Meet the cast of The Fall series three

Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson are back - but who's joining them as the hit BBC drama returns for a third season? And where have we left the characters?

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Here is your guide to all the cast and characters of The Fall series three.

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Paul Spector (played by Jamie Dornan)

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Yes, he’s alive. But only just. The new series finds Jamie Dornan’s serial killer clinging to life after being gunned down by jealous loyalist James Tyler at the close of series two.

Jamie Dornan’s handsome psychopath is an unusual representation of a serial killer. Not the monstrous outcast we’ve been conditioned to expect, on the surface Spector is gentle and intelligent, working as a grief counsellor and a caring father to his two young children. But as we’ve come to learn over the course of this series, beneath that charming veneer lurks a vicious, calculating killer. One who meticulously plans his attacks on successful young women and has played a grisly game of cat and mouse with Stella that may finally come to a head this series.

The first episode of series three sees Spector trapped in some sort of internal purgatory as he drives through a dark tunnel in his beat-up Volvo, racing toward a bright light (not the most subtle metaphor, it has to be said). Back in the world of the living, a team of medics engage in a blood soaked battle to keep him alive so he can finally face justice for his crimes.

Where have I seen Jamie Dornan before?

As well as Spector, Jamie plays another charismatic man with a dark secret in the form of billionaire Christian Grey in E. L. James adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey, a role he will reprise in its two sequels. He’ll crop up next month in The Siege of Jadotville on Netflix before starring in The 9th Life of Louis Drax.

Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson)

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Icy, uncompromising, Gillian Anderson’s implacable detective arrived in Belfast charged with conducting a cold-eyed review of a murder investigation – only to become increasingly obsessed with the man-hunt for the elusive killer.

After two series of dedicating every atom to tracking down Dornan’s smooth psychopath, Stella finally had the chance to face the smirking monster – only for the opportunity for closure to be ripped away by that fateful shooting in the woods.

In the new series, Stella is under mounting pressure to close the case as the powers that be start to question her handling of the case. She also has to face some uncomfortable questions about her close attachment and affinity to Spector. “Why did you run to him?” DS Tom Anderson challenges her in the first episode. “You sounded anguished?” Will this be the series where Stella finally gets her man?


Where do I know Gillian Anderson from?

Gillian’s had a career spanning more than two decades – take your pick from The X-Files, Hannibal, War and Peace, and Great Expectations. She’ll be seen as modern god Media in a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Jim Burns (played by John Lynch)

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Stella’s boss in the PSNI who somehow always manages to make a difficult situation worse despite the best of intentions. He had an affair with Stella several years previously and, despite being married, clearly continues to hold a torch for her, culminating in his clumsy, drunken attempt to force himself on her last series.

After spending much of series two trying to extricate himself from a corruption scandal, Burns is once again scrambling to keep his job when he’s summoned to see the top brass to explain just how a notorious serial killer ended up bleeding out at a crime scene when he was supposed to be in police custody. He manages to buy himself and Stella some time by promising he can “manage” his irrepressible colleague. Good luck with that, Jim.

Where do I know him from?

John most recently appeared in BBC1’s One of Us, and has also cropped up in Merlin, Shetland and Silent Witness.

Sally Ann Spector (played by Branagh Waugh)

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It’s been a tough time for Sally Ann Spector. Initially unaware of her husband’s dark side, she inadvertently becomes embroiled in his crimes without realising. She even covers for Spector when the police first come calling, believing at the time that he is having an affair with their 15-year-old babysitter. It’s little wonder she’s taken her two children off to a remote farm to stay with her parents.

Now pregnant with their third child and horrifyingly aware of her husband’s true nature, Sally faces an uphill task to convince the police and those around her that she had no part in his crimes. Even more worrying, her daughter Olivia is becoming increasingly curious about her daddy’s absence and starts snooping through her laptop to find the truth.

Where do I know Branagh from?

She played Cheryl Brady on Hollyoaks for five years and will appear in horror series Channel Zero next year.

Katie Benedetto (played by Aisling Franciosi)

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Aisling’s impressionable teenager started out innocently enough. A 15-year-old schoolgirl and gifted musician who develops a little crush on the husband of the family she babysits for.

Fast forward three series and Katie couldn’t be more different. Now firmly ensnared in Spector’s life, she’s been left tied up in his hotel hotel room, broken into a house wearing a shirt which bares his mugshot, and disposed of evidence implicating him in the murders. That particular tangle with the law has left the Katie trapped with her mum under house arrest at the start of the new series. But when she learns of the attack on Spector she hatches a plan to break her bail and visit him in hospital.

Where do I know Aisling Franciosi from?

Since being cast in The Fall, Aisling has appeared in Vera, Legends and Game of Thrones, where she cameoed as Lyanna Stark (aka Jon Snow’s mum!)

DS Tom Anderson (played by Colin Morgan)

Joining the investigation in series two, Colin Morgan’s handsome detective is invited to join Stella’s team after impressing her with his police skills (not to mention his undeniable good looks). Groomed to look like Spector’s mirror image by Stella, Tom is tasked with arresting and interviewing Spector to become his friend. This strategy becomes even more uncomfortable when he embarks on a quick fling with Stella.

The first episode of series three finds Tom in a much darker place. Having been caught in the crossfire during Spector’s shooting, he suffers severe nerve damage to his arm and is left waiting to learn if he will ever be allowed to return to policing again.

Where do I know Colin Morgan from?

He played the title role in BBC’s family drama Merlin, of course, and has also appeared in Humans and The Living and the Dead.

Dr Joe O’Donnell (played by Richard Coyle)

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A new addition for series three, Richard Coyle’s charming doctor is tasked with overseeing Spector’s treatment when he is rushed to hospital at the start of episode one. But saving the life of a serial killer presents far more challenges than just blood transfusions and inserting breathing tubes. With some of the medics on his team reluctant to save a man with such scant disregard for human life, it falls to Joe to rally his team to do their duty so that Spector can live to face justice.


Where do I know Richard Coyle from?

He’s best known for playing Jeff in two series of Coupling, and has also appeared in Crossbones, Covert Affairs, and Strange. Coyle is also currently starring in Amazon’s period fashion drama The Collection.

Nurse Kiera Sheridan (played by Aisling Bea)

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A smart, successful, independent woman with dark hair? Nurse Kiera may want to keep her wits about her when caring for the unconscious Spector in his hospital bed.


Where do I know her from?

A successful actress, comedian and writer, Aisling has appeared in Trollied, the Edinburgh Fringe, and numerous panel shows, including 8 out of 10 Cats and Would I Lie to You.

Dr Larson (played by Krister Henriksson)

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Another new addition to series three, we know little about Krister Henriksson’s character Dr Larson – but the actor who plays him will be extremely recognisable to a certain audience…

Where have I seen Krister before?

The Swedish crime drama legend played the original Wallander for almost a decade, the Swedish TV series shown on BBC4. Creator and director Alan Cubitt says he wasn’t cast because of his Scandi crime associations – although he was still nervous when Henriksson walked on set.

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“I was surprised how nervous I was when he first came on set but I was aware that this was an actor who had worked with Ingmar Bergman on a number of occasions, very experienced and a highly regarded stage actor,” Cubitt said. “In fact he was a dream to work with, a lovely, special man. He has the qualities that I’m always looking for in The Fall, an understated emotional intelligence, and the capacity to subtly express great depth of feeling through the eyes, a humanity, and vulnerability.”