Thursday, 27 November 2014

Life on Mars — Killer TV No.36

BBC, 2006-2007

‘A word in your shell-like… Don’t ever waltz into my kingdom playing king of the jungle.’
– DCI Gene Hunt
‘Who the hell are you?’ – DI Sam Tyler
‘Gene Hunt, your DCI, and it’s 1973, almost dinner time, and I’m having hoops.’ – DCI Gene Hunt

John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews

Identikit: A detective has an accident and is plunged 33 years back in time to an era when policing was more ‘robust’.

logos

High-concept crime drama – time-travel being the concept – that won a following through its freshness and cheekyness, principally in the character of Gene Hunt, the 1970s cop with unenlightened views on everything from women to coppering. Played with gusto by Philip Glenister, this throwback to 70s shows such as The Sweeney was the show's star, making a straight man out of John Simm's Sam Tyler, the contemporary cop pitched back in time. Sam, circa 2006, is distracted when his girlfriend, also a detective with Greater Manchester Police, is abducted by a killer. While David Bowie’s Life on Mars plays on his iPod, he is hit by a car – and wakes up in flares and butterfly collars on his shirt, with Life on Mars again playing, this time on an 8-track tape in his new car, a 1970s Rover P6. ‘I need my mobile,’ he tells the PC who finds him. ‘Mobile what?’ Plod responds. And so Sam finds himself part of Gene Hunt’s team, investigating a killer who may be related to the killer who has abducted his girlfriend in 2006. The first series is great fun, with Sam struggling with voices coming from his telly, apparently from a doctor treating him while he is in a coma in 2006, dealing with Hunt’s instinctual approach to crime solving – 'Anything you say will be taken down, ripped up and shoved down your scrawny little throat until you've choked to death’ – and trying to find his way back to the present day. The culture clash between Sam, used to do everything according to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and bullying, bigoted, boozing Gene was beautifully written and played. The series – created by Tony Jordan, Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharaoh – juggled its crime plots and Sam’s story well, but is best-remembered for the chance it offered to chortle at the good old/bad old days when women were ‘birds’, offices were thick with fag smoke and fingerprints took two weeks to process. Forgotten how we used to booze heavily at work? Gene reminded us – ‘I’ve got to get down the pub and give the papers a statement, and if I don’t get a move on, they’ll all be half cut.’ Two series of Life on Mars were followed by three further series of 80s-set Ashes to Ashes, with the focus on Keeley Hawes's Alex Drake, but the retro-novelty and humour deflated during this run. Still, inspired mergings of the crime and sci-fi genres are rare, particularly ones with characters as memorable as Gene Hunt – 'What I call a dream involves Diana Doors and a bottle of chip oil.’ It won an International Emmy for best drama in 2006 and 2008.

Classic episode: The finale of the first series was emotional and clever, with Sam coming across his parents in 1973 and trying to prevent his father, Vic, from running away, which he thinks will enable him to emerge from his coma. Gene reveals that Vic is a ruthless gangster, and Sam’s flashbacks through the series are revealed to be memories of his younger self that he only now remembers.

Watercooler fact: Life on Mars was remade in America, lasting one season; in Spain, where it was called The Girl from Yesterday; and Russia, which gave it the title The Dark Side of the Moon.

More of the Killer 50


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Sherlock 4 – new picture

Dr John Watson (MARTIN FREEMAN), Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH)

THE BEEB has just released this shot of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as they will appear in the next Sherlock special. Are they in fancy dress? Have they stepped back in time? Here are some Twitter tags if you want join in the speculation – #221back #sherlock #notkidding
 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

New TV Crime Dramas 2015

THIS IS the fifth time I have previewed forthcoming crime dramas for the year ahead, and it must be the most exciting yet. The BBC, ITV, C4 and BSkyB have commissioned a fantastic range of genuinely exciting new dramas with terrific actors – from thrillers such as Safe House with Christopher Eccleston and the character-driven series The Trials of Jimmy Rose with Ray Winstone, to outlandish grippers like The Chronicles of Frankenstein with Sean Bean.

In addition, some brilliant dramas will be back – Broadchurch included, while old faves Vera, Endeavour, Foyle's War and DCI Banks have also lined up new mysteries.

