Could Northern Ireland host the next Hollywood?

From The Fall to Game of Thrones, the TV industry's big-hitters are moving in

Share

I have had quite a response to my column last week about the little things that irritate me about modern life, and what struck a particular chord was my rant about the fashion in TV these days for ending an episode of a drama series with a preview of the following week.

It is, I believe, another tiny example of how, as a society, we are encouraged away from reflection and led towards instant gratification. No point in living in the here and now: there's another excitement just around the corner. What with Twitter and all the other blandishments of the digital world, it's hard enough to live in the moment as it is. A little thing, I know, but representative of a wider malaise.

I had another attack of trailer rage at the conclusion of this week's instalment of the BBC2 drama The Fall, a taut drama about a serial killer in Belfast. I hadn't had time to consider the impact of what I had just seen, or process the shocking denoument of the episode, before we were on to next week. Please give us a moment to digest this three-course thriller, replete with murder, intrigue and suspense.

The Fall is possibly the best home-grown piece of work on television for some time. I know we are in something of a golden era of British TV drama, but there is a particular texture to this series which sets it apart. The acting is magnificent: Gillian Anderson, who in her role as the glacial detective leading the hunt for the serial killer is every bit as convincing as she was in her award-winning portrayal of Lady Dedlock in Bleak House. The direction, too, is handled with Hitchcockian precision and economy by the Belgian Jakob Verbruggen.

And while it may not have quite the narcotic quality of Broadchurch or the mass appeal of Downton Abbey, it has an otherness, an atmosphere of implicit threat, that makes it a quite singular work. It is certainly not easy on the eye, and the warning prior to the show that there are scenes which viewers might find disturbing is, for once, on the money. There are times during The Fall when you can't watch, but you can't take your eyes away either. Belfast is more than a backdrop, too. It's a character in its own right, providing an edginess, a darkness and a complexity that is weaved into the plot.

The Fall is another example of the growing strength of Northern Ireland's burgeoning film industry. The province now has the infrastructure and the financial advantages to attract the global big hitters from the entertainment world: the massively successful TV series Game of Thrones is made there, and this week Universal announced that their new Dracula movie will be filmed at various locations throughout the country.  Who'd have thought it? Northern Ireland already has its own Holywood, but will it become the new Hollywood?

That may be too much to ask, but for the time being we should revel in The Fall, an utterly compelling drama which, as well as giving the city of Belfast a leading role, has ensured a run on bookings for room 203 at the Hilton Hotel. 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If children with guns are safer than their unarmed peers, then Somalia must be the safest place in the world to grow up

Mark Steel
Theresa May  

Democracy and the police: a system in crisis

Nigel Morris
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone