Gillian Anderson has begun filming the second season of the Belfast-set thriller The Fall.

The BBC Northern Ireland drama – screened on RTÉ One in the Republic of Ireland – is filmed on location in Belfast and features the former X-Files' star as tough Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, who’s hunting a serial killer.

The first season of the tense thriller proved to be a big hit and the new run of six hour-long episodes sees Gibson continue her pursuit of Paul Spector, the murderer played by Jamie Dornan.

“I'm over the moon to be back in production with this team again and to step into the shoes of the elusive Stella for what promises to be an even darker second season,” said Anderson.

Dornan impressed as the cold, calculating Spector, and he’s set for a major international breakthrough when he stars as Christian Grey in the upcoming film version of Fifty Shades of Grey.

“I'm delighted to be back in production for the second series of The Fall,” said the 31-year-old. “[Writer] Allan Cubitt has outdone himself, and the scripts are stunning.”

Also returning to the drama is John Lynch as assistant chief constable Jim Burns, and Bronagh Waugh as Spector’s wife Sally-Ann.

Season two of The Fall is expected to broadcast later this year or early 2015.