The Fall (TV series)

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The Fall
The Fall (TV Series).png
The Fall title card
Created byAllan Cubitt
Written byAllan Cubitt
Directed by
Theme music composerDavid Holmes
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
No. of series3
No. of episodes17 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Gillian Anderson
  • Allan Cubitt
  • Patrick Irwin
  • Justin Thomson-Glover
  • Stephen Wright
  • Gub Neal
  • Julian Stevens
  • Carol Moorhead
Production locationsBelfast, Northern Ireland
Running time60–90 minutes
Production companies
Original network
Original release13 May 2013 (2013-05-13) –
28 October 2016 (2016-10-28)

The Fall is a 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,[1] and in the rest of the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 13 May 2013.[2] 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[3] and on BBC Two on 29 September 2016.[4]


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.[5]

Series 1[edit]

On 3 February 2012, BBC Two picked up The Fall series with a five-episode order.[6][7] 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.[6][7] Gub Neal and Julian Stevens produced, with Cubitt, Justin Thomson-Glover, Patrick Irwin, and Stephen Wright serving as executive producers.[6][7][8] Jakob Verbruggen directed the first series.[9] Cubitt cast Gillian Anderson first, then cast Jamie Dornan.[5] The series premiered in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ One on 12 May 2013,[1] and in the UK on BBC Two on 13 May 2013.[2]

Series 2[edit]

BBC Two renewed the show for a second series on 27 May 2013.[10] 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.[11] Series star Gillian Anderson became an executive producer for the programme from its second series.[10][12] Production of series 2 ended in June 2014.[13] Series 2 began in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on Sunday, 9 November on RTÉ One and in the United Kingdom on BBC Two Thursday, 13 November 2014.

Series 3[edit]

In March 2015, it was announced that the BBC had commissioned a third series of The Fall.[14] 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]".[15] Cubitt stated that he had already envisaged how the show's third series would end.[16] Carol Moorhead replaced Julian Stevens as second producer of the third series.[17] Filming took place in Belfast between December 2015 and April 2016.[18] The third series got an exclusive look at the Edinburgh International Television Festival on 25 August 2016.[17] It premiered in the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, 25 September on RTÉ One[3] and in the UK on Thursday, 29 September 2016 on BBC Two.[4]


It was reported that Cubitt has ideas for several seasons past Spector's arc.[19] 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."[20] 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."[21]


Series 1[edit]

Casting announcements began in February 2012, with Gillian Anderson first to be cast in the series as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson.[6][7][22] Next to join the series was Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector.[23][24][25] 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.[26][27] It was later announced that Niamh McGrady, Bronagh Waugh, John Lynch, and Séainín Brennan had joined the series.[26][28][29]

Series 2[edit]

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.

Series 3[edit]

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[edit]


Spector family and friends[edit]

Victims and families[edit]


Cubitt was inspired by guitar manufacturing companies when naming some of his characters; both Stella and Gibson are brands of guitar,[30] 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.[30]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1512 May 2013 (2013-05-12)9 June 2013 (2013-06-09)
269 November 2014 (2014-11-09)13 December 2014 (2014-12-13)
3625 September 2016 (2016-09-25)28 October 2016 (2016-10-28)

International broadcast[edit]

  • The first series aired on Bravo in Canada. Reruns have aired on M3 since June 2014.[31]
  • 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.[32] 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.[33]
  • 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.[34]
  • Estonian National Broadcasting started to run the series in Estonia on channel ETV (Eesti Televisioon) on 7 December 2014.[35]
  • 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.[36] 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-run by channels ZDFneo and Sky Krimi. In the US, Tubi carried the series at its launch date in 2014 as an original exclusive series on the service. The continues to be available on the platform today and is also available to stream now as of 2018 on Netflix and AMC-owned streamer dedicated to streaming internationally produced co-productions and acquired shows, Acorn TV. In September 2020, after launching their Mystery Alley block in August that year, Ovation (American TV channel) acquired the rights to the series in a deal with BBC Studios that meant acquiring the studio's content that originally was produced for the BBC and BBC America first, such as The Fall (TV series) and it premiered in October 2020 and ran until February 2021 on the network.


