Monday, 19 August 2013

Running on Screen (3): Top of the Lake and The Fall

It seems like the process for commissioning top notch BBC drama series goes something like this:

'We're going to need an American actress to play a kick-ass detective'
'No problem we've got Gillian Anderson lined up for The Fall and Elizabeth Moss (you know from Mad Men) for Top of the Lake'.
'Nice one, how about some creepy murderous blokes abusing women?'
'How about the running scenes?'
'Yeah, you've got to have running, runners are a key demographic'.

Well maybe not, but the biggest two BBC dramas this year do in fact both feature running. The Fall, broadcast in June 2013, is the tale of a psycho killer bereavement counsellor who stalks the streets of Belfast killing women. How does he get away with spending so much time away from his rather credulous family? He just pops out for a run of course!

Jamie Dornan check his watch while running in the middle of the road  in Belfast city centre -
'must be time for another rather exploitative rape porn scene'
Then there's Top of the Lake.. This time the runner is on the side of Good rather than Evil. Premise is similar, specialist woman detective in town, shaking up the local corrupt and clueless cops. And she loves a run, which comes in handy for running round the lake and finding a body washed up on the shore. Or even some trail running through the woods to visit the house of a heavily armed suspect. On her own. At night. As you do.

Robin Griffin (played by Elisabeth Moss) leaves her once and future boyfriend behind
after uttering the immortal chat up line 'you run?'.

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