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on 24 October 2013
'The Fall' is an Irish-British serial killer/crime drama series that was released in 2013 and was shown in the United Kingdom on BBC Two. The five part series is created by Allan Cubitt and directed by Jakob Verbruggen. The program received a fantastic response from the critics on its release. Combined with excellent viewership figures, the show became a surprise hit and the highest rated BBC Two drama launch in eight years.

The series is based in Northern Ireland and shows Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) trying to catch a twisted serial killer (Jamie Dornan) responsible for numerous disturbing deaths.

To begin things, this is high quality television that sets the benchmark for crime dramas. The show is as good as it gets, I loved and relished every second.

From the first episode, the disturbing events and compelling suspense hooked me to show. The dark and haunting setting shown in crisp cinematography, creates an atmosphere full of class. Combined with stunning acting, and I mean award winning performances, I knew this was going to be special. As the unpredictable cat and mouse game intensifies between Stella Gibson and the killer, the viewer is left begging for more. The story brilliantly progresses with interesting intertwining sub-plots and plenty of twists. The final episode for me was a truly powerful watch. Yes, a section of the viewers have complained that the ending was disappointing. However, I found the ending gripping to say the least. The final minutes showcased a heart-thumping exchange of dialogues between the lead actors that left me in a mesmerized state with goosebumps. In my opinion the climax was fitting because it sets up the second series perfectly and promises all the answers.

The performance of the show comes from Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector who invents a new breed of a serial killer. His frightening yet calm portrayal is something I've never seen. His dead-pan eyes are simply unnerving. Dornan plays a loving family man with hidden demons in a manner that pulverizes the viewers mind. Solid acting. Gillian Anderson's screen presence is fiery. Her character is mysterious and unpredictable, not giving anything away. She blew me away in the final episode with a riveting flurry. I get a feeling, Anderson is going to be the top dog in season two. The tension between both actors, sets the screen on fire.

The direction by Jakob Verbruggen is realistic and atmospheric. He creates an exciting and intelligent crime drama. Verbruggen extracts top performances from the actors, which makes the show even more unmissable. An aspect worth mentioning is the setting in Belfast, it's clever how Verbruggen managed to make it feel like another character, a strong one too. From me, he gets a round of applause for the execution of the climax that I can't stop raving about.

'The Fall' is one of those rare shows that will challenge your psyche. Absolutely fascinating.
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2014

An examination of sexual predator, which is framed against the locale of, post-Troubles Belfast. This is where a Met police officer,on secondment, has to deal with sectarian riots outside a murder scene. In addition, where a serial killer's painstaking plans can be confounded by Loyalist thugs?

Dornan plays Paul Spector grief counsellor, former Samaritans voluntary helper and serial killer who is terrorising the city of Belfast. This series revolves around a PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) investigation in Belfast into a string of Murders. Detective Superintendent Gibson played by Gillian Anderson, who is on secondment from London's Metropolitan Police Service, heads the police investigation. This is a gripping cat-and-mouse series, where Dornan plays an intelligent, articulate - but deeply flawed character who gives into his deep dark desires, yet his misogyny seems rather selective or maybe he has a degree of self-control. Whatever, the case, vis-à-vis his predilections each episode of the five part episodes of this first season is a rather addictive to watch, as we see Detective Superintendent Gibson trying to find him and stop his predatory killing spree. The provided Mise-en-scène of Belfast after the troubles, is none the less still a potential tinderbox, where sectarian gangs still hold sway. Some may be less satisfied by 'The Fall' finale - or feel that they were left hanging, whatever the case this series leaves enough mileage to run into season two.

---------------Update 11/03/2015-----------------------

It has been announced that there will be a season 3, of this series.

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on 13 August 2013
This really is a top class drama set in Belfast and with a tremendous cast of actors. Many scenes are genuinely thrilling in the true sense of word, a credit to the scriptwriters, camera operators, cinematographers, editors, actors as well of course as the excellent director. I couldn't recommend this highly enough, and can't wait for series 2.
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Creating attractive and charming fictional monsters that prey on women is nothing new; Bram Stoker, for example, used it to great effect and spawned a whole industry. The Fall is no exception with young, attractive, athletic bereavement counsellor, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) providing solace to the grieving by day and feeding his twisted and murderous erotic fantasies by night: this when he's supposed to be looking after his toddler son and primary-aged daughter while wife, Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh), is out on night shift as a neonatal nurse.

Spectors' targets conform to a stereotype: all young slim attractive professional women with dark brown hair. He either sources them from the internet or capitalizes on opportunistic encounters in bars etc. He appears to be very skilled at gaining information about them and is an accomplished housebreaker enabling him to gain entry to their homes once he's tracked them down. His other primary asset, of course, is that he is a practiced and convincing liar.

His various attractions lead him to become the focus of another's obsessive fantasies, the couple's baby sitter, 15 tear old Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi) who attempts to use her emerging sexual allure to trap him into committing adultery.

Spector's first victim is Alice Monroe and high flying Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), a homicide specialist from the Metropolitan Police, is seconded to take over the investigation. A second victim displaying the same MO convinces Gibson that they are dealing with a serial killer.

If Spector (is the name purely a coincidence?) is the vampire, stalking his victims under cover of darkness in order to sate his lust for what appear to be copies of his first `love', Gibson is a kind of power dressing vampire slayer.

But she is no Buffy and harbours dark desires of her own that add to the mayhem and tragedy surrounding the hunt and what makes this particular killer/cop duel insidious but compelling is the comparative attractiveness of the killer and the unsettling and vaguely disturbing otherworldliness of the cop!
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on 1 June 2016
I presume that this television series was intended to copy the success of the Scandinavian dark style but, for me, it did not work.

