'The Fall' Series 2 found heroine and villain far away from each other once more, following their tantalising brush with each other at the end of Series 1 - serial killer Paul Spector licking his wounds in Scotland, and detective Stella Gibson rolling her silk sleeves up for more work in Belfast.
Off screen, there's been a big shift in the star wattage of these two, with Jamie Dornan propelled into A-list spotlights by a certain big screen casting, and he certainly proves his chops again, sending chills as he chats amiably with a girl on a train - with a picture of him on the newspaper right there between them. Don't show him your driving licence - too late!
Stella Gibson is back on duty in 'The Fall'
On screen, though, it's immediately clear that this is as balanced a two-hander as before, with Gillian Anderson matching him move for move. Stella Gibson is as cool as ever in her blouse and heels - tireless in her often solitary crusade, and surprisingly sensitive in her interaction with victims. She's clearly the only match for Spector and his gruesome desires.
Writer Alan Cubitt has stoutly defended himself from criticisms of misogyny in the first series. Nevertheless, it's clear from this first episode of Series 2 that Cubitt, now on directing duty as well, has opted for smaller body count, bigger examination into the complex motivations of both Spector and Gibson, and the effect on Spector's surviving victims, even his wife, currently convinced she's only got the problem of an unfaithful spouse on her hands.
Paul Spector is more dangerous than before, now the hunt is on for him
Allowing this depth is a slower pace, a closer gaze on the minutiae of a scene, from a victim squeezing her panic band to Spector's meticulous letter to his daughter, borrowing quite a bit of mood and tone from the Danish thrillers we've adopted. This, plus the pondering music, the dark, slow camera angles of every scene, and dialogue full of silence between the speech, means we're in for a winding, frightening six weeks.
And here's the viewers' vibe in a nutshell...
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