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By creator Allan Cubitt\'s own admission, there\'s been "a little bit of confusion" as to the fate of BBC Two\'s popular thriller
but while the upcoming third chapter will mark the end of Stella Gibson\'s dark duel with killer Paul Spector, that doesn\'t mean the series is entirely over with.
"I don\'t know that it is the final series," Cubitt tells press including Digital Spy. "But I don\'t think I\'m giving much away in saying it\'s Jamie\'s last season."
"There\'s a little bit of devastation for me, I have to say," confesses Jamie Dornan, who\'s played Spector since 2013 and, in the intervening three years, has shot to global stardom – partly thanks to
Polite but reserved, Dornan speaks cautiously when reflecting on his time with
. His demeanour is almost shy – if it weren\'t for his model looks, you wouldn\'t know he was a huge movie star whose image has adorned billboards the world over.
"It\'s a job that means a lot to me, and a character that I really love playing, and a group of people that have become family over four and a half years, so it\'s very bittersweet," he says of his exit from the series. "It\'s like a support blanket that someone\'s taking away from you – quite abruptly!"
closed on a twist, with Spector finally apprehended by steely Stella (Gillian Anderson) – only to be shot down by a rogue gunman and left fighting for his life.
"There\'s a few more pieces that they need to put together, but basically, they\'ve got him," says Anderson – who, in real life, is every bit as statuesque and commanding as Stella, though nowhere near as intimidating. "So the fact that this event happens at the end of two is so disappointing and infuriating because she got so close. So now, for so many reasons, she really, really wants him to stay alive."
Much of the action of the first two series came from keeping Stella and her quarry apart, Cubitt admits, so while he can\'t comment on Spector\'s condition going forward, he reveals that "there are things that are going to keep them apart again".
"There definitely are times we\'re together," hints Dornan. "But Allan loves to tease and he loves to maintain the separation, and the cat-and-mouse aspect of it. That distance is important, I think – it\'s maybe more enticing for an audience."
Despite their lack of shared screen-time, it\'s the dynamic between Dornan\'s killer and Anderson\'s copper that\'s always been the beating heart of
– though neither of the show\'s lead will be drawn on whether there\'s a twisted "erotic spark" between their characters.
"A lot of people think that is the case," Dornan acknowledges. "I do think he has an obsession of sorts with her – whether it\'s a sexual thing or not is up for debate."
"There\'s something enticing about the fact that there is somebody who understands you so well, and there\'s something ultimately quite intimate and erotic about that," adds Anderson. "That\'s what I\'ll say."
Of course, eroticism and objectification have always been a big part of
, from Spector\'s warped fascination with his victims to the huge media attention the show itself has received, with whole articles dedicated to Dornan\'s sex appeal or Anderson\'s silk blouses.
This focus on the cosmetic though, "does the show a disservice", according to Cubitt – while Dornan also takes issue with what he sees as male objectification in the media.
"It definitely exists for men as well as women, there\'s no denying that," he says. "But then, you know, scenes like that are written often with an eye on attracting attention and gaining viewers.
here – in the paper yesterday there was a whole bloody thing about Aidan Turner\'s body and i\'ve been in that situation before myself, with people focusing on that above everything else and it\'s not ideal."
Back to business and Dornan describes his final six episodes of
as "a very appropriate and natural conclusion to the story" – Spector\'s story, at least.
"It would\'ve been very hard to continue the Gibson / Spector dynamic beyond a third series," he says. "To carry on, It would be asking a lot of the audience, I think."
Dornan jokes that he\'d turn up on-set for any potential fourth series, "make people tea and just hang out" – but if
does return (again), it seems it\'ll be as a solo outing for an older Stella Gibson.
"One of the things that we\'ve discussed is whether it would be more interesting to revisit her a few years from now," Anderson reveals. "I\'m excited by the idea of potentially revisiting it in a few years, to see what transpires in Stella\'s life afterwards.
"That would interest me – and certainly the thought that there is a possibility of playing her again is much more interesting to me than saying goodbye to her. Whether it continues or not, right now I\'m not willing to say goodbye to her."
Nor, it seems, is Cubitt – so while Spector\'s fall is coming at long last, it seems the rise of Stella Gibson may have only just begun...
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