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: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there