The Fall title card
|Created by||Allan Cubitt|
|Written by||Allan Cubitt|
|Theme music composer||David Holmes|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||17 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Running time||60–90 minutes|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|First shown in||Ireland (on RTÉ One)|
|Original release||13 May 2013 –|
28 October 2016
The Fall is an Irish-British crime drama television series filmed and set in Northern Ireland. The series, starring Gillian Anderson as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, is created and written by Allan Cubitt and features Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector. It is produced by Artists Studio, and shown on RTÉ One in the Republic of Ireland and BBC Two in the UK.
The series premiered in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on RTÉ One on 12 May 2013, and in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 13 May 2013. The second series began in the Republic of Ireland on 9 November and in the UK on 13 November 2014. The third series premiered on RTÉ One on 25 September and on BBC Two on 29 September 2016.
Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson, a senior investigating officer who reviews investigations, is seconded to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to assess the progress of a murder investigation that has remained active for longer than 28 days. When it becomes apparent that a serial killer is on the loose, local detectives must work with Stella to find and capture Paul Spector, who is attacking young professional women in the city of Belfast. As time passes Stella's team works tirelessly to build a case but they are met with complications inside and outside the PSNI.
Cubitt said that he originally was researching another show he was planning on writing and read a book on the BTK ("Bind, Torture, Kill") serial killer, Dennis Rader. Cubitt found the structure of the book intriguing, which began with a look at the BTK Killer's attack that was possible because of Rader's testimony, his documentary evidence and the extensive forensic evidence that was gathered from the scene of the crime. Cubitt created a structure where the killer is identified immediately, eliminating the whodunit aspect of many stories. The focus could then become the motives for the killings and on the insights that might be gained about the psychology of the killer, even in the face of what might be considered a normal, functioning person with a job, wife and children. Cubitt said this was the starting point that interested him: how this supposedly normally functioning person would then be connected to the crimes.
On 3 February 2012, BBC Two picked up The Fall series with a five episode order. The series was written by Allan Cubitt and produced for BBC Two by Artists Studio and BBC Northern Ireland, with funding from Northern Ireland Screen and the European Regional Development Fund. Gub Neal and Julian Stevens produced, with Cubitt, Justin Thomson-Glover, Patrick Irwin, and Stephen Wright serving as executive producers. Jakob Verbruggen directed the first series. Cubitt cast Gillian Anderson first, then cast Jamie Dornan. The series premiered in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ One on 12 May 2013, and in the UK on BBC Two on 13 May 2013.
BBC Two renewed the show for a second series on 27 May 2013. On 21 October 2013, it was announced that Jakob Verbruggen would not be returning to direct The Fall's second series. Instead Cubitt would direct, with production due to begin in February 2014. Series star Gillian Anderson became an executive producer for the programme from its second series. Production of series 2 ended in June 2014. Series 2 began in the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, 9 November on RTÉ One and in the United Kingdom on BBC Two Thursday, 13 November 2014.
In March 2015, it was announced that the BBC had commissioned a third series of The Fall. Cubitt stated that this series was conceived "in the hope of further exploring the characters and themes that are at the heart of [the drama]". Cubitt stated that he had already envisaged how the show's third series would end. Carol Moorhead replaced Julian Stevens as second producer of the third series. Filming took place in Belfast between December 2015 and April 2016. The third series got an exclusive look at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on 25 August 2016. It premiered in the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, 25 September on RTÉ One and in the UK on Thursday, 29 September 2016 on BBC Two.
It was reported that Cubitt has ideas for several seasons past Spector's arc. In September 2016, Cubitt confirmed that the third series is Dornan's last, but expressed intention for future series. Cubitt added that the fourth series "isn't going to be straight away." Anderson stated: "I'm excited by the idea of potentially revisiting it in a few years, to see what transpires in Stella's life afterwards."
Casting announcements began in February 2012, with Gillian Anderson first to be cast in the series as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson. Next to join the series was Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector. Archie Panjabi, Emmett Scanlan and Karen Hassan were next to be cast, with Panjabi playing Reed Smith, Scanlan playing DC Glen Martin and Hassan playing Annie Brawley. It was later announced that Niamh McGrady, Bronagh Waugh, John Lynch, and Séainín Brennan had joined the series.
