ARCHIVE | Reichenbach Falls
Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Drama based on a short story by Ian Rankin. DI Jim Buchan (Alec Newman) is a cop on the edge. When a 100-year-old body is discovered beneath the streets of Edinburgh, his investigation takes him on a parallel journey into the dark Jekyll and Hyde underworld of the Scottish capital’s literary past.
This was a BBC4 drama I worked on in 2007, originally called The Acid Test, but which has been released as REICHENBACH FALLS. This felt so good when we were shooting it that I dearly hoped that it would be successful and well received which I’m pleased to say, it has been. It was repeated again on BBC2 as it was so good, shifting onto terrestrial TV with ease.
A fight of mine which took place at the top of the monument in Carlton Hill in Edinburgh, the highest point in the city. Frightening to shoot but breathtakingly dramatic for the viewer. This was an unusual fight in that it jumps in placing as the characters mind wonders and I shared the fight action with a stunt man who directed the fight sequence which led directly into this one.
Another fight sequence which took place in the city, and involved firearms is shown in the gallery. Notably Richard Wilson was also in the scene and I had a great chat with him, as he had a small but important role in the fight sequence which immediately precedes this one. Police were on stand by during this action due to the presence of a firearm (with accompanying Armorer of course). It was decided, that in order to reduce any risk or fear or distress to the public that we would move the gun part of this fight sequence into the alley you see below. We just added a short chase sequence mid fight to make this happen believably on camera. Great performances from both actors help sell this stuff.
Some other notable things about this great wee drama was that it was put together using finance from a documentary budget as it mirrored the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You cant quite see it in the photo due to the position of the bus, but the statue of Arthur Conan Doyle stands in the back of shot. This was one of several wonderful Easter Eggs secreted into the film.
Last but not least I will also mention that the cop rugby tackling the giant rabbit in the final sequence of the film is myself. The actor in the Rabbit suit at that stage is not Alec, but one of the student actors (Lee Hunter) from the nearby Queen Margaret College acting course with whom I’d been teaching fights for film just a few weeks before. I suggested him when it came to casting.
Above: Lee Hunter