Wednesday 24 July 2019

Dornan smoulders with return of killer in 'The Fall'

Jamie Dornan in The Fall
Jamie Dornan in The Fall
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

When Jamie Dornan first as appeared as sexy social worker Paul Spector and smouldered his way across the damp side streets of Belfast in the opening series of The Fall, it was unclear whether the producers had found a star or whether he was just another piece of improbably cheek-boned eye candy.

Could someone as inherently hot as Dornan be believable as a serial killer? Well, Ted Bundy managed that feat in real life and while the show's numerous critics were outraged by the idea of a predator who doesn't look like a sweat-stained, stinky-breath neighbourhood weirdo, his looks made his depravity all the more compelling.

We left The Fall as Spector skipped town just before his glacial nemesis, DCI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson, who walks around with the sour expression of someone who can't quite escape a bad smell under her nose), was about to close the net.

He has returned to Belfast and seems determined to resume his hobby - presumably on the grounds that serial-killing is a bit like Chinese food. You're briefly satisfied but an hour later you'd murder another one.

You know things are going a bit wobbly when you have to confess to an imaginary affair with your teenage babysitter to throw your wife off the scent of your murder spree. But Spector's outlook becomes even more gloomy when the precocious babysitter accuses him of sexual assault, much to the confusion of his increasingly gormless wife.

Everywhere Spector looks, a woman lurks. His wife, his daughter, his frisky babysitter with Daddy issues, his victims and the cop who is edging ever closer to discovering his identity are all women, with the only other important male character being the cop who is apparently played by Eric Cantona pretending to be George Best doing an impression of John Lynch.

Spector's mask is beginning to slip. On a train into Belfast he flirts with a woman by pointing to the similarities between him and the police photo-fit on the front page of a paper. As pulling techniques go, you have to give the man top marks for chutzpah, but then not all of us are blessed with his looks and even fewer happen to be sociopathic maniacs.

This opener hinted at darker deeds to come and as Dornan has already said he won't be coming back for a third season (presumably he's too busy re-shooting all the naughty bits from 50 Shades Of Gray, as the originals were so awful), at least we know there will be conclusion.

READ: Should 'The Fall' show such graphic depictions of the murder of women?

Irish Independent

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