Let the crimewave begin…


Stanley Tucci, Sofie Gråbøl and Christopher Eccleston in Fortitude

Fortitude, Sky Atlantic

Sofie Gråbøl, Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Richard Dormer, Christopher Eccleston, Luke Treadaway, Jessica Raine
Here's a major new drama from Sky Atlantic that has plenty of wow factor. A blockbuster cast, an amazing setting and a compelling crime premise. A town like nowhere else, Fortitude is
surrounded by the savage beauty of the Arctic landscape in the northernmost part of Norway, and there has never been a violent crime here. Until now. When a prominent member of the community is
brutally murdered, Sheriff Dan Anderssen (Richard Dormer) leads the investigation, but is disturbed by the arrival of a detective from London, Eugene Morton (Stanley Tucci), who is also there to conduct inquiries into the death. The town’s governor, Hildur Odegard (Sofie Gråbøl), meanwhile, tries to protect her tourism plans from being disrupted by the horror that has taken
place… From Simon Donald, creator of the gritty Low Winter SunJanuary 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

Code of a Killer ITV

David Threlfall, John Simm
Two top actors join what could be one of the most riveting true-life dramas of the year. Code of a Killer is based on the extraordinary true story of Alec Jeffreys’ discovery of DNA fingerprinting and its first use by Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker in catching a double murderer. David Threlfall plays David Baker, who between 1983 and 1987 headed the investigation into the murders of two Leicestershire schoolgirls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth. Only a few miles away, Dr Alec Jeffreys, played by John Simm, was a scientist at Leicester University who, in September 1984, invented a remarkable technique to read each individual's unique DNA fingerprint. When a local teenager admitted to one of the murders but not the other, Baker asked Jeffreys to analyse the DNA evidence left at the crime scenes. Both men were shocked to discover that the teenager was innocent, his confession false. DCS Baker then took the brave step to launch the world’s first-ever DNA manhunt, testing more than 5000 local men to track down the killer. 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

The cast of Broadchurch 2 in rehearsal

Broadchurch, ITV

David Tennant, Oliva Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Arthur Darvill, Charlotte Rampling
The teaser trailers are already running on ITV. In the first, David Tennant's character says: 'There was a boy, and he was killed. I caught the killer. So why am I still here?' In the second, Oliva Colman asks another question: 'There was a boy, and he was killed. What happened then destroyed my family, my job, and my town. So what do I do now?' Somehow, David Tennant has managed to fit in filming a US version of this hugely talked-about drama while also making Broadchurch 2 for ITV. So, back to those questions. Just how will writer Chris Chibnall follow up the brilliant – and conclusive – first series? And what role will Charlotte Rampling play in proceedings? January 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

The Frankenstein Chronicles, ITV

Sean Bean
OK, I know Frankenstein is a horror yarn, but this six-parter gives it a new twist as a crime mystery. At its centre is Inspector John Marlott, played by Game of Thrones' Sean Bean, who goes on a terrifying journey in pursuit of… well, you can probably guess. Set in 1827 in London, it opens with Home Secretary Robert Peel recruiting Marlott. As he stands on the edge of the Thames contemplating the arrest of some opium smugglers, Marlott makes a shocking discovery.  The body of a dead child is washed up on the shore and on further examination of the corpse he is horrified to discover it’s not actually a child but rather a crude assembly of body parts arranged in a grotesque parody of a human form. Eeuggh! Filming begins in Northern Ireland in January.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

SS-GB, BBC1

So, after fading from the cultural landscape in recent years, the brilliant Len Deighton is back. The Brit, now 85, created Harry Palmer and wrote superb thrillers from the 1960s on. He is still writing some interesting books (most recently 2012's ebook James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for His Father). Now, the BBC is set to drag the master back into the limelight with this five-part dramatisation of one of his most audacious yarns. It is set in the 1940s and imagines a post-war world in which the Nazis have won the Battle of Britain and London is under German occupation. Archer is a Scotland Yard detective working under the SS and facing the dilemma of whether to collaborate or join the resistance. Written by the writers of the recent Daniel Craig Bond movies, Robert Wade and Neal Purvis, who say: 'Len Deighton’s SS-GB is a brilliant tale of espionage that dares to think the unthinkable, and we are very excited to be adapting it for television.' 2015

Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

Cuffs, BBC1

This certainly looks like being one of the major new cop series of 2015. Filling the distinctive boots of the regular weekday cop serial once worn by The Bill, this police show will go out every weekday evening at 8pm – BBC1's first new drama in this slot for more than eight years. Set in Brighton, it will focus on the relationships between uniforms and detectives, and how they all deal with an overstretched and under-resourced job. Written by Julie Gearey, who also wrote the excellent character-driven stories of Prisoners' Wives. She says: 'As a massive fan of cop shows, I’m thrilled to create a new ensemble police series for BBC1. Intimate and realistic, we’ll be right on the shoulders of our cops as we follow them into every corner of lives in which work pressures don't end at the station door.' 2015

Anticipation factor: ★★★★½

Bob Odenkirk returns as Saul Goodman

Better Call Saul, AMC

Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks
The much anticipated prequel to Breaking Bad, with Bob Odenkirk breathing fresh life into Saul Goodman, his slippery lawyer character from the landmark series. The good news is that Vince Gilligan, the showrunner behind BB, has developed the new show with Peter Gould. Gilligan has said: 'I like the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of a court of law. He'll settle on the courthouse steps, whatever it takes to stay out of the courtroom. That would be fun—I would like that.' Aaron Paul, who was brilliant as BB's Jesse Pinkman, has said he is in talks with Gilligan over some guest appearances. It hits the screen in the US on Sunday, 8 February, 2015. No news yet of its UK home. See the taster below…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


Black Work, ITV

Sheridan Smith, Matthew McNulty, Douglas Henshall, Geraldine James, Phil Davis
Sheridan Smith plays policewoman Jo Gillespie, whose world is thrown into turmoil when husband Ryan (Kenny Doughty), an undercover policeman, is shot dead in mysterious circumstances. She sets out to discover who murdered him and has to confront difficult truths about her family life and her marriage to Ryan. 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


The Last Panthers, Sky Atlantic

Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim, John Hurt
Another major new drama from Sky Atlantic – and another cracking cast. It's written by award-winning Jack Thorne, of Skins, Glue and This Is England renown, and will be directed by Johan Renck of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead fame. Phew! It opens with a daring diamond heist before delving into the dark heart of Europe where a shadowy alliance of gangsters and ‘banksters’ now rules. Samantha Morton is Naomi, a British loss adjustor charged with recovering the stolen diamonds whatever the cost. John Hurt portrays Tom, her nefarious boss. Also in pursuit is a French-Algerian policeman Khalil, played by Tahar Rahim, one of France’s most talented actors. 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


The Secret Agent, BBC1

A three-part adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel by Bafta-winning writer Tony Marchant, the man behind the excellent Garrow's Law. London, 1886. Unbeknown to his loyal wife Winnie, Soho shopkeeper Verloc works as a secret agent for the Russian government. Angry that Britain harbours violent anarchists, the Russians coerce Verloc into planting a bomb that will provoke the authorities into cracking down on these extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc reluctantly draws his own family into a tragic terror plot. Tony Marchant says: 'Conrad's depiction of 19th-century terrorists committed to the destruction of the West, with a suicide bomber in their midst, was not only prophetic but is undeniably contemporary and compelling. Equally it is a heartbreaking story of a family caught up in the political machinations of a world in ferment.' 2015

Anticipation factor: ★★★★


  • Fruity Reels Official Site Providing fans of UK pub-style fruit machines and slots with a comprehensive guide to their favourite games online. 


