Sunday, 1 February 2015

Blu-ray Review: The Fall Series 2

Proof positive that satellite television does not have all the best small-screen drama, 'The Fall' has built up a loyal, attentive audience during its successful run on BBC2.
The second series takes up the story some 12 days on in a harrowing investigation, as Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) attempts to discover the identity and whereabouts of a serial killer.
Gibson was brought in by the Met police to investigate the murder of one Alice Munroe, and believes the killer is on a cycle, with a cooling-off period followed by the re-emergence of perverted fantasies.
The killer, Paul Spector (played by Jamie Dornan)is already known to viewers as the man responsible for some truly appalling murders, which provides a break from more traditional who is the killer' fare.

Gibson, by turn ice cold and highly emotionally strung, attempts to unlock her target and his surviving victim, slowly building towards an unforgettable encounter, but at what cost to herself? Spector, with the police and an enraged local 'heavy' on his tail, stills finds time to infiltrate Gibson's mind with callous opportunism, privy to her most private fears and desires via a most personal diary which is devoured during a tense scene at the detective's hotel.
With a hero-worshipping underage girl in tow, Spector makes for a particularly loathsome individual, believing he has the right to destroy happiness in others, and even persuades his 'avid fan' to turn against her best school friend.

Childhood psychological scars are shared by Gibson and Spector, resulting in a battle between two strong individuals, with standout performances from the two leads, and reminiscent of the Starling/Lektor relationship years earlier.
The supporting cast are all excellent, with special mentions for Aisling Franciosi as schoolgirl Katie Benedetto' Bronagh Waugh as Sally Ann Spector and John Lynch as Jim Burns who truly has a haunted look and for good reason.

Allan Cubbitt, director, writer and creator of this enthralling series wanted to push cast and viewers as fas as he could, and this challenging drama builds momentum through five 59 minute episodes and an 89 minute conclusion where the final frames speak volumes about the link between good and pure evil. This series is certainly not for the faint-hearted: check out the truly chilling videocast where a terrified hostage pleads for her life, which enters the realms of a convincing and hugely upsetting documenatary.
Here's hoping Stella Gibson returns to our screens in the not-too distant future. Her story remains unfinished business.

The Blu-ray presentation from RLJ Entertainment delivers a solid audio visual experience, with a fine transfer that will please viewers old and new.
The extras comprise a 'Behind The Scenes' featurette and a 'Deleted Scenes' section. The former runs for 11m 34s, with Anderson, Dornan and Cubbitt amongst the talking heads. Both main actors praise their director's qualities during the 16 week shoot, proclaiming they were not in the least surprised by the shows great success, and Anderson says the cre were one of the best she's worked with. High praise indeed. The expertise of DOP Ruain O'Brien is also discussed and he's on hand to explain his approach.
The deleted scenes section runs for 9m 24s, expanding on several scenes while adding a couple of hew, including a text message sent from Benedetto to her hero.
A highly recommended release that has great replay value.

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