The Fall – Gillian Anderson and a serial killer in 5 episodes of BBC goodness
I have just finished watching The Fall, a gritty BBC police drama set in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Gillian Anderson takes the lead as Stella Gibson, a Met Police Officer drafted in to evaluate a failing murder case. She soon ends up running an investigation to catch a serial killer. Anderson, as always, is brilliant in the role.
We meet the perpetrator of these horrible crimes right from the start. Jamie Dornan (of Once upon a Time fame) plays the sociopath in an unerringly creepy fashion. We see him trying to exist in his normal life, and also what he gets up to in the middle of the night. I dare you to watch this series on your own with the lights off, and not check that the doors and windows are locked tight afterwards.
Themes of how society judges women run cleverly throughout this series. Stella is assertive and sexually dominant, and is strong enough to challenge the male assumptions she encounters. It is also central to the way in which she approaches her work.
The Fall is well worth the watch. Anderson yet again shows her versatility, and brings us a character who knows she is flawed, and accepts it. Traditional detective plot-lines are mixed jarringly with serial killer psychology; this is done in a way that will leave you feeling dreadfully uneasy, and yet wanting more.
The Fall has finished airing the UK.
It is currently available in the US via Netflix’s “watch instantly” service.