The Escape Artist (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Escape artist (disambiguation).
The Escape Artist
Series title over the London Inns of Court
First episode titlecard
Genre Drama
Created by David Wolstencroft
Written by David Wolstencroft
Directed by Brian Welsh
Composer(s) Nicholas Hooper
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 3 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David Wolstencroft
Matthew Read (BBC)
Producer(s) Paul Frift
Hilary Bevan Jones
Location(s)  • London, England, United Kingdom
 • Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Cinematography David Higgs
Editor(s) Jamie Pearson
Running time 57 minutes
Production company(s) Endor Productions Ltd
Original network BBC One
Original release 29 October (2013-10-29) – 12 November 2013 (2013-11-12)
External links

The Escape Artist is a British drama thriller three-part series,[1] starring David Tennant.[2]

The series was created and written by David Wolstencroft and directed by Brian Welsh. It premiered on 29 October 2013 at 9 p.m. on BBC One. The series was filmed between 24 January and 22 March 2013, at various locations in London, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Scotland. The interior court scenes were filmed on a set at Wimbledon Studios, in Colliers Wood; and at Surrey County Hall, in Kingston upon Thames. The exterior court scenes were filmed at Paisley Sheriff Court, in Paisley. The final court scene external shots were filmed around the Edinburgh City Chambers, Parliament Square and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Tennant visited the Old Bailey before filming began to do research.[3]


Barrister Will Burton (David Tennant) is known for never losing a case and getting criminals out of "tight legal corners". On the verge of applying for the title of Queen's Counsel, Burton agrees to defend murder suspect Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbell), of whose innocence he is in some doubt. Having examined the evidence, he recognises a loophole, and Foyle is acquitted on a technicality.

In revenge for a perceived slight from Burton, Foyle begins stalking Burton's wife (Ashley Jensen) and young son Jamie (Gus Barry). When Burton arrives at their holiday home, he finds his wife brutally murdered and Jamie in shock; he sees Foyle outside the house. Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo), who has lived her career in Burton's shadow, takes up Foyle's defence. The prosecution team consists of two of Burton's colleagues, but he has little confidence in them and begins to carry out his own investigation. He discovers that the woman who has provided Foyle's alibi is also looking after Foyle's possessions in a storage unit. After a search, police find evidence against Foyle. Jamie finally describes his experience, which leads to the discovery of DNA evidence.

Gardner discredits the evidence against Foyle, and the judge directs a verdict of not guilty, but Gardner becomes increasingly unsure when Foyle begins stalking her. Burton follows Foyle to Scotland and confronts him, a sequence of events leading to Foyle's death. Burton is charged with murder and elects to defend himself in court. While the jury is deliberating, Gardner confronts Burton with her theory that he committed "the perfect crime". The jury comes back with a verdict of not proven and Burton is released.



Episode Title Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers (millions)[4]
1 "Episode 1" Brian Welsh David Wolstencroft 29 October 2013 (2013-10-29)[3] 6.19
Will Burton is a talented barrister, known for getting his clients out of tight spots. His latest acquittal, however, takes a dark turn - with deadly consequences.
2 "Episode 2" Brian Welsh David Wolstencroft 5 November 2013 (2013-11-05) 5.32
Liam Foyle is on trial again, this time defended by Will's long time nemesis - Maggie Gardner.
3 "Episode 3" Brian Welsh David Wolstencroft 12 November 2013 (2013-11-12) 5.64
Will finds himself in a position where he has to take the law into his own hands when the case against Foyle collapses.


The series received positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the series an 85% 'fresh' rating based on 13 critic reviews. The critical consensus reads "Its deliberate pace demands patience, but The Escape Artist benefits from David Tennant's performance, as well as an emotionally engaging, socially conscious storyline."[5] Metacritic gave it a score of 71 out of 100 based on 12 critics, indicating 'generally favorable reviews.'[6]



  1. ^ Press release (31 January 2013). "Filming Starts on New BBC One Thriller, The Escape Artist, Starring David Tennant". BBC. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Munn, Patrick (7 January 2013). "Doctor Who's David Tennant Cast as Lead in BBC One's 'The Escape Artist'". TVWise. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The Escape Artist Series 1 Episode". Radio Times. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Escape Artist: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Escape Artist - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Escape Artist Nominated in Seoul". Retrieved 17 May 2014.

External links[edit]