The Fall

The Fall S1 E5 (BBC2)

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Contains full spoilers for the final episode.

I reviewed the first episode of The Fall when it aired last month and have no intention of going over the same ground, but in light of some of the critical comments made about the final episode of the first series I thought I’d come back with a (relatively) shorter piece focusing just on the finale.

We’ve had a lot of brilliant crime shows of late that have stumbled at the very end – all three series of Forbrydelsen suffered from problematic conclusions, and even Broadchurch’s much ballyhooed last episode has similarly come under fire from those who expected more. With The Fall, viewers wanted either a resounding, satisfying climax to the current case in which the bad guy is caught, or else a major cliffhanger to put them on the edge of their seats for the next few months before the now-confirmed season 2.

The problem is that the producers themselves didn’t know if they were going to get a second season or not, so they had to make a final episode that could work equally both as climax/resolution and as cliffhanger/to-be-continued with just minor changes depending on what the network verdict turned out to be. (And when the very first episode set new records for a drama début on BBC2 the decision was not long in coming nor much in doubt.) Read the rest of this entry »

The Fall S1 E1 (BBC2)

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Apologies, I’m a week behind watching this series and although episode 2 aired last night as I write and post this, I’ve only seen the first episode so far. Even so, I still wanted to pen a few words on it before the series went too far into its run for people to decide whether or not to jump on board. This post does contain spoilers for episode 1, but not beyond.

This is a new five-part psychological thriller by writer-producer Allan Cubitt (Prime Suspect 2, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Runaway) that takes the serial killer crime procedural into welcome new territory, both in a storytelling and geographical sense. Set in Belfast, there are echoes of the time euphemistically referred to as ‘The Troubles’ but refreshingly these are neither the point nor the focus of the story that unfolds.

Instead, the series follows two characters, both of them outsiders but in very different ways. DSI Stella Gibson is from the Metropolitan Police, asked in by her counterparts in Northern Ireland to conduct a review of a murder case that’s gone cold despite having a high profile victim, a successful young architect who was also the former daughter-in-law of a Unionist MP – which immediately suggests political pressures will apply. Read the rest of this entry »