WHAT IS THE FALL ABOUT?
Based in Northern Ireland, The Fall is a steamy psychological crime drama that chronicles a serial killer’s double life and a police detective’s pursuit to bring him to justice.
Original TV Home: BBC Two
Number Of Seasons: 3 (2013-2015)
Total Episodes / Time Table:
Season 1: five 60-minute episodes
Season 2: five 60-minute episodes; season finale is 90 minutes
Season 3: in production
Viewing Strategy: Watch the first season in one day or over a weekend. It’s that good. Take your time with Season 2, maybe one episode per night. It’s still good but I found myself getting a little restless.
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WHO’S IN IT? Top
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch, Bronagh Waugh, Niamh McGrady, Sarah Beattie, Aisling Franciosi, Emmett J. Scanlan, Archie Panjabi, Stuart Graham, Karen Hassan, Siobhan McSweeney, Valene Kane, Bronagh Taggart, Nick Lee, Brian Milligan, Ian McElhinney, Séainín Brennan, Jonjo O’Neill, Michael McElhatton, Paul Kennedy, Laura Donnelly. Plus, there are a number of bit parts from emerging actors.
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WHERE IS IT NOW? Top
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WHY IS IT BINGE WORTHY? Top
Gillian Anderson is the main reason to watch this series. This is her first major TV role since The X-Files ended in 2002. The story rises above other crime dramas because of her performance as Superintendent Stella Gibson. Gibson is methodical, cool, flawed and intent on solving the case. After the first season aired, critics argued that The Fall was just another show that glorified violence against women. There is some truth to this argument; however, Amy Sullivan of The Atlantic has a different take, saying that it is “The Most Feminist Show on Television.”
Not another serial killer story, right? We’re done with Dexter, the emotionless serial killer on the Showtime original series by the same name who tries his best to be human. (Don’t worry, folks, Dexter was a great series and it binge-worthy, too.) And who cares about the brilliantly demonic professor Joe Carroll and his followers in FOX’s The Following? (Sorry, folks, skip The Following. It’s tired and predictable. Plus, there are better shows to watch on FOX.) The Fall is different and our bad guy (Jamie Dornan) portrays him well.
This series may have something to do with Dornan not being John Oliver’s (Last Week Tonight With John Oliver on HBO) choice for Christian Grey (#NotMyChristian) in Fifty Shades of Grey. Dornan brings “Creepy Serial Killer” to the next level with his portrayal of Paul Spector, a loving family man who stalks, tortures and kills women after he tucks his children into bed. The show works because of Spector’s interaction with his family and Superintendent Gibson. Whereas Dexter uses narration for the viewer to understand the character’s thoughts, Spector, while calmly playing the loving father and husband, seems to be on the verge of snapping in their presence. Because of this, his relationship with his daughter Olivia (Sarah Beattie) leaves viewers emotionally on edge because of his love for her while following through on horrific deeds.
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MUST SEES … Top
Episodes should be viewed consecutively. Like a movie, the story won’t make sense if you skip around from episode to episode. But here are the best …
Season 1, Episode 5: “The Vast Abyss.” Paul Spector, the serial killer, interacts directly with Superintendent Gibson for the first time. After a season of separate yet connected stories, Spector and Gibson’s conversation is eerily cordial and sets the stage for the next season.
Season 2, Episode 2: “One Named Peter.” Spector has already killed multiple times. Viewers know that he’s a bad man despite his family-man persona. This and subsequent episodes wash away any doubt that the killer is evil and that Gibson needs to bring him to justice.
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MOST SHOCKING EPISODES Top
Season 2, Episode 4: “Strangler.”
Spector impersonates a doctor in order to visit a victim in a hospital who he wasn’t able to kill. The victim doesn’t recognize him so their conversation is intense because it’s unknown if Spector will try to harm her.