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The Fall - Series 1: DVD Review

Sep 19th, 2013

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Gillian Anderson shines in this new mystery series, but is there any reason to choose this TV-on-DVD set over a Netflix stream....?

Acorn Media / 306 Minutes / 2013 / Unrated / Street Date: October 15, 2013

In the current TV landscape of series that can’t seem to unfold fast enough, the steady, unrushed tempo on The Fall: Series 1 is what sets it so distinctly apart from the pack. Eschewing any storytelling sensibilities that fare like CSI has made such an iconic norm, The Fall starts with a whisper and then meanders toward its conclusions with a refreshingly unhurried confidence. It delivers the goods, mind you, but The Fall makes you wait for them to come in due time, and that’s fine by me.

The beautiful face on this TV-on-DVD set’s cover belongs, of course, to the luminous Gillian Anderson, who plays police investigator Stella Gibson on The Fall. She’s brought on the case of a murder in Belfast when it seems as though there might be ties between that death and other fatalities brought about by a serial killer. Then, to thicken the mystery even more, we’re introduced (in a parallel plot line) to the murderer himself (Jamie Dornan), a guy who has some serious problems, but who is able to creepily hide them during his time on the job as a grief counselor.

It’s marvelous to see Anderson back on TV – she livens up everything she does – and The Fall: Series 1 is a fine compilation. Once you reach the end of its saga, there are a few loose ends that don’t quite gel (you’ll be left with some questions), but even with potholes here and there, this is a solid piece of programming. Twenty minutes in, you’ll resign yourself to zipping through all five hours of it in record time.

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