A friend recommended the BBC series The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan to me, and I started it tonight when I went to bed because hey, when else do you watch a show about a serial killer? (I started season 3 of Luther the other night, but that show creeps me out to the point where I really can’t watch it before I go to sleep. The Fall is more of a psychological thriller.) After one episode I was convinced that Jamie Dornan will make a fine sadomasochist in the adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey (something I have no intention of watching). I was equally impressed with Gillian Anderson, who truthfully has flown under my radar since the days of The X-Files. Anyway, back to Dornan’s Paul Spector (Specter, get it?), a seemingly normal husband and father of two who spends his days as a grief counsellor and his nights, well, creating it. Now, let’s get this out of the way: Dornan is a former model who is not exactly hard on the eyes. Which for me makes his character fascinating. There’s the fact that he can live this dual existence, but also that this is not a man that most people would think of when they think of a serial killer. No, we’d think of creepy, deformed monsters and people who stand out like a sore thumb. What The Fall does well is remind us that all too often, when serial killers are identified, they aren’t the weirdos who you cross the street to avoid, they’re the “nice, quiet guy next door.” That is the first disquieting element of The Fall; the second is Anderson’s ability to see into the mind of a serial killer.
The first season of The Fall is available on Netflix; the second began filming in April 2014 and has an as-yet unannounced release date.