News Column

Gillian defends the TV show branded 'the most repulsive drama ever made' ; EXCLUSIVE

June 18, 2013



THE star of hit Northern Ireland drama The Fall has defended the show branded "the most repulsive drama ever broadcast on British TV" after it was accused of trivialising violence against women. Gillian Anderson -- who plays DSI Stella Gibson -- denied the violence was gratuitous. She insisted it reflected reality.

The Fall drew criticism after shocking depictions of Belfast serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) delighting in sadistic humiliation and ritual murder of female victims.

One critic slammed the BBC for making "a serious error of judgment -- their worst mistake yet in a succession of flawed dramas that present violence against women as either trivial or erotic".

The Daily Mail's Christopher Stevens added: "This series is an invitation to share an extended rape fantasy."

Hannah Gilchrist of Red asked: "Is it time we cut back on the amount of murder and rape of women on TV?" Addressing the controversial issue for the first time, Ms Anderson -- currently filming a sci-fi movie in Northern Ireland -- asked if the subject of violence against women should not be explored in the edgy drama simply because it was uncomfortable.

"The fact is this stuff does happen.

Whenever violence happens against women it''s abominable. There are people out there who do heinous things to other human beings," she said. "On the one hand, we are voyeurs in that we are watching it happen, but should we not explore or expose any of these things that do actually happen in the world because we are afraid of them?" The former X Files actress also defended The Fall against accusations that it is unnecessarily brutal, or glorifies the killer -- a caring family man by day, but a depraved stalker by night.

"One of the biggest things is that you''re not just seeing people randomly killed. We''re giving people an insight into the lives of the victims, which you don''t often see," added Anderson.

"You actually get to care about these women that are being brutally killed, and in so doing you realise that they are human beings. There''s a human being behind that character, that mug- shot."

Anderson, whose ice cold depiction of DSI Gibson has won plaudits, argued that reactions were heightened because of how The Fall's characters drew its audience in -- unlike action films with countless deaths, but where viewers don't care. "I feel like the programme is having a bigger impact on people because they feel like they are a part of it, and are intimately involved in the process -- not in a gratuitous way at all," she said.

quotes "We''re so numbed to violence these days; you see it in every other film and television programme, with explosions and thousands of people getting killed at once whilst the viewer at home doesn''t even flinch. They''re absent from it all. With The Fall you get to see that there are real human beings involved here. There are babies being born, and then dying, and you get to see the whole big cycle of life."

Gillian Anderson, The Fall star

Originally published by BY EDWIN GILSON.

(c) 2013 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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