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Friday, 15 November 2013

The Escape Artist arrives on DVD

When was the last time you thought twice before shaking someone's hand? Perhaps you did it through politeness or because you felt you should. Perhaps you went with your instincts and cleverly avoided the handshake. Whatever your decision I'm sure you've not thought about that brief exchange since. If you're Liam Foyle though, one handshake can make all the difference. From the moment the audience meet Foyle (portrayed by the brilliantly creepy Toby Kebbell), we know he's 'different'. When barrister William Burton (the always incredible David Tennant) defends Foyle in a brutal murder case and subsequently secures Foyle's freedom you'd think that was the end of the story, but when Burton declines Foyle's handshake things take a very dark and sinister turn as Foyle sets out to turn the barrister's world upside down.

The Escape Artist which recently concluded on BBC One was something very different and refreshing. We're well versed in the workings of crime and legal dramas but this series set out to do something a bit different in the genre. Writer David Wolstencroft described his piece as a 'legal thriller' "When I’m asked why I wanted to write this story, my answer is simple: it’s personal. Until you experience the law... until it actually happens to you, it stays in the realm of the theoretical, the intellectual. Once you find yourself in the mechanism of procedure, as I’ve had the misfortune to a couple of times in my life....well, then it all changes. Then a surge of primal emotions rush to the surface. Which are, generally, nothing to do with the ‘law’, and everything to do with ‘justice’."

Across the three tension filled episodes we see Will challenged by the system he believes in so deeply. When Foyle sets out to destroy everything about Will's life, Will finds himself virtually betrayed by the legal system with nowhere to turn. He realises quickly that he must use his years of knowledge has a barrister to get his life back. Aside from the action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat both Tennant and Kebbell act their socks off here. Kebbell's portrayal as the unhinged Foyle is really powerful and even though you know you're supposed to despise him, there was a part of me that revelled in every one of his sinister actions. Tennant delivers his usual powerhouse performance but shows his diversity when Will is forced to take matters into his own hands. The Escape Artist delivers everything you would want from an hour of television drama. It delivers a thrilling story that no point feels like we've seen it all before coupled with engaging and powerful performances from its two leads but also from a host of familiar faces that make up the impressive supporting cast. To say anything else would spoil your enjoyment of the DVD but if you like the sound of it please treat yourself, you won't regret it.

The Escape Artist arrives on DVD on Monday 18th November 2013.
Starring: David Tennant, Toby Kebbell, Sophie Okonedo and Ashley Jensen

DVD Extras
Interviews with Cast and Crew
B-Roll Footage
Photo Gallery
Available Now from Acorn Media

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