Revealing the killer from the outset is a familiar tactic. Less commonplace is introducing the eerie precision and method of said killer, Paul Spector (a diligent, unshowy performance from relative newcomer Jamie Dornan), then placing him in the context of a secure job (marriage counsellor) and a loving family complete with two kids.
It’s one of a number of touches that make new five-parter ‘The Fall’ so disconcerting. The Belfast setting is another – with the legacy of the Troubles hinted at but never made explicit – and the slightly chilly otherness Gillian Anderson brings to DSI Stella Gibson, the Met officer embroiled in manhunts past and present, completes the package.
Beautifully paced, well sustained and shot half like a dream, half like a nightmare, ‘The Fall’ rides out its more exploitative elements to set up a truly absorbing next few weeks of cat and mouse.