TV’s best police drama is coming back! The Fall starring Fifty Shades of Grey hunk Jamie Dornan, but even better than that, Gillian Anderson, the rightful queen of our television screens. Known better for her work on the smaller screen, Anderson has been the lust and envy of men and women across the planet for some twenty years plus, and now she’s returned to us once more. With our usual Five Performances thread, we take the time to give you the best of the best of Anderson’s performances for you to feast your eyes on. Let’s take a look.
Dr Bedelia Du Maurier, Hannibal (NBC 2012 – 2015)
Starring in a recurring role, then a main role, in this prequel retelling of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter myth, Anderson is as sultry and sexy as you would want, while always remaining human. As Dr Du Maurier, we see someone with whom cannibal culinary crook Hannibal Lecter can connect to. The cancellation is a criminal offence but we hope that one day the character can grace the screens of us once more. It is also incredibly telling that even in this show where no one is innocent, and everyone is hiding, that Anderson comes across as almost a rose, thorny yes, but beautiful and enchanting.
Miss Havisham, Great Expectations (Brian Kirk 2011)
Doing much better than other renditions, and indeed the rival film production’s Helena Bonham Carter. There is something otherworldly about Anderson’s Havisham but not occult, she’s still a human being, but one who is damaged. What can be said of the work she does here is simply spellbinding. Every moment she graces the screen is utter gold and triumphs over all the other performances. She might have been jilted, but Anderson doesn’t go for intense madness, but a longing, and a sadness that prompts pity.
Stella Gibson, The Fall (BBC 2013 -)
As stern faced Gibson, Anderson manages to peel back the layers of a human being and an obsession in a show that manages to go beyond just being a run of the mill crime thriller. There are moments of brilliance in the way she plays someone who may or may not be going mad with obsession. Of course it does coast a little on the appeal of Anderson and her history with investigating, but it’s a gripping crime drama and she sells it.
Agent Dana Scully, The X-Files (FOX 1993 – 2016)
In an era when TV wasn’t the prestige format that it is now, when American genre fiction was what made TV work, there was only one show that rivalled Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the tale of FBI supernatural cases Anderson is the greatest asset to the show with her easy chemistry with David Duchovny and her great turn as the sceptic who might be brought to the bright of believing in the mad ideas that her co-worker believes in.
Dr Dana Scully, The X-Files: I Want To Believe (Chris Carter 2008)
Yes, this is the same character, and it’s the second movie but the character arc in this second big screen outing is worth mentioning. Scully isn’t in the FBI this time around, but she’s a doctor and forming a bond with a dying patient. Suddenly someone dies and she’s drawn back into the world of The X-Files that includes priest Billy Connolly, it’s a spiritual ghost tale that is more occult than science fiction, and it’s a very fine film for fans and newcomers alike. Anderson, makes the film work by her commitment and passion for the role, being in equal amounts sci-fi hero, and sympathetic lead.