gillian anderson the fall“Have him scrubbed and brought to my tent.”

OK – she didn’t say that exactly, but it’s what was going through the mind of Gillian Anderson’s DSI Stella Gibson when she ordered a PC to introduce her to a lithe-bodied detective sergeant they just happen to drive past at a crime scene.

And the creepy thing is, he bears a striking resemblance to the serial killer.

I’m not giving anything away by telling you that right from the start we know who the murderer is. We know he’s killed before, we know he will kill in the future and we know, with mounting tension, that he’s on the verge of doing it again any minute. And we wait, breathlessly for the inevitable to play out.

Beautifully shot and imaginatively directed, The Fall is easily the classiest bit of telly you’re likely to see this week (at least on Freeview). The acting was faultless and the script strong. I’d pretty much watch Gillian Anderson in car insurance commercial, so I knew I’d enjoy her performance. (It was refreshing to see her not wearing the Dickensian bonnet/bustle combo we’ve come to expect of late.) What was more of a revelation was the portrayal of the sadistic (are there other kinds?) serial killer by the ex-Calvin Klein underwear model Jamie Dornan. He was compelling at playing  the normal dad and husband, the inappropriately lascivious grief counsellor and the driven, ruthless psychopath. He’s a natural (I’m not sure what that says about him).

And so now we’re hooked – we desperately want Stella Gibson, smart, tough, methodical Metropolitan Police Superindendant hunt down the hunter before he strikes again – we’ve already seen him line up two more potential victims, so it’s a real race against time. But there are four more episodes to play out. So we’ll be hiding behind the sofa for a while yet.

Let’s hope the remainder of the series lives up to the promise of the first episode. You can catch up with episode 1 on BBC iPlayer.

PS Thank you BBC2 for at least giving us a warning that the spoiler-fest that is ‘Next week on The Fall’ so that we could mute/channel hop/stick our fingers in our ears. But why not go the whole hog and not show the upcoming episode trailer. It worked for Broadchurch.



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