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Ofcom to investigate graphic finale of The Fall where Jamie Dornan's Spector met his fate

By Claire Williamson

Published 21/11/2016

HUNTING SEASON: Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall
HUNTING SEASON: Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall
Jamie Dornan in The Fall
Jamie Dornan in The Fall series 3. Pic: BBC
Gillian Anderson
Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall series 3. Pic: @TheFallTV
The Fall stars Gillian Anderson (DSI Stella Gibson) and Jamie Dornan, who portrays serial killer Paul Spector
Gillian Anderson
Actress Seainin Brennan with Jamie Dornan in The Fall
Role play: Jamie Dornan has admitted he stalked a woman on the underground for his part in The Fall, alongside Gillian Anderson
Murderer Paul Spector played by Jamie Dornan
Bronagh Waugh with Jamie Dornan in The Fall
Jamie Dornan plays serial killer Paul Spector
Jamie Dornan in The Fall
The Fall
Jamie Dornan reprising his role as serial killer Paul Spector
Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson in The Fall series 3. Pic: @TheFallTV
Gillian Anderson in Belfast-made, BBC2 crime thriller The Fall
The Fall - ACC Jim Burns (John Lynch
Double trouble: John Lynch has loved working with Gillian Anderson in The Fall
Arresting role: Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson in The Fall
Arresting performance: John Lynch's character in The Fall, Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns, has unfinished business with DSI Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson
Double trouble: John Lynch has loved working with Gillian Anderson in The Fall
Gillian Anderson playing DSI Stella Gibson in The Fall (BBC/PA)
Gillian Anderson in Belfast-made, BBC2 crime thriller The Fall
The Fall's DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and the serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)
Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall
The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and DSI Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and his wife Sally Ann (Bronagh Waugh) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and Liz Tyler (Seanin Brennan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
The serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) - (C) Artists Studio - Photographer: Steffan Hill
Jamie Dornan - a big hit as psycho killer in The Fall
Tense: Jamie Dornan as the serial killer Paul Spector, and Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson in scenes from BBC thriller The Fall
Tense: Jamie Dornan as the serial killer Paul Spector, and Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson in scenes from BBC thriller The Fall
Jamie Dornan
Jamie Dornan in The Fall

The Fall series finale which saw Jamie Dornan's serial killer character Paul Spector die in a graphic suicide sequence is being investigated by regulator Ofcom.

In a double bill special the hit BBC crime drama came to a dramatic and violent end last month.

The show starred Holywood's Jamie Dornan as serial killer Spector and X-Files FBI agent Gillian Anderson as tough-talking detective Gibson.

Gibson, seconded to Belfast from the Metropolitan Police, is tasked to sniff out serial killer Spector who stalks the city streets for his female prey.

The third series had been criticised for being slow paced but Dornan had promised viewers they could "expect the unexpected".

In the final episode their cat and mouse game came to a violent and unexpected head with Dornan's character attacking the detective leaving her with a bloodied face.

But it was the unsettling climax to the series which has prompted an investigation into the lengthy depiction of suicide through asphyxiation.

A spokesman for Ofcom said "We're investigating whether the depiction of suicide in this programme complied with our rules."

However at the time the BBC defended the finale which left viewers stunned with the graphically-violent end.

It said in a statement: "The Fall is an established dra­ma in its third series, and there­fore the protagonist Paul Spector is well known to the audience as a violent and misogynistic serial killer - a character with whom few, if anyone, would identify.

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan take part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan take part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Jamie Dornan attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
(Left to right) Jamie Dornan, Gillian Anderson and Allan Cubitt attend a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Valene Kane attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
(Left to right) Aisling Franciosi, Valene Kane and Aisling Bea attend a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Gillian Anderson attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Aisling Bea attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Jamie Dornan (left) and Gillian Anderson attend a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Aisling Franciosi attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Allen Cubitt attends a screening of the third series of BBC Two drama The Fall, at the BFI in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson attends the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson attends the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan take part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson attend the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan take part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Jamie Dornan takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson attend the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson attends the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson attend the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Allan Cubitt takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Jamie Dornan takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Gillian Anderson takes part in Q&A following the screening of BBC Two drama 'The Fall' to launch series three at BFI Southbank on September 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

"The scenes are in keeping with previous episodes and the overall narrative of the series. In accordance with editorial guide­lines, it transmitted in a post-wa­tershed BBC Two slot and there was a warning prior to broadcast that the drama contains strong and violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting.

"Pro­duction rigorously followed and complied with BBC editorial poli­cy guidelines throughout."

The programme received two complaints over the finale episode and one for the penultimate episode.

Holywood actor Dornan owes a lot to the character and previously said he would play the sinister role until his "dying days" if he could.

He said: "You know, that job changed my life.

"They're like family to me and I'm forever grateful for it to be a part of my life and, you know, I would play that character to my dying days if I had the opportunity."

It's not the first time the programme has drawn criticism as in September series creator Allan Cubitt faced accusations that The Fall glamorised violence against women.

"It was something I had to talk to my daughter about, who has counselled me very well," he said.

"I can't say I've never made any errors or couldn't have done something better or something different, but I know myself and I know these guys and I know what we're all about and that's just an absurd comment."

Online Editors

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