In 2014, it was announced that Colin Morgan and Bronagh Taggart had joined the cast in starring roles as Tom Anderson and Gail McNally, respectively. Jonjo O'Neill later joined the main cast, while Claire Rafferty was cast in a recurring capacity. Ian McElhinney departed the series in episode 1, whilst lead actress Archie Panjabi departed following the series’ penultimate episode.
Anderson, Dornan, Lynch, Waugh, Franciosi, Kane, O'Neill, and Morgan all returned as regulars for the third series, alongside new cast members Aisling Bea, Richard Coyle, Barry Ward, Richard Clements, Ruth Bradley, Genevieve O'Reilly, Aidan McArdle, Denise Gough, Martin McCann, Conor MacNeill and Krister Henriksson. Former main cast members Niamh McGrady, Stuart Graham and Bronagh Taggart returned in guest arcs.
Main cast and characters
- Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson
- Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector
- John Lynch as ACC Jim Burns
- Bronagh Waugh as Sally Ann Spector
- Stuart Graham as DCI Matt Eastwood
- Niamh McGrady as PC Danielle Ferrington
- Archie Panjabi as Professor Reed Smith
- Aisling Franciosi as Katie Benedetto
- Valene Kane as Rose Stagg
- Sarah Beattie as Olivia Spector
- Jonjo O'Neill as Tom Stagg
- Colin Morgan as DS Tom Anderson
- Laura Donnelly as Sarah Kay
- Michael McElhatton as DI Rob Breedlove
- Ben Peel as DS James Olson
- Frank McCusker as DCI Garrett Brink
- Ian McElhinney as Morgan Monroe
- Eugene O'Hare as Aaron Monroe
- Bronágh Taggart as DC Gail McNally
- Emmett J. Scanlan as DC Glenn Martin
- Karen Hassan as Annie Brawley
- Nick Lee as Ned Callan
- Brian Milligan as Jimmy Tyler
- Séainín Brennan as Liz Tyler
- David Beattie as Liam Spector
- Sean McGinley as Peter Jensen
- Aisling Bea as Kiera Sheridan
- Kelly Gough as PC Hagstrom
- Krister Henriksson as August Larson
- Martin McCann as David Alvarez
- Aidan McArdle as Sean Healy
- Richard Coyle as Joe O'Donnell
- Richard Clements as DC Rick Turner
- Genevieve O'Reilly as DCI Joan Kinkead
- Conor MacNeill as Mark Bailey
- Barry Ward as Patrick Spencer
- Denise Gough as Alison Walden
- Ruth Bradley as Wallace
Cubitt was inspired by guitar manufacturing companies when naming some of his characters; both Stella and Gibson are brands of guitar, as are Benedetto, Brawley, Breedlove, Burns, Eastwood, Hagstrom, James Olson, James Tyler, Kay, Martin, Music Man, Paul Reed Smith, Rick Turner, Spector, Stagg, Terry McInturff, and Tom Anderson.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||5||12 May 2013||9 June 2013|
|2||6||9 November 2014||13 December 2014|
|3||6||25 September 2016||28 October 2016|
- The first series aired on Bravo in Canada. But Reruns have aired on M3 since June 2014.
- The series also aired across Latin America during September 2013 for subscribers to the TV satellite provider DirecTV. The Fall was aired on the exclusive channel OnDIRECTV in high definition. The entire series was aired on OnDirectv, an exclusive TV channel for DirecTV subscribers and as of 2017 it is also available on Netflix in the region.
- HBO Europe has picked up the series to air on their Cinemax channels in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania.
- Estonian National Broadcasting started to run the series in Estonia on channel ETV (Eesti Televisioon) on 7 December 2014.
- Hot (Israel) started screening the series on its video on demand service in February 2014.
- In Australia, the first series was shown on UKTV (Foxtel) in April/May 2014. The series began airing on SBS One starting 23 October 2014. Series 2 was shown on BBC First in November/December 2014 – within 48 hours of the first broadcasts in the UK, and on SBS One in November 2015.
- In New Zealand, the series began airing on the Sky channel SoHo on Thursday 29 August 2013.
- In Italy the first series was shown on Sky Atlantic.
- In the Netherlands the first series was aired by KRO in HD on public channel NPO 1 between 14 March 2015 and 11 April 2015. Series 2 began airing on KRO in HD on public channel NPO 1 on 29 August 2015.
