Why are all The Fall’s characters named after guitars?

Gillian Anderson's detective is still episodes away from catching Jamie Dornan's serial killer but one mystery has already been solved...

The second series of BBC2’s thriller The Fall has only just begun, but there’s one secret at the heart of the series has already come to light – and it’s bound to strike a chord.


It turns out that nearly all of the characters in the BBC2 thriller are named after guitars, from main players Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson), down to series one’s corrupt cop DI Breedlove. And it’s no coincidence, according to the series’ writer and director. 

“I intended to call my characters after guitars,” series creator Allan Cubitt told the Belfast Telegraph. “In fact there’s probably over 60 references to them in the series.”

He explained: “As a writer sometimes it’s incredibly important that you write about things that interest you and you just know when names are right.” 

“I love music and I love guitars and have been playing them for years. In fact, my first ever guitar was a Gibson, they are my favourites and I’ve owned loads of them over the years.”

Other characters named after guitars include Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns (named after Burns of London), Spector’s former girlfriend Rose Stagg (from Stagg guitars), pathologist Reed Smith (named for Paul Reed Smith or PRS guitars) and Spector’s babysitter Katie Benedetto (her surname is taken from a jazz guitar company). 

Gillian Anderson has the honour of having her character named after two famous guitar brands. “I gave Stella Gibson a double guitar name as she’s my central character,” Cubitt said.

Here’s hoping the name gives her luck when Spector finally has to face the music…


The Fall is on BBC2 tonight (20th November) at 9.00pm