violence but as Gillian Anderson pointed out herself in an interview on This Morning; there was only one violent scene of actual murder in the whole of series one. What critics are probably uneasy about is the ominous focus on a man who has an impulse to kill. Film and television present us with gruesome killings all the time, but to witness a man select his victim and plan her murder is more chilling than any bloodshed. Not to mention the fact that in between these sadistic calculations we see this man as a husband and father enjoying ordinary family life.
I urge anyone who enjoys interesting, thought provoking and thrilling drama to watch The Fall. Catch up on the first series and then switch over to BBC2 at 9pm each Thursday – you will not be disappointed.