Hear the Kerrang Radio review
Hot young Belfast solicitor Sarah Kay (Laura Donnelly) has had better nights. Returning home from the pub she discovers some creepy dude has broken in and arranged her underwear and a vibrator on the bed. She calls the cops who, while not exactly dismissive, are not exactly helpful. (“This dozy tart got pissed, forgot she left her drawers out and is too embarrassed to admit using the vibe. Case closed” the general impression they gain). But while Sarah is pissed she’s not crazy. The creepy dude did indeed break in and leave a cryptic message in the perv Esperanto of knickers and sex toy. He’ll shortly be killing her in her own home as the same clueless cops leave a message on her answerphone. Just who is this crazed killer, crazed enough to kill a dame in her own bed as police wait outside?
“Anderson’s subzero Nelle is a fascinating if somewhat mannered rendering of the Rain Girl autard cop we’ve seen played before more engagingly from Sofia Helin (‘Hallø. I enjoy der anonymous sex und also solving der homicide. You have put on weight.’)”
Say hello to Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), bereavement counsellor, husband, father and serial killer. Handsome motherfucker this one, with the haunted conflicted air of a man who on the one hand offers comfort to the grieving then on the other enjoys choking women in and out of consciousness until they expire. Feeling a twinge of sympathy despite yourself? You should. He’s sexually attractive which means he matters.
That won’t wash with DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) a cop from the London Met sent over to Belfast to review the case of another hot young professional strangled in her own home (also courtesy of Paul). Stella quickly links the case with Sarah’s murder and realises there’s a serial killer on the loose. In a flash she’s made herself Senior Investigating Officer, banged a random copper and swam 50 lengths before breakfast. She’s exactly the kind of icy, aloof, hyper efficient, robotic career woman who I bet Paul would just love to choke the shit out of. Do we have a nemesis? I believe we do.
And we also have a powerful new drama. Anderson’s subzero Nelle is a fascinating if somewhat mannered rendering of the Rain Girl autard cop we’ve seen played before more engagingly from Sofia Helin (“Hallø. I enjoy der anonymous sex und also solving der homicide. You have put on weight.”) Dornan is a menacing on-screen presence and the POV direction in his stalking scenes is nothing if not unsettling. She’s hard to warm to, he’s hard to hate. They are both hunters, remorselessly fixated on their prey. When the inevitable showdown comes they’ll either kill each other or fuck each other. I’m good with either outcome.
The verdict on The Fall: This could be a case for Murder and Scully.
Marks out of 10: 8