13 May at 9pm BBC2
I had hoped this would going to be a dramatisation of Albert Camus’s philosophical novel ‘The Fall’ when I first got the go ahead and review it.
It isn’t, and my disappointment only sharpened when I saw it was in fact going to be another detective show about another arsing serial killer. Then I saw Gillian Anderson was in it and I breathed a sigh of relief, maybe this was not going to be that painful after all.
I am a big fan of Anderson and not because of her iconic turn as Agent Scully in the X-Files, sure I liked the show (the first few series anyway) but she never particularly blew me away and I was not caught up in the whole Gillian Anderson as a sex symbol thing either (not that she wouldn’t get it but she didn’t get my teenaged blood up like a Erika Eleniak or a Nora Batty).
No, the reason I am a big fan is that once she was shorn of her break through role she went on to do some interesting projects and proved herself to be a very charismatic and effective actor. More than capable of carrying a piece as a lead or adding a touch of class to a character part.
This can only be a good omen for ‘The Fall’ but from the opening episode it’s quite hard to properly judge. I found it interesting that it was set in Belfast, Northern Ireland is not the most common of TV locations and I also liked playing spot the Hollyoaks actor ( I definitely saw two) but not a huge amount happens.
The story moves around handsome young psycho Paul Spector (crass? Yes, I think so) as he tries to balances his night time hobbies of lurking outside windows, sniffing knickers and ‘moidering’ attractive young professionals, with his career as some kind of guidance/bereavement/marriage councillor.
When he’s not doing these things he likes to nothing more than ponce around naked in shadows, allowing shafts of moonlight to perv tastefully over a bit of muscle, sinew or half buttock.
The local police force are finding him very difficult to track down basically because they refuse to see any connections between the deaths. But they still draft in Detective Stella Gibson to help track down the culprit even though don’t think there is ‘one’.
As I said at the beginning serial killers are the go-to villains in modern detective shows and have been pretty much since Anthony Hopkins hammed it up as Hannibal Lector in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ many years ago.
While I like a serial killer as much as the next person; like many people I have more than one book on my shelves discussing the various individuals and psychoses that fuel their blood soaked carnality. However, this familiarity does mean that we have a good idea where the show will go: more profiling and forensics than traditional detective work as they have no real motive to investigate other than the perp likes to fuck and kill!
The Fall though might prove to be a bit more substantial, it’s got a slow drip, drip vibe to it, taking time to round out all the characters. The writing is smart and all about suggestion and subtlety not pointing and shouting and I have high hopes for part two.