The Fall 3, Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 20/09/2016 - Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Curtain call – DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

It’s all blood and guts as The Fall returns – but will it return to form?

★★★½ BBC2, Thursday, 29 September, 9pm

ANYONE IN TRAINING to join the medical staff of an ER department should watch this opening episode. It must be the most detailed depiction of operating on gunshot victims ever seen in a primetime drama.

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** BEHIND THE SCENES Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Get well soon – Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

From CPR to blood units to delving right into Paul Spector’s insides, few aspects of the procedure are spared. Half of the first episode is absorbed in blow-by-blow accounts of medical teams dealing with Spector and his injured victim Rose Stagg. Casualty is kids TV in comparison to this and new face Dr Joe O’Donnell (actor Richard Coyle) is virtually star of the show.

In terms of the drama, you wonder what the point of all this gore is. At the disappointing end of series two, we wondered why Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson had rushed to woman-killer Paul Spector’s side rather than that of the colleague she had recently slept with, the also injured DS Tom Anderson.

And would the much abused victim Rose survive her ordeal at his hands? Has Anderson made it?

Gillian Anderson is as icy as ever as Stella

These cliffhangers are forgotten for a while. In what is a rather strange return, The Fall instead focuses on Spector’s travails in the operating theatre. The medical emphasis seems to be pointing out the irony of the all the effort that would go into saving a vile murderer. As one of the medical teams at Belfast General Hospital says, ‘No expense spared.’

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 20th SEPTEMBER 2016** BEHIND THE SCENES Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd -The Fall Photographer: Helen Sloan

Rebel with a cause – Katie Benedetto (Aisling Franciosi)

Eventually, we get some relief from sutures and spleens. Gibson is confronted about her apparent devotion to Spector and we find out about Rose and Tom’s long-term prospects. The pressure is also turned up on Stella as the police honchos suspect she is out of control.

Katie (Aisling Franciosi) is still the troublesome teen, ostracising family and friends in her desperation to rush to her imaginary lover’s bedside.

Happily Gillian Anderson is still on great form as the Ice Queen, inscrutable, talking in whispers. She has a lot more to do than Jamie Dornan as Spector, who gets to move a finger. And John Lynch looks as constipated as ever as Stella’s boss and ex-lover Jim Burns.

Will The Fall become The Fail?

I think The Fall lost so much viewer goodwill at the end of series two that many think it will never be anything other than The Fail. Writer Allan Cubitt had got inside the sick mind of a psychopath and set up the hunted-hunted theme brilliantly in series one. He also picked up several awards along the way, including a British Screenwriters’ Award.

Then there was that ending to conclude series two, which seemed to make nonsense of Stella as a character. I’ve heard of people close to the show also predicting that it’s going to be rubbish. However, that might be premature. I suspect Cubitt was setting up a cliffhanger with that finale and will backtrack by getting Stella in the groove once again.

And it wouldn’t be The Fall if if didn’t also chill us. Devotees will soon realise as episode one closes that the nurse attending Spector (new cast member Aisling Bea) is just his dark-haired type…

 Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: Episode 1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: *Embargoed until 00.01 20th September 2016* DREAM SEQUENCE Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Helen Sloan

Dream sequence – Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

The Fall 3 – Are you ready?

Programme Name: The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ICONIC   Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN) , DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) - (C) The Fall 3 Ltd - Photographer: Des Willie

Battle of wits: Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

The battle between Detective Superintendent Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) is about to reach a conclusion in Allan Cubitt’s psychological drama. While series one had its controversial moments, it was still compelling. Unfortunately, season two ended on a bum note of ridiculousness, with Gibson seeming to fall for Spector. Hope that wasn’t The Fall the writer had in mind. Still, anticipation levels will be high in the hope that the thriller can recapture its form. It’s certainly got a terrific cast.

Crisis, with Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney, PREVIEW

Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Lance Gross and Dermot Mulroney in Crisis on Watch
Making a drama out of a Crisis – Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Lance Gross and Dermot Mulroney

Rating: ★★ 

Watch: starts Friday, 2 January, 9pm

Story: It’s field trip day for the students of Ballard High, a school that educates the children of Washington DC’s elite – top-of-their-industry CEOs, international diplomats, political power players, and even the President’s son. But when their bus is ambushed on a secluded rural road, the teenagers and their chaperones are taken, igniting a national crisis.

GILLIAN ANDERSON must have been bored and at a loose end when she decided to knock out this piece of formulaic US drama. The actress, acclaimed this year for her brilliant performances in The Fall on the BBC and A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic, is a big catch for this NBC thriller – but wasted in a very run-of-the-mill show.

