The Fall is a crime drama television series that aired on the BBC network. It began airing on May 13, 2013.
When the show opens, we are introduced to Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), who is a bereavement counselor. He is in session with Liz Tyler (Seainin Brennan) and her husband, James (Brian Milligan), who are seeking bereavement counseling after the loss of their child. Paul gets really involved in their case and even goes so far, as to visit Liz at home, which is totally against the rules. When James finds out about his visit, he threatens Paul and his entire family. Liz eventually agrees to enter a private home for abused women and James becomes more irate, even getting his friends involved.
Paul has an obsession with murdering highly sophisticated, professional women. His obsession started with stalking and raping women, then finally escalated to the point of murder. He works diligently keeping a portrait diary of each woman he kills including some of their personal items such as; ribbons from panties, photos, and a lock of their hair. He stores all of his murder memorabilia in the attic, which is accessible from his young daughter, Olivia’s (Sarah Beattie), bedroom. Olivia begins to suffer from night terrors, which everyone seems to think is just a phase that she is going through, but only Paul knows the real cause.
Paul’s wife, Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh), goes to the hospital where she works as a neonatal intensive care nurse, while Paul scouts the Internet for his next victim. Once he finds a victim, he scours their neighborhood and locates an access into their home, without leaving traces of forced entry. He goes in and out of their homes, before he does the actual killing, during which he collects his memorabilia. He tells Sally that he is working for a twenty-four hour suicide call center, which he resigned from three months prior. They rely on fifteen year old Katie Benedetto (Niamh McGrady), to care for Olivia and her brother, Liam (David Beattie). She has a mad crush on Paul and entices him into having sex with her, which Paul eventually reveals to Sally.
After the murder of Alice Monroe, Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is assigned to investigate the murder. While she is investigating Alice’s murder, she receives a call that a second woman, Sarah Kay (Laura Donnelly) has also been murdered. She digs into the crime scene and discovers that the same killer committed both murders. She is now appointed to head the Musicman Operation Task Force team. Stella has a one night stand with Detective Sergeant James Olson (Ben Peel), who is later assassinated in front of his home, while his young son watches from his bedroom window.
Paul has chosen his third victim, Annie Brawley (Karen Hassan), which turns out to be a botched attempt to follow through with his ritualistic murders. This is another escalation point into his psycho antics of killing young women. Stella digs deeper into the investigation and discovers that the killer likes to cleanse his victims and paint their fingernails with a bright red lacquer. She tries to tempt the killer by painting her own nails with a red lacquer and it seems to have worked, until she receives a mysterious call from none other than Paul, himself.
The Fall is definitely a dark and twisted psycho-thriller that is filled with squeamish, gruesome murder scenes, which will leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat. The murder scenes are so realistic that one will want to lock and bar their doors and windows so that you cannot exit and no one can enter. It also allows, you to get in the mind of a serial killer, while watching him escalate from one point to the next, until he is ready to go were no one has ever been before. One complaint that I did have about The Fall and that involved the slow script, which I imagine was due to the main character development, but no important details were omitted.
The acting is superb, but I enjoyed Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan the best. I cannot wait to see Dornan in the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie, which I am sure will be great. The Fall is not a gory slasher, instead it is a well thought out psychological thriller that will leave your skin crawling nonetheless. The Fall definitely deserves a 9 out of 10.