The Fall Series 2: DVD and Blu-ray

Monday, 29 December 2014 00:00 Written by 

The Fall - Series 2 out on Blu-ray and DVDIn series two of BAFTA-winning crime drama The Fall, serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan - Christian Grey in 2015's "Fifty Shades of Grey") is on the run from Det Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson - The X-Files). Spector’s days of preying on women are far from over, and it is not long before he kidnaps ex-girlfriend Rose (Valene Kane - "’71") and resumes his destructive relationship with besotted schoolgirl Katie (Aisling Franciosi - Quirke).

Spector returns to Belfast to see his family but his freedom of movement is seriously curtailed thanks to his mugshot being in the media, and the police are closing in as more evidence is uncovered. He also has to contend with the jealous, wife-beating husband of a patient he encouraged to leave home (Brian Milligan - "Hunger"). The heat is on in this gripping game of cat and mouse but Spector’s cunning and hubris refuse to be constrained.

Where series one of The Fall was fairly consistent in its edgy narrative pattern, with Spector stalking and picking off one victim after another, the second series is quite different. The story becomes much more about Paul versus Stella, where the personalities of the two main characters go head-to-head as opposed to moving side-by-side as they did for much of the first season.

The second series has been extended to six episodes, and although this total is only one more than before, the plot feels much more drawn out and languorous. There are some superbly tense moments dotted throughout but these are the exception rather than the rule. In comparison to the first season, I found myself becoming borderline frustrated on a few occasions when I wished the writing would move things on a bit faster or inject some more action into the mix.

The Fall is very much a crime drama with the emphasis on psychology and the make-up of its main characters. Fortunately they are very flawed and regardless of which side of the legal line they fall on, have plenty of depth and layers to peel away. Hard-hitting conversations about child abuse and parental abandonment encourage debate about nature versus nurture.

In common with the first series, the acting is excellent and often very subtle. Dornan stands out once again thanks to his incredible ability to intimidate with the slightest eyebrow movement and a burst of his piercing stare. Whilst Anderson's stuffy English accent grates a little, she does a brilliant job of revealing some strong emotion leaking out from under her normally frigid exterior.

John Lynch ("Black Death") does sterling work as Stella's warm and vulnerable superior, and Franciosi is as wonderfully devious and unruly as before, head-over-heels in love with Spector and willing to do anything to win his attention and affection.

The soundtrack by Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes is one of the series' defining elements, blending delicate refrains with chilling, reverberating noise that echo Paul Spector’s soft, caring work as a bereavement counsellor on the one hand, and on the other his distant, aggressive and murderous alternate persona.

Events naturally and stunningly come to a head in the final episode, where concerns about pacing and the lack of forward momentum are banished; the dénouement will probably delight some and infuriate others. Let us hope a third series is commissioned either way!

Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette.

The Fall Series 2 (2014) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of RLJ Entertainment. The two-disc set has a running time of 360 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £19.99 on DVD and £24.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

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