The Fall15 ¦ DVD, Blu-ray
Having spent nine seasons and over 200 episodes playing Agent Scully on the hit US TV show The X-Files, Gillian Anderson needn't ever work a day in her life again. And yet her love for the UK, where she currently resides, means that she's keen to work over here, leading to her appearing in 2010's Any Human Heart and the Beeb's lavish mini-series of Great Expectations the following year among other projects.
This drama sees her very much in the lead role for the first time in a UK drama, playing English cop DSI Gibson.
With an internal review needed, the Belfast police call in the duties of DSI Stella Gibson from the UK. Whilst looking into the review, the city sees a gruesome murder take place; a young, professional woman is murdered in her home.
When a second victim is discovered, it starts to look like the work of a serial killer. It's at this point Gibson steps in and offers to run the investigation, as she has a history with such cases.
Meanwhile, Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) is a grief counsellor in the city, living with his wife and two kids. On the outside he looks like your average loving husband and father, and yet he has a frightening dark side that only he knows – a desire to kill a certain type of woman.
Not put off by the building media interest, Paul continues with his murderous plans. Gibson is slowly but surely putting the pieces of this grizzly puzzle together, but how close is she to actually solving the case?
The Fall has been the surprise hit of the year, becoming as it did the highest rated BBC2 drama in eight years. Much of its success must be put down to Anderson's beguiling portrayal of DCI Gibson; although softly spoken, she has a no nonsense approach not only to work, but to life itself.
It also has a slightly different approach to other police dramas. For instance, we know from the outset who the killer is. But what the show does however is give a fairly extensive insight into the killer's life; we know what he does for living, we get an idea what he's like as a husband and father, as well as delve into his psyche where his demons are concerned. Gibson is another matter.
Anderson's character is fraught with ambiguity; we know little of her past, either personally or in her career, or her ability as a police officer. To that end, we actually know far more about the killer than we ever do about the copper chasing him. Her aloof approach to policing however would certainly give Prime Suspect's DCI Jane Tennison (played by Helen Mirren) a run for her money.
There's also a curious subplot included, that involves some dodgy businessman and his use of prostitutes and policeman under his control, but it all acts as an irritating distraction more than anything.
It's also great to see a drama set in Belfast; it's a city full of character and characters and makes a pleasant change from London.
The Fall is an intelligent cop drama that dares to be refreshingly different. It panders little to convention, that certainly its semi-controversial ending is a fine example of. Overall it's a dark and foreboding tale that tip toes satisfyingly back and forth over the thin blue line.