Recently finished watching the second series of The Fall, a BBC series you can catch on Netflix. If you haven’t yet watched this series, then hopefully you’ll do so. If you haven’t yet heard of it, then hopefully you’ll seek it out.
It’s a crime drama starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dorman. Anderson plays Stella Gibson, a British Police Superintendent called over to Ireland to assist in a murder investigation that seems to be the work of a probable serial murderer. A strangler.
Jamie Dorman plays Paul Spector, a bereavement Councillor, husband, father, and serial murderer.
The Fall is such a thoroughly fresh take on this kind of drama that it can be kind of stunning in parts. Yes there are the requisite tensions present in the fall that are present in most crime drama: hunter/hunted; criminal/cop; superiors/inferiors; male/female, but The Fall moves through these tropes with glacial grace, expertly showing the viewers every angle, doling out every bit of information they can in a loving and reverential way. Never did I feel as if information was being held back just so it could be revealed later in order to try and shock me. The Fall is aware that we’re viewing, and works hard to engage us. It gives us names to remember, it gives us dates and uses investigator jargon. It bring us into its world, teaches us what we need to know to live there. It shares everything with us and allows us to make decisions, and form opinions, develop attachment, and worry about outcomes. That kind of openness makes for very suspenseful TV.
It lets us spend time with its characters, both the light and the dark, their good sides and bad sides.
Also, and most importantly, Stella Gibson is one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction.
Give it a watch, tell me what you think of it. Because it’s going to be running through my head for the next few days.