One of Us, BBC2

This four-part thriller is written by The Missing's Jack Williams and set in the Scottish Highlands.A horrific double murder rocks the lives of two families living side by side in rural Scotland. But instead of focusing on the investigation, One Of Us explores the fallout for the grieving relatives, and the dark consequences that threaten to shatter their lives… 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★½

Undercover (working title), BBC1

Political thriller about a woman who is about to become Britain's first black Director of Public Prosecutions. Just as she is about to enter the public spotlight, she discovers her husband has a secret side – is it an affair, or something more sinister? Writer Peter Moffat says: 'After immersing myself in WW1 and the 1920s in The Village I am relishing the prospect of returning to the contemporary British political landscape to look at where we stand and how we got here. Undercover is a thriller about identity, trust and the struggle to lead a morally principled personal and professional life, while working up close with the police, press, politicians and criminals who have so corrupted and damaged public life over the last 20 years.' 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★½


Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, Sky1

Ashley Jensen
A press officer turned detective and a killer quiche are at the heart of this Christmas crime fest. PR
Ashley Jensen turns sleuth
whizz Agatha moves from London to the Cotswolds to begin a new dream life. To immerse herself in local society she enters the annual quiche-making competition – only to end up the suspect in a murder investigation. Ashley Jensen explains: 'Agatha Raisin is a strong forthright, independent, driven, successful woman, who is both funny and flawed, a real woman of our time.  Determined to fulfil her lifelong dream and in doing so she discovers that all is not quite as rosy as she had anticipated. Undeterred she finds a new purpose in her life.' The two-hour film is based on the novel series by MC Beaton, creator of Hamish Macbeth. December 2014
Anticipation factor: ★★★½


Arthur & George ITV

Martin Clunes
Three-parter based on Julian Barnes' novel and focusing on a fascinating true series of events in the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Martin Clunes will play the celebrated novelist and physician who created the detective Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle recaptures his zest for life, following the death of wife, Louisa, by pursuing and challenging a notorious miscarriage of justice. It is the case of George Edalji, a solicitor and the son of Hampshire vicar the Reverend Shapurji Edalji and his wife, Charlotte. George has served seven years in Pentonville Prison for allegedly mutilating animals and sending threatening letters, a series of offences which have become known as The Great Wyrley Rippings. 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


Top of the Lake, BBC2

The first series, set in New Zealand and starring Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, did not create a huge stir when it went out in 2013, but there is no denying its quality or that it was an absorbing series and production. Well, Academy Award-winning director Jane Campion is returning – as writer – with a six-part follow-up, this time set in Sydney, Australia…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


London Spy, BBC2

Ben Wishaw
A five-part thriller created by novelist Tom Robb Smith, who wrote the superb hit novel Child 44 (which is being made into a movie for next year with Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman). This is about an innocent and young romantic drawn into the dangerous world of espionage.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


No Offence, C4

Joanna Scanlan, Alexandra Roach, Elaine Cassidy, Will Mellor
Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It, Getting On), Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady, Utopia) and Elaine Cassidy (The Paradise, Harper’s Island) star as the unorthodox crack team of cops at the heart of Paul Abbott’s new series – an outrageous police procedural series from the writer of Shameless and State of Play. Set in a crumbling police station on the wrong side of Manchester, it aims to shock, move and have audiences laughing. It's a seven-parter, with an additional extended opening episode. 2015
Anticipation factor: ★★★★

Continued…


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Vote for CrimeTimePreview!

CrimeTimePreview is in the running for a National UK Blog Award.

I've been covering crime TV dramas for more than four years, and have been delighted by the feedback and enthusiasm the site has received from many thousands of visitors.

The launch of CrimeTimePreview coincided with an explosion of crime and thriller serials on TV from around the world. One of the earliest posts I did was 10 Reasons Why The Killing Is the Best Thing on TV, which really hit a chord with viewers, receiving hundreds of comments.

So, Nordic noir had arrived and along with modern classics from the US, such as Breaking Bad and True Detective, helped to spark a revival in UK crime dramas too. Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Sherlock and The Fall have all been hugely popular and raised the standard of British TV drama.

Anyway, to progress in this year's Awards, we need your votes. We'd appreciate if you could just take a moment to CLICK HERE above and vote for us.

Many thanks for your support – and happy viewing!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Babylon, C4, James Nesbitt, Brit Marling PREVIEW


Rating: ★★★½

Channel 4: starts Thursday, 13 November, 10pm

Story: Director of Communications Liz Garvey begins in earnest the job of trying to drag the police into the new media age. Meanwhile, it’s the job of Commissioner Richard Miller, Deputy Commissioner Charles Inglis and Assistant Commissioner Sharon Franklin to keep the force ticking over. 

FOLLOWING its well-received pilot episode back in February, Babylon is back on the beat for a six-part run of law and disorder.

