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The Fall: Critics give their verdict on Jamie Dornan's return as serial killer

Don't worry no spoilers here

By Claire Williamson

Published 29/09/2016

Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall series 3. Pic: @TheFallTV
Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall series 3. Pic: @TheFallTV
HUNTING SEASON: Gillian Anderson as DSI Stella Gibson and Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector in The Fall
Gillian Anderson returns as DSI Stella Gibson in the third series of The Fall
Jamie Dornan in The Fall
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)
The Fall stars Gillian Anderson (DSI Stella Gibson) and Jamie Dornan, who portrays serial killer Paul Spector
Jamie Dornan in The Fall series 3. Pic: BBC

UK fans of The Fall are counting down the hours until its return tonight- but what have the critics made of it following its premiere on RTE in the Republic?

There are just hours before Northern Ireland fans find out the fate of Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) who lay shot in the arms of detective Stella Gibson in the excruciating cliff-hanger end of series two.

And those in the Republic already know what happened.

But did the critics think it was worth the wait?

The Irish Independent billed it a "high stakes opener" before launching a scathing attack on its pace.

Its critic Pat Stacey said: "If you thought the previous season of The Fall was on the slow side, last night’s episode barely stirred at all. I’ve seen clouds on a perfectly calm summer’s day move faster."

"Between the spurts of sparse dialogue, dragged-out shots of dimly-lit rooms and corridors (a regrettable legacy of Scandi noir), and long periods of staring into space, there was enough padding here to insulate an attic."

It didn't hold back any punches when it said It would probably have been better if the programme had wound up at "the end of what was a mostly gripping first season".

Meanwhile, The Irish Times was more positive but stressing that the opening scenes are not for the squeamish with some "grisly twists".

Reviewer Kevin Courtney said: "A great opening, not for the faint-hearted, but hopefully setting the scene for a riveting endgame."

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)

Entertainment.ie said the return almost "flatlined" praising the high drama of the opening scenes but criticising the lack of progression of the story.

It said: "Overall the episode seemed to linger far too long on details that nobody really cared about and it didn't feel like it gave us any progression to the narrative whatsoever."

But you can make your own mind up on Thursday when it returns to UK screens at 9pm.

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

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The Fall: 'Stella's so at ease with who she is as a woman, there are lots of things I like about her... I wish I was her'

In the final moments of series two the last words heard were Gibson desperately shouting "we're losing him" while Spector appeared to lose consciousness.

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.

Speaking previously about series three, Dornan said: "You can expect the unexpected. There's quite remarkable turns in the third season that I really genuinely think people won't see coming that are hugely exciting."

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