Serial Killer Smorgasbord – 1st Course

Over the past few weeks my wife and I have been watching a couple of series that dealt with serial killers. (It’s one of those strange confluence of separate events that happen around the same time.)   In this first visit to the Serial Killer Buffet Table I’ll recount how are palettes responded to the presentation of two TV series.

One of the TV series represents the new model in TV viewing paradigm – instant access to all the episodes via Netflix to view at the viewer’s leisure.  That was the case for The Fall which was a short 5 episodes and to my mind qualifies to be defined as the old style miniseries.  The other series, Hannibal, was presented in the tried and true manner – broadcast on a weekly basis on a major television network, NBC.  With only 13 episodes Hannibal, instead of the normal 22 episode run, felt more like a cable TV show on two counts: the shorter season run and the graphic nature of the show.

Two new TV series with different viewing experiences. Which one worked better?  Today our first course is one where we look at:


The Fall – a BBC Ireland production starrring Gillian Anderson & Jamie Dornan

Release in several distribution methods – TV in the UK, Netflix in North America this was an interesting series on several fronts.  First up is Gillian Anderson – who did double duty this year appearing in Hannibal too – as a hard nosed, no nonsense Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson from the MET who is brought to Belfast to investigate the details of a murder case.

This is the first big role that Anderson has headlined since the X-Files and time has been very kind to her in the time span between the end of the TV series and movies.  She owns the role of the outsider as Stella Gibson – a pretty generic name – who knows what she wants professionally and personally.

The series is more or less split between her and Jamie Dornan – who plays Paul Spector, the serial killer Gibson is pursuing. Over the first season, Dorman has the juicier role as we see his dual life as a married man with 2 children.  His wife suspects something is up and Spector who seems cool and collected at the start of the series quickly unravels as his compulsion causes him to become more and more reckless.

The pacing of the 5 episodes quickly caused my wife and I to perk up because it quickly became apparent the show was not going to resolve the duel between the two main characters unless the writers pulled a fast one. Thankfully they did not.

Close but no cigar is how the season can be summed up.  Gibson is thwarted but not down and the already announced second season will continue the chase in a new locale.  We both look forward to it.


Next, Hannibal tantalizes our taste buds.

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