It's firmly in the realm of the Beeb's nice little dig at the London Olympics in Twenty Twelve, poking fun at modern marketing speak and corporate arse-covering, rather than being a biting satire about the Metropolitan Police.

Let's face it, the Met, with its rap sheet of controversies over Stephen Lawrence, Tory Andrew Mitchell, the undercover surveillance, Hackgate and the rest, is hardly a laughing matter.

Brit Marling as Liz

So, Babylon – exec-produced by Danny Boyle – has fun with the media and management side of the
force, starting with American media guru Liz Garvey (Brit Marling) and the floundering honchos Commissioner Miller (James Nesbitt, a long way from Missing here), his deputy, Inglis (Paterson Joseph), and assistant Franklin (Nicola Walker).

And here is one of the strengths of the show – the cast are fun to watch, particularly Nicola Walker as the eye-rolling assistant commissioner, dealing with incompetence from above, below and from the private sector.

The opening episode sees her officers called in to help the private security firm running a young offenders institution when violence breaks out. Meanwhile, Paterson Joseph's deputy commissioner is busy trying to work out whether to tell the world the incident is a disturbance, a severe disturbance or a riot.

Video of Warwick shooting an unarmed assailant 

Writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong delight in showing us this world in which police high-flyers
are more concerned with appearances than getting things done.

Brit Marling is also a great spanner in the works as Liz, trying to get her boss Commissioner Miller to be a little less passive-aggressive in his dealings with the media, while also boring her female colleagues stupid in the wine bar after work by banging on about the Met's 'brand'.

The lower ranks also have to deal with her new ideas. Armed response office Warwick's nerves are shredded when she releases footage of him shooting an unarmed assailant in a show of openness from the Met – the public think we're all 'trigger-happy meatheads'.

Er, no comment.


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Elementary 3, Sky Living, with Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu PREVIEW

Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond), Watson (Lucy Liu) in Elementary: Enough Nemesis to Go Around
Three's a crowd? Holmes, Kitty and Watson. Pics: BSkyB
Rating: ★★★

Sky Living: starts Tuesday, 11 November, 9pm

Story: Sherlock tries to build bridges with Watson as he returns to New York with a new apprentice in tow. 

THEY SAID it would never work, that it was the Americans trying to copy the success of the Beeb's brilliant Sherlock, that 'Elementary, my dear Watson' was never said by the great sleuth in Conan Doyle's novels. But here Elementary is, back for a third series.

OK, it's not as witty or tricky or clever as Sherlock, but this modern-day transplant of the detective to New York is always good fun. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are inspired casting, and really make the odd-couple dynamic come alive. It always has just enough intrigue, eccentricity and humour to make it an amusing hour.

Part of the problem for the writers, however, is that they need to keep juggling the undercurrent of potential romance, because if Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson do ever fall into a clinch, it's show over. It'll be out of plot, or turn into McMillan & Wife.

Captain Gregson has a replacement for Holmes

They certainly are far away from any emotional entanglement in this series opener (of a 24-part run).
A frosty welcome for Sherlock
Their relationship is in tatters after their falling out over Sherlock's brother, Mycroft. Watson has left the Holmes's brownstone home while Holmes has been in London doing a few shifts for MI6.

Now he's back, looking a bit Forrest Gumpish with his buttoned-up shirt, sheepishly apologising to stony-faced Watson and trying to wheedle his way back into working for Captain Gregson.

Neither welcome the sleuth with open arms, particularly Watson, who now has her own spot on Gregson's team.

New face Kitty Winter

Fortunately, there is a devilishly tricky murder to sort out and Sherlock's nous could come in handy. It's a closed room mystery – or closed elevator mystery (with a suitably madcap solution) – involving the shooting of a detective and a key witness against arch criminal and guest star Gina Gershon.
Lucy Liu and Gina Gershon in Elementary
Watson confronts Allison March

Sherlock also has a new apprentice in tow, Brit gal Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond), who tangles with Watson when they come to blows in the street.

It is possible to detect a few clues to a thawing in the stand-off between Holmes and Watson by the end of the episode, but Kitty should stir the plot up nicely in coming weeks.

