In Review

The Fall: Can season three maintain the suspense?

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan return for TV's most disturbing serial killer thriller

Jamie Dornan in The Fall

The Fall series three to go to 'unexpected place'

2 September

Fiendishly creepy television thriller The Fall's third instalment is currently filming in Northern Ireland and is set to return to BBC Two soon – so what can fans expect?

Allan Cubitt's series depicts the macabre cat-and-mouse game between ice-cold cop Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), and model-handsome stalker-murderer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).

During the show's hiatus, Anderson starred in Fox's X-Files reboot while Dornan jumped to cinema screens for the adaptation of EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey.

Here's what we know about the upcoming series so far:

Returning cast

The second series ended with gangster Jimmy Tyler (Brian Milligan) shooting Spector several times - but clearly he has survived, as Fifty Shades Darker star Dornan has been filming the new series in Belfast in between his film commitments.

The BBC has also released a cryptic trailer which shows Gibson swimming as she recalls words spoken by the murderer in series two's final episode.

"I live at a level of intensity unknown to you and others of your type. You will never know the almost God-like power that I feel when that last bit of breath leaves a body. That feeling of complete possession," we hear Spector say.


Dornan has told BBC's The One Show: "I would play that character, as horrible as he is, I would play the character for the rest of my life if someone gave me the option.

"We're four and a half years into it now. They're like family to me now, you know, the crew. It's been the same crew for all three series."

Fans will be pleased to know that most of the characters are back for the third series - John Lynch returns as Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns and Valene Kane is back as attack-survivor Rose Stagg. DS Tom Anderson (Merlin star Colin Morgan) also seems to have survived one of Tyler's bullets.

However, Archie Panjabi, who played pathologist – and Gibson's potential love interest - Reed Smith, is missing from the line-up. The actress was forced to pull out because of schedule conflicts. 

New faces

Details about new cast members are still sketchy, but those who have been confirmed include Ruth Bradley (Humans), Richard Coyle (Crossbones), Aidan McArdle (Mr Selfridge), Aisling Bea (Trollied) and Krister Henriksson (from the original Swedish production of Wallander).

The story

While series two ended with Spector riddled with bullets and bound in handcuffs, it seems Gibson won't be able to wrap this case up neatly.

Plot details have been kept to a minimum, but the BBC says the series will begin with the "emotionally charged aftermath of the shooting" and Gibson's attempts to exact justice for the victims' families by fighting to keep Spector alive.

The five one-hour episodes will see the "macabre, obsessive dance of death" between the central duo intensify and the story of the investigation become "more complex and intricate".

One thing's for certain, there will be twists and turns aplenty.

"It goes in quite an unexpected place in series three, without giving too much away," Dornan said.

"I didn't even really see coming what the producer had planned for it."

Asked how much darker Spector will get, the actor said: "Well I guess there hasn't been the intention to try to do that, we haven't been trying to show him to be any darker."

This is also expected to be the final series. In a statement last year, Ben Stephenson, then BBC controller of drama commissioning, said that Cubitt had "known the end game from the beginning" and that the "cat and mouse game" still had "one last act to play out".

No air date has been released yet for the new series, but it is expected in the autumn.


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