She plays Meg Fitch, CEO of an international IT company, whose daughter is caught up in a kidnapping plot launched by an evil mastermind. This involves abducting a busload of children whose parents are all VIPs, including the President’s son and Fitch’s teenage girl.

Fitch is also the estranged sister of Susie Dunn (Rachael Taylor), who just happens to be the lead FBI

Rachael Taylor as Susie and Gillian Anderson as Meg in Crisis
Can estranged sisters Susie and Meg work together

investigator on the case. You can see where this is going.

As the blurb says, ‘The most powerful people in the world are brought to their knees.’ This presupposes that there aren’t any powerful people in the world outside of the US, but Crisis is a show that likes to keep things simple.

It’s a jolt to see Gillian Anderson in this 

Dermot Mulroney, perhaps best known for the 1988 film Young Guns and more recently August: Osage County, is Francis Gibson, an ex-CIA man betrayed by the government, who is on the bus chaperoning the kids when the kidnap occurs. He is a complete wuss who is shunned by his daughter, but could be the authorities’ best bet to undermine the gang as he is an experienced intelligence man.

While there are ‘twists’ and several characters are not what they appear to be, the thriller as a whole is so divorced from reality as to be dull to watch. To attract a young audience it is also full of bland, pretty teens making up the abductees.

The biggest mystery about the series is why Gillian Anderson wanted to do it. The role does not stretch her and she could virtually sleepwalk through her scenes. It’s almost as disconcerting as seeing Laurence Oliver slumming it in The Betsy or John Gielgud and Helen Mirren in Caligula.

It would seem the major advertising-funded US television networks are having trouble finding their mojo in the wake of the acclaimed series flowing from the likes of subscription services HBO and AMC. Hostages was another new series of 2014 made by a traditional network (CBS) with a fine actor (Toni Collette), but like Crisis it was a thriller that did not thrill, and was dropped after one season.

Check out these links…
Crisis on Watch
Crisis on NBC

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The Fall series 2 – finale falls flat

I WAS swept along by the latest series of The Fall. The acting has been spot on, the multi-layered

storylines have been intriguing, the setting and mood was compelling.

But the end was a crashing disappointment. The big twist that Stella had developed a weird thing for the serial killer Spector was not so much a revelation as a breathtaking letdown.

Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector had deservedly won plaudits and huge attention for their performances in the lead roles, but as the series concluded last night it felt as though The Fall had failed to deliver.

SPOILER ALERT My feeling was that Stella being shown as caring for the shot and injured murderer rather than the detective she had just made love to, who’d also been shot, was simply not convincingly developed through the series. We had to believe that because she had a father fixation she was therefore prone to fall for a serial killer.

The viewer needed to know more about her to believe that. What happened in her past? We never found out, and it was the character’s plausibility that was shot by the end.

And so many characters and plot lines were discarded. We’d spent a lot of time with Spector’s wife during the two series, but just when she finally discovers that she’s been married to a killer she disappears from the story. Katie Benedetto also remained an enigma right to the end, while we got to see tortured victim Rose Stagg’s suffering before she was virtually forgotten.

Then there was the corruption storyline from the first series that was ditched. Meanwhile, abusive husband Jimmy was the show’s deus ex machina, a side character who conveniently appears from nowhere to shoot everyone and wrap things up.

The irony was that writer Allan Cubitt seemed so intent on setting up the final interview confrontation – the one part of the finale that worked best – but he dropped too many stories and characters along the way and never gave us a convincing Stella.

The Fall seems set up for a third series. But I won’t now be waiting with bated breath.

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The Fall 2, BBC2, with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan PREVIEW

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON), Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN)  - (C) The Fall 2 L
DSI Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). Pics: BBC

Rating: ★★★★½

BBC2: starts Thursday, 13 November, 9pm

Story: It has been ten days since Paul Spector told DSI Stella Gibson that she would never catch him. As Gibson tries in vain to help Spector’s surviving victim remember the identity of her attacker, Spector is forced to deal with the loose ends that he left behind in Belfast.

SERIES ONE of The Fall had its uncomfortable moments of violence against women and the brutal murder of a victim’s brother in its final episode. The second series’ opener again spends a lot of time in the spine-chilling company of serial killer Paul Spector, but the horror is kept at bay – for now at least.

Instead, we get closer to the characters. Things are not going too well for the arch fantasist and evil
manipulator Spector, played with pent-up menace again by Jamie Dornan.