The Fall received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 95% of 20 critic reviews were positive for the series one. Its consensus is, "Less sensationalistic and more provocative than most police procedurals, The Fall is unapologetically sexy with pressure-building tension driven by plausible characters and motifs." The second and the third series earned 93% and 64% approval rating, respectively. The third series consensus reads, "The Fall stumbles somewhat in its third season, but still delivers enough to satisfy fans of the show—and slow-burning psychological thrillers in general."[37] The first series has a score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim". The last series has a score of 60 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[38]

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."[39] Reviewing the second season, TV critic Lucy Mangan of The Guardian criticised the writing and dialogue but praised the performances of Anderson and Dornan.[40]

In the book Crime TV, Streaming Criminology in Popular Culture, Assistant Professor Jonathan A Grubb and Chad Posick in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia Southern University, took note of the show's accuracy in conveying "a fairly solid understanding of the thinking of a psychopathic killer." They stated that Jamie Dornan's performance was quite convincing.[41]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2013 Crime Thriller Awards[42] The Best Actress Dagger Gillian Anderson Nominated
2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards[43] Best Television Episode Teleplay Allan Cubitt Won
Broadcasting Press Guild Awards[44] Breakthrough Award Jamie Dornan Won
Best Actress Gillian Anderson Nominated
Writer's Award Allan Cubitt Nominated
BAFTA Awards[45] Best Leading Actor Jamie Dornan Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards[46] 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[47] Best Actress – Television Series Drama Gillian Anderson Nominated
Best Television Series – Drama The Fall Nominated
Golden Nymph Awards[48] Best Actress – Television Series Drama Gillian Anderson Nominated
Best Drama Series The Fall Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards[49][50] Best Supporting Actress - Drama Aisling Franciosi Won
Best Actor - Drama Jamie Dornan Nominated
Best Television Drama The Fall Nominated
British Screenwriters' Awards[51] Best British Crime Writing Allan Cubitt Won
Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Awards[52] Best Drama The Fall Nominated
Sichuan Television Festival[53] Best Actress Gillian Anderson Nominated
C21 International Drama Awards[54] 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 Jupiter Award[55] Best International TV Series The Fall Nominated
2017 Satellite Awards[56] Best Television Series – Drama The Fall Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards[57] Best Drama The Fall Nominated

Home media releases[edit]

The first series was made available in full in the United States via Netflix's "Watch Instantly" service starting 28 May 2013,[58] and airs on Bravo and Netflix in Canada.

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.[59] In Latin America, Netflix began broadcasting the season on 16 January 2015, at 12:01 am.[60]

The third series was made available to non-UK Netflix subscribers on 29 October 2016.[61]

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 (2013-05-13) 10 June 2013 (2013-06-10) 15 October 2013 (2013-10-15)[62] 17 June 2013 (2013-06-17)[63] 20 November 2013 (2013-11-20)[64] 1 March 2016 (2016-03-01)[65] 17 June 2013 (2013-06-17)[66]
2 13 November 2014[13] 17 December 2014 TBA 26 December 2014 (2014-12-26)[67] TBA 1 March 2016 (2016-03-01)[68] 26 December 2014 (2014-12-26)[69]

French remake[edit]

