As Jamie Dornan lies motionless in the back of an ambulance before a violent round of fitting, you can't help but feel sorry for him. Whether it's his handsome looks, devilish charm or simply the fact you want to see his character brought to justice through the courts and official channels, you're willing him to pull through and survive.

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

Of course, it isn't Dornan's actual life that hangs in the balance, but that of fictional serial killer Paul Spector. It's odd, but really as a viewer, the life you're most invested in is his, despite Detective Anderson and Spector's latest victim, Rose Stagg also on the cusp of death.

These feelings are mirrored through Stella Gibson - played spectacularly by Gillian Anderson. Her first thought was to follow Spector to Belfast General Hospital, with Tom Anderson and Rose Stagg simply an afterthought. Her judgement immediately following the shooting that injured both Spector and Anderson is questioned a little later on in the episode, and you can't help but think you're being probed for answers as to your fascination with Spector alongside Gibson.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Spector's attractiveness is something that has pushed viewers into a sense of unease ever since The Fall's first series. We're not used to seeing handsome serial killers in dramas and thrillers of this sort. Usually they're the stereotypical slimy characters who you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley - but could we say the same about Spector? Maybe after seeing what he gets up to after dark…

Through its first hour and return to the small screen, The Fall kicks off with some high stakes, but quickly falls into territory that's dangerously close to feeling like the show is being drawn out simply to fill time and deliver all six new episodes. After watching this first episode, I do think The Fall may have been better coming back for a third, shorter series. Perhaps four episodes that tied up the tale of the Belfast Strangler.

One aspect of the show I'm really looking forward to seeing develop however is that of the family dynamic of the Spectors, and exactly how Sally Ann will deal with her two children now that their father has admitted to being a serial killer.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Then there's the horrifically annoying Katie Benedetto, played by Aisling Franciosi. She's the teenager obsessed with Spector, utterly in love and besotted with the man despite knowing what he really is, and as a viewer, I have no trouble in believing she would be willing to throw her life away to help keep Paul out of prison if he does make it through his stay at the hospital alive.

There's no denying that The Fall is an incredible series that really knows how to nail down a character study and keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

The Fall returns tonight (September 29) at 9pm on BBC Two.


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