An odd one this – and all the better for it. It’s hard to place Gillian Anderson’s DSI Stella Gibson in the canon of TV cops, but it’s probably fair to call ‘The Fall’ post-Scandinavian. There’s a touch of Sarah Lund in her un-clubbability and single-mindedness, and a little Saga Norén in her taste for commitment-free, even affection-free sex. The whole thing also feels nicely unadorned, with no incidental music and hardly any characterising exposition.
If there’s a flaw, it’s that Jamie Dornan’s character, the killer Paul, seems simply too handsome, likeable and generally functional for his somewhat outré treatment of women to feel all that credible. Tonight, Paul strikes again, fitting another brutal killing into his routine of work, parents’ evenings and generally being a great father and husband. Elsewhere, Stella is learning about the gangsterism, corruption and residual violence that still pervades Belfast. Gripping stuff.
Union Street Café
Tabloid screamers inform us that 10,000 bookings were made before the restaurant even opened; and that it’s now ‘fully booked’ for dinner until the end of 2013. With this hysterical level of interest you’d expect Gordon Ramsay to be boiling your ravioli in the open kitchen, while David Beckham waits your table and hand-writes your bill. But the Beckham connection turned out to be a false, but oft-repeated rumour – he has no involvement in the restaurant – and as for Ramsay, well he wasn’t stirring risotto or even glad-handing on my visit. Ramsay’s stretching himself thinner than carpaccio across his hectic media career and expanding business interests. But his company – Gordon Ramsay Holdings, which runs 25 restaurants from the US to Middle East – has at last got the Union Street Café off the subs’ bench and onto the pitch. This is after two years of nearly dropping the ball, and a lot of ‘will-they, won’t-they open?’ speculation. You might wonder what the fuss is about when you enter the dining room at this middle-of-nowhere Southwark site (though the tube is mercifully close). The design’s a mish-mash of styles with bar concrete ceilings and exposed ugly wiring, but with parquet flooring and expensive leather seats. Turquoise banquettes are reflected in an battery of convex mirrors which looked more Russell Brand than Russell Sage Studios. The staff, however, are big smilers – not the we’re-paid-to-rictus-smile sort, but the the sort that comes from genuine interest and e