He’s now in Scotland, to where he fled with his wife and children after taunting DSI Stella Gibson at the end of the last series. However, his estranged wife, Sally, has returned to Belfast, and Annie Brawley, the dark-haired young accountant of his last thwarted attack in the Shankill, has given police a description of him.

Spector returns to Belfast

Gibson is also working hard to get a proper statement from Rose Stagg, the woman who was an early

Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN)  - (C) The Fall 2
Losing control? Spector

survivor of the killer’s. Finally, there is the problem of Katie, the 15 -year-old family babysitter he got rough with.

When he returns to Belfast to tackle these blips in his well-ordered campaign of murder, Katie taunts him about the lock of hair that he kept, one of his trophies. She stirs trouble for Spector with his wife…

So, while initially steering away from the shocks and violence, writer/director Allan Cubitt opens up the second series by posing new problems and possibilities for Gibson and Spector. Continued…

Gibson’s vulnerability

In exploring the mindsets of the hunter and hunted, he gives us glimpses into Gibson’s vulnerability and Spector’s brazen superiority complex. On a train in Belfast, he laughingly asks an attractive woman sitting opposite if she thinks a newspaper’s photofit image of the serial killer looks like him.

DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON) - (C) The Fall 2
Gibson is under pressure

Gibson tells Annie how she coped when ‘feelings and emotions overwhelmed me’. Was the detective also victim of an attack? Gibson and Spector mirror each other in many ways, particularly in Gillian Anderson’s exceedingly cool and controlled portrayal of the senior officer.

It’s an opening episode that ups the ante for all concerned, and throws open many questions as it delves into the psychology of Gibson and Spector and the complexity of this kind of investigation.

Brilliant twist in the tail

Annie Brawley (KAREN HASSAN) - (C) The Fall 2
In danger – Annie Brawley

The Fall was BBC2’s biggest drama to launch in eight years in 2013, grabbing 3.5m viewers. Signs
are that series two’s intriguing portrait of its protagonists, to say nothing of the mystery of the killing of Gibson’s one-night stand, detective sergeant Olson, should keep viewers rooted to their sofas.

The final line of dialogue in the curtain-raiser is also something of a humdinger that makes it almost impossible not to watch the next episode.

Cast: DS Stella Gibson Gillian Anderson, Paul Spector Jamie Dornan, Sally Ann Spector Bronagh Waugh, Asst Chief Con Jim Burns John Lynch, Prof Tanya Reed Smith Archie Panjabi, Annie Brawley Karen Hassan

Check these links…
Interviews with Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan and Allan Cubitt
The Fall 2 trailer

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The Fall 2 trailer

Jamie Dornan, so unforgettable as the murderer in BBC2’s The Fall, alongside Gillian Anderson, says he was shaking when he read Allan Cubitt’s outline for the follow-up series. Here’s a taster…

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The Fall episode 4 – What we’re watching

The Fall BBC2. DCI Matthew Eastwood (Stuart Graham) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)
Stella helps DCI Eastwood after Breedlove’s shocking suicide. Pics: BBC
As serial killer Paul Spector starts to make mistakes, writer and blogger Pat Nurse feels the tension…

Psychological crime drama The Fall was as chilling and intimate, shocking and yet gentle, as ever in episode 4. It is a paradox of contradictions and messy lives that is hurtling towards its final instalment next Monday. 

Serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) is beginning to lose the air of normality he displays in his everyday life as a grief counsellor. The caring mask is slipping and the arrogance that allows him to select, stalk, torture and kill women has burst to the surface showing his very ugly side 

Reprimanded for last week’s indiscretion, he apes his boss during a disciplinary hearing. With some irony he insists he does good things to help people and that petty rules shouldn’t stop him. 

But he has surely directed his client to a domestic violence shelter, and reported her husband on her behalf, because he was manipulating her to cover his tracks. After all, the woman’s husband – a paramilitary from the Shankhill Road – has threatened Spector and he needs him out of the way. 

Things are starting to go wrong in other ways too. He writes to apologise to the family of victim Sarah, who we saw in episode one, but not because he’s feeling remorse as much as bitterness that his perfect kill is tainted by news of her pregnancy. 

Things don’t get better as he moves in to slaughter his latest victim. She isn’t alone when he grabs her. A male friend is in the house and he attacks Spector, there is a furious struggle and Spector bludgeons him to death. 