Cast: Jonny Lee Miller Sherlock Holmes, Lucy Liu Dr Joan Watson, Aidan Quinn Captain Tobias Gregson, Jon Michael Hill Detective Marcus Bell, Ophelia Lovibond Kitty, Raza Jaffrey Andrew, Gina Gershon Allison March


Monday, 10 November 2014

Stalker, Sky Living, with Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott PREVIEW

Stalker - Series 01.Gallery..Maggie Q as Detective Beth Davis and Dylan McDermott as Detective Jack Larsen...© Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
Dark side – stalker hunters Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott. Pics: BSkyB
Rating: ★★½

Sky Living: starts Monday, 10 November, 10pm

Story: Thriller about two damaged detectives out to catch stalkers in LA.

A DRAMA about stalking is potentially interesting, if disturbing. There are series about child abductions and serial killers that manage to be serious about the subject and the victims of these crimes, and that get the tone right

Stalker, a new series from CBS in the States, gets the tone and a lot else wrong. It's described as a 'psychological thriller', but it's too facile to scratch the surface of a complex crime.

It is written by Kevin Williamson, who has form when it comes to scenarios in which women are chased and murdered by masked men. He wrote Scream.


Stalker is in its own way voyeuristic

So, Stalker begins with a cheap shot – a masked man pouring petrol over a terrified woman and then setting light to her and her car, which explodes. The screams ring out.

In terms of the violence of the scene, this is nothing extraordinary in comparison to series such as, say, Breaking Bad or The Sopranos. But the context is depressing – the woman is not a character in any sense, just a terrorised victim whose gruesome end is used to hook viewers into the show.
Stalker - Season 01.Episode 01 "Pilot".Dylan McDermott as Detective Jack Larson, Maggie Q as Detective Beth Davis, Victor Rasuk as Detective Ben Caldwell, Mariana Klaveno as Detective Janice Lawrence..©2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
The team – detectives Caldwell, Larsen, Davis and Lawrence

Series such as The Killing and Broadchurch have recently raised television's game in telling stories that show the human devastation caused by such violent crimes, not using these moments for voyeuristic thrills.

Anyway, Maggie Q plays detective Beth Davis, head of an LAPD unit tasked with tracking down stalkers. Dylan McDermott is Jack Larsen, a homicide cop from New York, who is appointed to her unit. Continued…

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Fall 2, BBC2, with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan PREVIEW

The Fall - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  DSI Stella Gibson (GILLIAN ANDERSON), Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN)  - (C) The Fall 2 L
DSI Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). Pics: BBC
Rating: ★★★★½

BBC2: starts Thursday, 13 November, 9pm

Story: It has been ten days since Paul Spector told DSI Stella Gibson that she would never catch him. As Gibson tries in vain to help Spector’s surviving victim remember the identity of her attacker, Spector is forced to deal with the loose ends that he left behind in Belfast.

SERIES ONE of The Fall had its uncomfortable moments of violence against women and the brutal murder of a victim's brother in its final episode. The second series' opener again spends a lot of time in the spine-chilling company of serial killer Paul Spector, but the horror is kept at bay – for now at least.

Instead, we get closer to the characters. Things are not going too well for the arch fantasist and evil
manipulator Spector, played with pent-up menace again by Jamie Dornan.

He's now in Scotland, to where he fled with his wife and children after taunting DSI Stella Gibson at the end of the last series. However, his estranged wife, Sally, has returned to Belfast, and Annie Brawley, the dark-haired young accountant of his last thwarted attack in the Shankill, has given police a description of him.

Spector returns to Belfast

Gibson is also working hard to get a proper statement from Rose Stagg, the woman who was an early
Paul Spector (JAMIE DORNAN)  - (C) The Fall 2
Losing control? Spector
survivor of the killer's. Finally, there is the problem of Katie, the 15 -year-old family babysitter he got rough with.

When he returns to Belfast to tackle these blips in his well-ordered campaign of murder, Katie taunts him about the lock of hair that he kept, one of his trophies. She stirs trouble for Spector with his wife…

So, while initially steering away from the shocks and violence, writer/director Allan Cubitt opens up the second series by posing new problems and possibilities for Gibson and Spector. Continued…