The Doctor is a lawyer. That is, Doctor Who‘s Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, portrays a barrister whose charmed life becomes a living nightmare in the suspense thriller, The Escape Artist, which debuts in the US this summer.
Will (David Tennant, Broadchurch, The Politician’s Husband, Spies of Warsaw) is a junior barrister who has never lost a case. His skill in getting defendants acquitted, notably the guilty, has earned him the nickname “The Escape Artist.”
Given his reputation, it’s easy to understand why he is the barrister of choice for Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbell, RocknRolla), the prime suspect in a brutal case of torture and murder who wants Will and only Will to defend him.
The Escape Artist does it again, and Liam walks. Except he isn’t pleased with Will and shows it. Then escalates it in chilling fashion. And in a single moment, Will’s near-perfect life with wife Kate (Ashley Jensen, Ugly Betty) and son Jaime (Gus Barry, Penny Dreadful) is shattered.
Costarring in The Escape Artist are Sophie Okonedo (Criminal Justice), Tony Gardner (Last Tango in Halifax), Anton Lesser (Endeavour), Roy Marsden (Devices and Desires), Jeany Spark (Wallander), Michael Cochrane (Downton Abbey), and Stephen Wight (The Paradise), amongst others.
I watched The Escape Artist when I was in the UK last Fall (and will be watching it again), and can attest that it is an emotionally-charged, heart-pounding, nail-biter of a thriller. Writer David Wolstencroft (MI-5) summed it up when he said:
“Will is the master of the machine that is the legal system. I wanted to write a story about someone who gets out of that machine and is promptly run over by it.”
Tennant and Okonedo are brilliant as legal rivals Will and Maggie, but Kebbell takes the cake for his genuinely frightening portrayal of the repulsive and sadistic Liam.
The Escape Artist makes its stateside debut as a two-part Masterpiece Mystery miniseries beginning Sunday, 15 June 2014, at 9 PM ET on PBS. (Check your local listings.)