Meanwhile at home, his daughter is still drawing disturbing pictures and his wife still seems oblivious to what her husband is up, though she is preoccupied by the baby whose life support has been switched off in the neonatal unit where she works. 

DCI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) has a possible lead. A professional woman tells her about a student she met at University who had a penchant for sex with the unconscious, and he almost strangled her to death in bed. This left her so traumatised she has spoken to no one about it – apart from her friend the pathologist who, conveniently for the plot, passes this news onto Stella. 

We now know that the partner of murdered drugs squad officer James Olsen, Rob Breedlove, was up to his neck in a drugs and prostitution racket – as well as having an affair with Olsen’s wife. He is suspended from duty and fears for his life. Rather than surrender his gun at the police station, he shoots himself in the head, leaving his boss dazed and in shock. 

Stella immediately jumps in and takes charge of the incident. Lesser women are screaming in shock but she is in total control and knows what needs to be done such is her cool, calm and composed professionalism – the sort of woman perfect for Spector as a victim – except as a blonde, the hair colour is wrong. 

Perhaps this is deliberate. Gibson is no victim although her superior Jim Burns accuses her of victimising men and says she clearly has no idea of the effect she has on the opposite sex. Really? With all that open shirt, busting cleavage on show and summoning men to her bed with a click of the fingers? 

Maybe she is the female Spector without the killing edge, although she can be accused of murdering male pride. 

There is still plenty to resolve in this fast paced thriller. Spector must be caught. The Olsen incident needs more explanation – how deeply, if at all, was he involved? Stella has to look at whether her ‘Sweet Night’ – where she takes men to bed for one night only – is really what she wants. Most of all, will we be left feeling let down or satisfied that the world is back in order and everyone is where they should be at the end of this five-week journey into the warped and twisted mind of a serial killer and the unconventional female cop out to catch him. 

We’ll have to wait and see next Monday at 9pm on BBC2 when the final episode is aired.

The Fall BBC2. DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and the serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)
Watch your back – is Stella about to come face to face with Spector next week?

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The Fall 3 — What we’re watching


Blogger and writer Pat Nurse watches as Paul Spector continues to evade DSI Stella Gibson in episode 3 of BBC2’s The Fall

Three episodes in with two to go and the pressure begins to build on serial murderer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) in BBC 2’s Monday evening crime drama The Fall on at 9pm. 

Top cop Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is beginning to get inside his head to understand

DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) in BBC2's The Fall
Gibson addresses her team

what motivates him to stalk professional young women of a certain type who he then kills for sadistic pleasure. She knows that murder for him is an art form and he is creating a pictorial visual account of his killings in a scrap book he keeps along with trophies taken from his unfortunate victims. 

His wife Sally-Ann, a neo-natal nurse played by Bronagh Waugh, still has no idea of her apparently placid husband’s secret hobby but their small daughter appears to have seen his hideous notebook and is having nightmares about it. She tries to tell her mum about what’s hidden “in the ceiling” but Sally-Ann doesn’t quite get it – yet. 

Meanwhile, Spector has found a new hiding place in the country to indulge in his fantasies. Police are to release some details about Spector’s crimes including the cutting of a lock of hair from victim Sarah Kay, played by Laura Donnelly, which is bound to resonate with the Spectors’ babysitter Katie (Aisling Franciosi), who found it in last week’s episode. 

Spector has discovered that Sarah was a few weeks’ pregnant at the time he killed her and this appears to unsettle him. Nevertheless, he has found a new victim in an area of Belfast that is ruled by paramilitary types. He breaks a confidence about one their group in his real life role as a grief counsellor to get himself out of trouble when he strays into territory where strangers are not welcome.

Pathologist Reed-Smith (Archie Panjabi) in BBC2's The Fall
The pathologist Reed-Smith (Archie Panjabi)

 Former Calvin Klein model Durnan is perfect in the role of Spector. He’s damn good looking with a gentle face that is at odds with what he does, but he can look menacing at times making this series ooze with uncomfortable sex appeal.

Anderson’s Gibson adds to the sultry feel of the drama. She makes no bones about the fact she likes sex, sees no reason why a one night stand should be exclusive to men and appears to have no conscience about sleeping with married James Olson (Ben Peel) at a time when his marriage is going through a difficult patch due to the loss of a son.
Olson has been shot on his own doorstep and seems to have been involved in something dodgy, but we don’t know all the details yet.
More is to be revealed as the final two episodes gather pace. Will Spector be caught before he gets victim No 4? 

• The Fall has been recommissioned for a second series by BBC2. 

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