- In Germany, the show was given the title Tod in Belfast ("Death in Belfast"); the first two series aired together in Germany on ZDF from 15 November to 16 December 2015. The two series were shown in a recut containing 6 episodes with each being 90 minutes long and a total of 540 minutes altogether. This equates to approximately 120 minutes of the whole material of series 1 and 2 being cut. The uncut version was later shown in re-runs by channels ZDFneo and Sky Krimi.
The Fall received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a rating of 95%, the second is at 93%, while the third dipped to 64%.  Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic wrote regarding season three: "[f]or all its psychological, almost literary complexity, it loses much of its narrative steam. It’s that great 21st-century phenomenon: a show that's more fun to think about than to watch." The first series has a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". The third series has a score of 60 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Awards and nominations
|2013||Crime Thriller Awards||The Best Actress Dagger||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|2014||Edgar Allan Poe Awards||Best Television Episode Teleplay||Allan Cubitt||Won|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Breakthrough Award||Jamie Dornan||Won|
|Best Actress||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Writer's Award||Allan Cubitt||Nominated|
|National Television Awards||Best Detective (longlisted)||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Drama (longlisted)||The Fall||Nominated|
|BAFTA Awards||Best Leading Actor||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Awards||Best Television Drama||The Fall||Won|
|Best Lead Actor – Television||Jamie Dornan||Won|
|Best Original Score (Film/TV Drama)||David Holmes||Won|
|Director of Photography - Drama||Ruairi O'Brien||Nominated|
|Make-Up & Hair - Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|Production Design - Drama||Tom McCullough||Nominated|
|2015||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Television Series – Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|Golden Nymph Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Drama Series||The Fall||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Awards||Best Supporting Actress - Drama||Aisling Franciosi||Won|
|Best Actor - Drama||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Best Television Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||Best Actress (longlisted)||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Actor (longlisted)||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Best Drama (longlisted)||The Fall||Nominated|
|British Screenwriters' Awards||Best British Crime Writing||Allan Cubitt||Won|
|Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Awards||Best Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|Sichuan TV Festival – International Gold Panda Awards||Best Actress||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|C21 International Drama Awards||Best Female Performance||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Best Male Performance||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Best Returning Series||The Fall||Nominated|
|Best English Language Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|2016||National Television Awards||Drama Performance (longlisted)||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Drama Performance (longlisted)||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Best Drama (longlisted)||The Fall||Nominated|
|Jupiter Award||Best International TV Series||The Fall||Nominated|
|2017||National Television Awards||Drama Performance (longlisted)||Gillian Anderson||Nominated|
|Drama Performance (longlisted)||Jamie Dornan||Nominated|
|Best Drama (longlisted)||The Fall||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Television Series – Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
|Irish Film and Television Awards||Best Drama||The Fall||Nominated|
Home media releases
The second series was broadcast on Netflix's "Watch Instantly" service, starting in January 2015, in the United States. It was also broadcast on Netflix in Canada. In Latin America, Netflix began broadcasting the season on 16 January 2015, at 12:01 am.
The third series was made available to non-UK Netflix subscribers on 29 October 2016.
|Series||Originally aired||DVD release dates||Blu-ray disc release date|
|First aired||Last aired||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||Region A||Region B|
|1||13 May 2013||10 June 2013||15 October 2013||17 June 2013||20 November 2013||1 March 2016||17 June 2013|
|2||13 November 2014||17 December 2014||TBA||26 December 2014||TBA||1 March 2016||26 December 2014|
In August 2016, it was announced that the French private national TV channel TF1 was producing a remake of the series, titled Insoupçonnable ("unsuspected"). The French adaptation starred Emmanuelle Seigner and Melvil Poupaud as the leads, and supporting cast included: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Claire Keim, Patrick Chesnais, Bérengère Krief and Sofia Essaïdi. Filming began in Lyon on 12 September 2016.
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The BBC is clamping down on spoilers ahead of its transmission, expected in November, but Cubitt said he “wasn’t giving anything away” by flagging up the “growing obsession” between the hunter and the hunted.
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- Kilkelly, Daniel (29 May 2012). "'Hollyoaks' Emmett Scanlan, Karen Hassan join BBC thriller cast". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
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- "Winners of the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Announced". Retrieved 19 August 2015.
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