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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thinking Man's Mystery, Along the Lines of Prime Suspect, 10 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
THE FALL, (2013), is a British television series, a BBC production of a psychological mystery that stars the beauteous Gillian Anderson, an Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner as Agent Scully of The X Files - Complete Season 1-9 . Anderson plays steely Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson of London's Met, who has been sent to Belfast, Northern Ireland to help solve a high-profile murder. But she recognizes the work of a serial killer, and stays on in Belfast to work the case. However, we realize Paul Spector, the charismatic killer, outwardly a loving family man and caring grief counselor, as played by Jamie Dornan, Marie Antoinette , has already targeted his next victim, the comely young attorney Sarah Kay. Also starring are Archie Panjabi, (The Good Wife - Seasons 1 and 2 ) and John Lynch, (In The Name Of The Father). This dramatic thriller was created by the greatly talented Allan Cubitt, Prime Suspect: 2 . The entertainment consists of a 306 minute box set, five episodes on two DVDs, and a behind the scenes featurette. My TV found subtitles, which were welcome, considering the local accents. The entertainment is intended for mature audiences.

What we have here, clearly, is a suspenseful tale of two lone hunters, killer and detective, circling each other. Each is mesmerizing, as played by highly-talented actors. We also have the city of Belfast as the killing ground, with a starring presence. It is no longer the city many viewers will remember from its murderous Troubles decades ago, but quite a presentable modern city that has its own charm. Still, it apparently remains home to tough guys aplenty. At one point, Spector ventures into the Shankill neighborhood, where streets once ran with blood, and is reminded by the locals that this is the Shankill and he should not be there. Ever again. The title of the entertainment may be another reference to the Troubles: the Falls, another area where blood once flowed.

The five episodes all bear titles taken from the medieval Italian poet Dante's THE INFERNO:

Disc 1
Episode 1, Darkness Descends.
Investigation into the murder of a Belfast architect of prominent family goes cold, Gibson is sent down from London to help. But the killer is already stalking his next victim.

Episode 2 Darkness Visible.
The attorney is found dead in her home. Gibson is certain the crime shows a serial killer at work; she convinces the local police to put her in charge of the investigation. Spector has taken keepsakes from his victim, and is furious when he suspects the flirtatious teenaged babysitter has snooped in his office.

Episode 3.Insolence & Wine.
Gibson's relationship with detective James Olson comes under scrutiny in the wake of his assassination. Meanwhile, she holds a press conference to alert the city that three recent murders may be linked. Spector, on a visit to his in-laws' house, finds an empty shack; he feverishly fantasizes about the victim he's picked to take there.

Disc 2
Episode 4. My Adventurous Song.
As the sordid details and big local names attached to Olson's death come out, the investigation takes its toll. On the other hand, Gibson catches a break: the killer contacts one of his victim's families.

Episode 5. The Vast Abyss.
The grisly aftermath of Spector's latest attack foils his plans. He is frantic and infuriated, flees the crime scene, hastily disposes of evidence, all while trying to placate his wife and the babysitter, and keep his home life from falling apart. Gibson inches nearer to discovering his identity.

At one point, Spector writes down lines from THE HOLLOW MAN, a famous poem from the greatly-honored Anglo-American poet T.S. Eliot, and thanks to IMDb users for helping in their explication.

"Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the Act
Falls the Shadow."

So there we have the falls again. Also the Shadow, another name for a ghost, or specter. Further, the poem states the world ended "not with a bang but with a whimper." As does the series we see. So it seems clear writer/creator Cubitt was inspired by THE HOLLOW MAN.

A thinking man's mystery, along the fondly-remembered lines of PRIME SUSPECT. We found it rich, multi-layered, engrossing viewing in this house. But beware: some of the crime scenes are disturbing; they do involve nudity, violence. And this British mystery does move slowly, by American standards. Nevertheless, I loved it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Feb 2014 01:05:49 GMT
Timelord-007 says:
I enjoyed this series very much when it was shown our BBC2 & I agree it does have a Prime Suspect feel to it.

I enjoyed reading such a well written review, Our shows do tend to be slower than our US cousins but you also produce some exellent tv shows, I think US tv currently better quality than our tv shows at the moment, 24, Arrow, Walking Dead, NCIS, American Horror Story all high quality drama.

Suberb review.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2014 14:47:36 GMT
Timelord007, Thank you so very much! Really thought about this one. And I must admit that I hardly watch American TV at all, and am really not familiar with the shows you cite; watch BBCAmerica more often...
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