The series is too long drawn out without anything for the audience to hold on to, such as red herrings or side stories, and some of the scenes are endless to the point of boring. I also found the unending insinuations towards sex, complete with a few full on scenes a downright insult to my intelligence. Why does every movie have to come with dollops of sex. Most of us spend less than 1% of our lives indulging in sex but movie makers manage to increasing this figure to an unbelievable amount.

The underlying story line is fine, though somewhat unbelievable, and the acting alright. Some actors are better than others and I found the lesser known names in this series did a better job that the likes of the "stars" (who should perhaps remain anonymous). I watched the whole of Series one but gave up half way through the second series. I will not be watching the third series - a big waste of money as the money men attempt to over milk a perceived successful product.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2015
Set in Belfast this crime drama is a powerful, intriguing and assured piece of work, more psychological than action thriller, although definitely containing tension aplenty. This is a chilling ‘cat and mouse’ tale about a mild mannered family man by day who turns into a calculated serial killer by night, hunted by a tough enigmatic female detective. The two protagonists are introduced prior to the opening credits of the first programme and the superb screenplay allows us to glean subtle insights into their characters and motivations, which paradoxically are very similar in many ways as both murderer and detective have needy, ruthless and obsessive personalities. Both, in their own way, outsiders. Gillian Anderson’s performance as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson is terrific while Jamie Dornan’s portrayal of Paul Spector, the handsome charming professional man with a hidden dark side is outstanding. The sectarian conflicts of the province provide a unique background to proceedings where the everyday presence of men of violence contrasts with Spector’s equally clandestine activities. The narrative is well plotted and the unexpected turn of events in the last episode merely confirms the quality and confidence of the writing. I watched this in a day, totally absorbed and fascinated.
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on 16 July 2015
This series was BBC 2 at it's best.
Very well cast, although I felt Gillian Anderson's character's accent was forced at times and she was so slow as Stella that I wanted to shake her character.
Jamie Dornan was a very convincing and deliciously attractive serial killer.
Paul Spector was a real charmer, grief counsellor, family man, but with a chequered past and dislike of a certain type of woman related to his past.
Some scenes were uncomfortable to watch at times.
Dornan switched between loving family man to deranged twisted killer like a switch.
It was gripping, and had a strong supporting cast including John Lynch and Emmet J Scanlan.
One to watch over again.
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on 3 September 2013
My partner and I decided to purchase this after reading some of the reviews, and because my partner quite likes Gillian Anderson from her X-Files days! I was fresh off watching 'Broadchurch', which I thought was decent but could have been better, so I didn't have particularly high expectations for 'The Fall'. I'm glad to say I was presently surprised at how well written and produced this series was, and I thought Jamie Dornan's acting was superb - he's clearly far more than just a pretty face! While the subject matter was deeply disturbing, and quite stomach-churningly graphic and suspenseful at times, I found I couldn't stop watching or look away. I guess that's testament again to the writers/director/and producers of The Fall that they can take such a disturbing story-line and make it utterly compelling, even for the more squeamish among us! I definitely do not like gore for gore's sake, but in The Fall, it was just enough to make it believable without battering you over the head with it - sorry, bad choice of metaphor perhaps! :) I hope they release Season 2 quickly.

My only pet peeve was Gillian's rather silly faux English accent - why they didn't just make her an American detective, I don't know.
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on 31 May 2014
What can I say It's brilliant, intense, thrilling and addictive.
Based in Belfast Northern Ireland.
Detective Stella Gibson ( Gillian Anderson ) is brought in to solve some murders and catch a serial Killer Paul Spector ( Jamie Dornan ) it's a case of cat and mouse, very disturbing to watch Jamie plays a marriage councillor with a wife and family who he is very loving too! but who follows and kills professional women at night when his wife is at work. Jamie Dornan stands out as a superb actor. Gillian Anderson is good too but she plays the part very like in the x files. I am looking forward to the next series which is in production now.
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on 17 February 2015
Superb, tautly-written and tensely-paced crime drama - heavily influenced by the shiploads of Nordic Noir that we've been treated to recently. The Fall has loads of 'The Killing' and 'The Bridge' in it, and surprisingly it's none the worse for that. Those very dark elements give the piece a dimension that would have been lacking from British police drama a very few years ago.

Like the best detective stories, 'The Fall' has an intriguing and winding storyline, not concluded by the end of the first series, and it's also blessed with a leading actress who plays her character with as much intelligence and slight eccentricity as any Sara Lund or Saga Noren. Gillian Anderson may not sport a snowflake-patterned sweater, but she is terrific in 'The Fall' - not least because she has adopted a virtually faultless and really rather classy English accent - the kind of RP ('Received Pronunciation' or 'BBC English') that is virtually dead in the mouths of modern British actresses who can't even be bothered to try and learn it these days. It gives her character the edge and gravitas that is so often missing in today's telly drama. (If only Gillian Anderson could have been in 'Wolf Hall' we might have been spared the atrocious present-day-high-street accents of the younger Tudor women! British performers, take note and learn. Yes, it really does matter...)

It's refreshing to come across a series as mesmerising as this, one that keeps you wondering just what fresh horrors are going to be unleashed next. OK, the nasty bits are very nasty - but done with masterful and cinematic skill - and if you've got nerves of steel - or at least of reinforced concrete - 'The Fall' can't be recommended highly enough. Great viewing on all fronts.

Thanks Gillian, you've brought a welcome touch of class back to the small screen.
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