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

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Wilbur, the pig who thinks he's a dog (Dom Joly)  

My hilarious pet pig Wilbur is more popular than I am — so I'll let him bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Amazon's new 'payment by the page' policy will just result in longer but likely worse literature

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'