Main Cast: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch, Bronagh Waugh, Niamh McGrady;
I decided to watch this for two reasons: I like detective stories with a leading lady and I heard that Jamie Dornan was cast in Fifty Shades of Grey because of his role in The Fall. Let me clarify the latter: I haven’t read the books nor I saw the movie but, since I don’t live under a rock, I’ve read reviews and commentaries about both (some pretty hilarious!) and I find telling that an actor who received good reviews for his performance as serial killer is considered an apt choice to embody a billionaire with a predilection for BDSM… well, he’s more a controlling sadist but let’s not open that can of worms. So back to the series in question. The story is pretty straightforward: driven and experienced detective Stella Gibson (Anderson) is looking for a serial killer who targets pretty brunettes with good jobs in Belfast. Gibson is from London and on a different task when she reaches Belfast. Being smart and with years of police work under her belt, she makes a connection between two separate murders that eluded all her local colleagues and sets up a task force to deal with this unstoppable criminal. Anderson is very good at bringing out both the tough and the caring side of Gibson, but keeping her past shrouded in mystery. The viewer also meets right away said serial killer: Paul Spector (Dornan), grief counselor with a very particular hobby. Unfortunately for Dornan, those puppy dog eyes of his do him a disservice here and prevent him from truly selling the psychotic murderer persona of Paul Spector. He does manage to give off some creepy vibes but there’s nothing in his demeanor really menacing or chilling, which is a pity since the audience spends so much time in Spector’s company. I wasn’t asking a performance at the level of Hopkins’s Hannibal (or Mikkelsen’s) but something more was needed to make Spector a worthy villain and this hunted/be-hunted story more convincing. What I like a lot is the Northern Ireland settings: the scenery, the light and the accents! The supporting cast is solid and helps improve the quality of each episode: Waugh as Sally Ann Spector, Paul’s wife, John Lynch as Jim Burns, the local chief of police with a personal relationship with Gibson, and Niamh McGrady as Danielle Ferrington, a determined policewoman who joins Gibson’s team. In the end I’m left with mixed feelings about this first season, well, only five episodes. There are a few strong points but nothing really revolutionary about the plot or the characters. Ambivalent —5.5/10
This post is part of The Begorrathon 2015 hosted by Niall at The Fluff Is Raging and Cathy at 746 Books, go to their blogs and check all the other contributions out!
6 responses to “The Fall (season 1)”
I love serial killer stuff, so I was looking forward to seeing this. Seeing a mediocre review of it kinda bums me a little, but I’ll likely give it a shot regardless. Great review, though, I like your writing style 🙂
Thanks for reading! Sorry I put you off it, I’ll be glad to know what you think after you have watched it.
I’ll put this on the Begorrathon site. Cheers.
Thanks a lot!
I have mixed feelings about this series. Jamie Dorman provides some good eye candy, which is always welcome, but I agree that his constant brooding expression is too loud, way too unsubtle to be a good interpretation of a serial killer. Gillian Anderson is great instead, and it is nice to see a nice, strong woman with a very “cavalier” attitude to sex. The first series to me was a little bit slow in developing the characters; the second season becomes more interesting and starts using some of the strong points more intensely: the fact that the villain is the one who is a psychologist by training; the very nuanced view of humanity the main investigator has; the constant reminder of the fractions of Northern Ireland society. So, my suggestion is to keep watching season two, because it gets a lot better. Oh, one more thing: absolutely stop watching about 2 mins from the end, because the last scene is the worst, most badly planned, tritest scene ever (I am hoping they manage to cancel that in the transition to the third series…..)
Thanks Nicola! I’ll keep watching, I do like Anderson’s character and the Northern Ireland aspect of the story.