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.[70]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "THE FALL ***New Series***". RTÉ. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (1 May 2013). "BBC Two Sets Premiere Date For 'The Fall'". TVWise. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Irish Music Feed [@irishmusicfeed] (14 September 2016). "TV: @TheFallTV Season 3 returns on Sunday September 25 @ 21:35 on @RTEOne #SupportIrishDrama" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b BBC Two [@BBCTwo] (14 September 2016). "I want him to live, so that he can spend the rest of his life in prison. #TheFall returns. 29.09.16. 9pm" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 September 2016 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b " In Conversation With... Allan Cubitt: Creator, The Fall". World Screen. 14 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Munn, Patrick (3 February 2012). "BBC Two Orders New Drama Series Starring Gillian Anderson". TVWise. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d Mundell, Ian (4 February 2012). "Gillian Anderson set for BBC's 'Fall'". Variety. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Jamie Dornan to star alongside Gillian Anderson in Allan Cubitt's new BBC Two drama series The Fall". 9 August 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  9. ^ "The Fall Guy". 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (27 May 2013). "It's Official: BBC Two Renews 'The Fall' For Season 2". TVWise. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  11. ^ Munn, Patrick (21 October 2013). "Jakob Verbruggen Not Returning To Helm 'The Fall' Season 2, Allan Cubitt To Direct". TVWise. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  12. ^ Daniels, Nia (1 October 2015). "Third series of The Fall gears up". The Knowledge Online. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  13. ^ a b Plunkett, John (24 September 2014). "The Fall series two preview: a slow-burning opener unlikely to win new fans". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 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.
  14. ^ Plunkett, John (10 March 2015). "Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan to return in BBC's The Fall". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "The Fall serie 3: Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson will return for final season". Independent. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022.
  16. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (10 March 2015). "The Fall to return for third series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b "NEW DRAMA DOUBLE: THE FALL". The TV Festival. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  18. ^ Anderson, Gillian [@GillianA] (5 March 2016). "That's a wrap on Stella Gibson! @TheFallTV" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 April 2016 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Munn, Patrick [@patmunn] (3 December 2015). "Also, while Cubitt has ideas for "many more" seasons past Paul Spectre arc, everyone is resigned that this MAY be final season #TheFall" (Tweet). Retrieved 21 July 2016 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (20 September 2016). "There might be a fourth series of The Fall - but 'it's not going to be straight away'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  21. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (20 September 2016). "The Fall's James Dornan and Gillian Anderson on why it's the end for Spector – but NOT for the series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  22. ^ Wightman, Catriona (6 February 2012). "Gillian Anderson joins BBC Two thriller 'The Fall'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  23. ^ Munn, Patrick (26 March 2012). "Jamie Dornan Signs Up For Lead Role Alongside Gillian Anderson in BBC Two's The Fall". TVWise. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  24. ^ Kemp, Stuart (27 March 2012). "Jamie Dornan To Star Opposite Gillian Anderson in TV Drama 'The Fall' for BBC TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  25. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (26 March 2012). "'Once Upon a Time' star Jamie Dornan joins BBC thriller 'The Fall'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  26. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (28 May 2012). "The Good Wife Star Archie Panjabi Cast in BBC Two's 'The Fall'". TVWise. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  27. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (29 May 2012). "'Hollyoaks' Emmett Scanlan, Karen Hassan join BBC thriller cast". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  28. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (29 May 2012). "Gillian Anderson BBC thriller 'The Fall' adds Séainín Brennan". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  29. ^ Millar, Paul (2 May 2012). "'Hollyoaks' star Bronagh Waugh lands BBC thriller part". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  30. ^ a b Fullerton, Huw (20 November 2014). "The Fall series 2: every character is named after a guitar". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  31. ^ "The Fall-M3". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Exclusivo en OnDIRECTV Gillian Anderson regresa a la TV para intrepretar a una brillante inspectora'". OnDIRECTV. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  33. ^ "OnDirecTV celebra junio con el regreso de "The Fall" | Televitos - Con mentalidad de fans". (in Spanish). 26 May 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  34. ^ Munn, Patrick (29 January 2014). "ZDFE, HBO Europe Ink Deal For BBC Two's The Fall". TVWise. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  35. ^ "Langus". Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  36. ^ "programmdatensuche" (in German). ZDF. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  37. ^ "The Fall". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  38. ^ "The Fall". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  39. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (5 November 2016). "'The Fall' Comes to a Maddening End". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  40. ^ "The Fall review – the whole thing buckled and imploded". The Guardian. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  41. ^ A Grubb, Jonathan; Posick, Chad (2021). Crime TV, Streaming Criminology in Popular Culture. New York University Press. ISBN 9781479884971.
  42. ^ "Best Actress Dagger 2014". Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  43. ^ "Winners of the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Announced". Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  44. ^ "Broadcasting Press Guild: 40th TV & Radio Awards". 20 February 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  45. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2014: This year's nominations". The Independent. 18 May 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  46. ^ "Winners of the Irish Film & Television Awards IFTAs". Irish Film & Television Academy.
  47. ^ "Satellite Awards (2014)". International Press Academy. IPA. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  48. ^ "Golden Nymph Award 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  49. ^ "IFTA Announces Winners 2015". Irish Film & Television Academy.
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  51. ^ "The British Screenwriters' Awards 2015 #LondonSWF". London Screenwriters' Festival. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  52. ^ "RTS Northern Ireland Programme Awards Shortlist announced". Royal Television Society. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  53. ^ "Sichuan TV Festival – International Gold Panda Awards 2015". Sichuan TV Festival. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  54. ^ "C21 Drama Award Finalists Announced". C21 Media. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  55. ^ "Jupiter Awards 2016". Jupiter Award. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
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  57. ^ "IFTA Film & Drama Nominees 2017". Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  58. ^ "Netflix page for the series'". Netflix. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  59. ^ "The Fall Season 2 Gets A Netflix Premiere Date And A Chilling Teaser". CINEMABLEND. 13 November 2014.
  60. ^ Spangler, Todd (13 November 2014). "Netflix Picks Up 'The Fall' Season 2 Starring Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan". Variety.
  61. ^ "Netflix in October: Here's what's coming and going". USA Today. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  62. ^ "The Fall, Series 1 (2013)". Amazon. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  63. ^ "The Fall [DVD]". Amazon UK. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  64. ^ "Fall, The". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  65. ^ "The Fall: Series 1 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
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  67. ^ "Fall, The". Amazon UK. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  68. ^ "The Fall: Series 2 [Blu-ray]". Amazon. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  69. ^ "The Fall Series 2 [Blu-ray]". Amazon UK. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  70. ^ Dhombres, Isabelle (27 August 2016). "Emmanuelle Seigner et Melvil Poupaud tournent le remake de The Fall pour TF1" (in French). Télé Star. Retrieved 27 August 2016.

External links[edit]