The Fall (2013)

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Released 20-Nov-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Drama Series Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Fall: Behind the Scenes (12.02)
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 265:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jakob Verbruggen
Allan Cubitt

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Former X Files detective Gillian Anderson has certainly spent a good part of her career as a tenacious investigator on the trial of dangerous killers (human or alien). This time, in the British TV series The Fall, Anderson finds herself back in Ireland (after playing a superintendent in the recent Shadow Dancer). She is Detective Supt Gibson who is brought in on secondment to review a high profile murder case. Such is the skill of the killer the police have no leads and the pressure is mounting to achieve a result.

It doesn't take a long time after arriving in Belfast and reviewing the evidence before Gibson works out that this murder is the work of a serial killer. The last thing that her superior (played by a harried John Lynch) wants is the murder linked to other killings, bringing down greater embarrassment on his seemingly incompetent department.

This is no whodunit. From the first moment we know that Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan-soon to be the lead in 50 Shades of Grey) is the murderer. He is a grief counselor working with the bereaved and living in a normal life with his wife and children, yet at the same time planning is murders. Paul is no Hannibal Lector. He is a university educated man however is able to carry out his devious plots through careful preparation rather than pure ingenuity. The question then becomes whether Gibson can stop the killer before he strikes again.

As the lead investigator Anderson is a woman of steel reserve but also debatable personal decision making. When admitting to Lynch, with whom she has a "history", that she had a one night stand with an officer who becomes embroiled in a situation she defends her conduct to him and internal affairs as a normal sexual appetite and any query to the contrary reflecting entrenched attitudes to women that they can't be the aggressor. All well and good - but in the middle of an investigation?

As her right hand woman Gibson chooses PC Ferrington (Niamh McGrady) a woman wracked with guilt after their attendance at a strange burglary is the unwitting precursor to the killer's next victim. They fail to see anything in the robbery and realise too late that it is part of the planning work of the killer.

The Fall is a five-part British series with each episode running close to an hour. It has all the hallmarks of a standard police procedural. There is the clever killer and the equally tenacious detective locked in a battle of wills. However, the interesting thing about this tense series is that whilst it does contain all the standard tropes of the killer versus the detective it manages to subvert the clichés and present something that is often quite new.

The series is not for everyone. Those who like their psychological "catch the killer" series to have precise plot machinations will find this series frustrating. Strong leads often peter out into nothingness. There is a detailed subplot about police corruption and possible IRA murder that develops and then slinks away. Some will find the resolution entirely unsatisfying.

If it is any consolation a second series of The Fall is due to begin shooting early in 2014. For now enjoy this series for the clever script, its well directed tense drama and performances of Anderson, Lynch and others including the "soon to be a star" Dornan as the evil killer.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


The Fall comes to DVD in a 1.78:1 transfer consistent with its original television widescreen release. It is 16x9 enhanced.

The series is shot in and around Belfast with some stark interiors complemented by the drab green police station environment, as well as the night scenes on the streets as Paul hunts his prey. Colours are strong and stable.The series was shot on high definition digital video and looks good throughout.

The image quality is crisp and the all-important blacks are inky and clearly rendered throughout.

The flesh tones are accurate.

There are subtitles in English for the hard of hearing.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The Fall contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack running at 224 Kb/s.

This is probably consistent with the original television production and is adequate for the series.

The dialogue is clearly rendered. There are only a few moments, solely due to the thick Northern Ireland accents, where the dialogue was difficult to hear.

Music is credited to David Holmes and Keefus Cianca and is well-suited to the series including the memorable piano theme.

There are no problems with the sound transfer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Featurette-Behind The Scenes

There is only one extra with the DVD being a brief Making Of featurette It contains interviews with the key cast and crew including Anderson and director Jakob Verbruggen as well as writer and creator Alan Cubit. It is interesting though its runtime includes a lot of snippets from the show.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

 This is an All Region DVD.Buy Local.



The Fall is an intriguing study in duality between a killer and the dedicated police officer trying to hunt him down. It is well acted and directed and will keep you on each it's your seat even if the conclusion somewhat falls away. The DVD is of good quality both in sound and vision terms.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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