I recently finished watching both seasons of The Fall, a BBC series available in America on Netflix. The selling point to this show is clearly Gillian Anderson, the star of the uber-popular X-Files series. It’s certainly refreshing to see her taking on the persona of another recurring character, this time Stella Gibson. And what a different character indeed!
The Fall is a mystery-thriller along the lines of The Killing or Broadchurch. Each season is an extended hunt for a killer, and much like The Killing it goes the whole way. There’s no mini-mystery in each episode like Luther or Sherlock are configured. In fact, it does seem that the entire show will be about one killer, Paul Spector, who’s played magnificently by Jamie Dornan. (You may recognize him as he portrays Christian Gray in the recent blockbuster 50 Shades of Gray.)
In the show, we see Spector committing the crimes followed by Gibson trying to track him down. There’s no question of his guilt. The interesting aspect is that the show seems to portray a more realistic manhunt. Gibson is slow, methodical and the killings keep coming while she’s trying to find the murderer. She speaks softly, precisely, and never seems to be in much of a rush. This style might take some getting used to. That and the fact that UK law enforcement doesn’t much seem to be into gunplay. (There’s a scene where a local gang member seemingly manhandles the police, kicking them out of his house, and they do nothing about it. Hmm.)
I watched this show because I’ve love the recent spate of BBC crime dramas and, while I wouldn’t rate it higher than any of the others, I did find myself completely immersed. In this case, the show is won over by the criminal rather than the detective. Dornan is simply phenomenal and creepy as hell. Ironically, the two lead characters barely have any air time together.
At 2 seasons of 6 episodes each, it’s a quicker watch than most. Actually, that’s how I like it. (I’m looking at you, Supernatural!) The Fall is a definite must-see!