The Escape Artist: Season 1 (2013)


Critic Consensus: Its deliberate pace demands patience, but The Escape Artist benefits from David Tennant's performance, as well as an emotionally engaging, socially conscious storyline.


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Air date: Jun 15, 2014
Air date: Jun 22, 2014

Tv Season Info

David Tennant stars as a hot-shot barrister with a guilty conscience Will Burton. Burton continues his winning streak when he gets murder suspect Liam Foyle acquitted despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt. Haunted by his decisions and their possible consequences, Burton sees the table turn when he becomes next in Foyle's firing line. The tense legal thriller also stars Sophie Okonedo and Ashley Jensen.

Critic Reviews for The Escape Artist Season 1

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (10)

A diabolical villain. A brilliant defense attorney and happy family man. And a clever reading of the law with switchbacks you don't see coming. That's the latest Masterpiece: Mystery! two-parter with David Tennant in a stunning performance.

Jun 16, 2014 | Full Review…

It just doesn't feel terribly fresh, and the payoff for the mystery doesn't feel more than mildly satisfying.

Jun 13, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

What makes The Escape Artist better than an episode of Law & Order, or the many other TV procedurals that now like to remind us of justice's failures, is its emotional weight.

Jun 12, 2014 | Full Review…

The tables are turned on the lawyer relatively early, and what follows is a combination of courtroom and criminal action that twists in unusual and ultimately satisfying ways.

Jun 12, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The sheer quality of acting drew us into a superior legal thriller that got creepier and creepier until it threatened to spill over into gothic melodrama.

Nov 6, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The dark The Escape Artist occasionally stretches plot points, but it always quickly snaps back and keeps you guessing until the end.

Feb 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Retains flavor and tension, and while it's unclear where the whole endeavor supposed to travel after the end credits, it's strong enough to support a single interaction with Will Burton and his newly reformatted mind for justice.

Jul 5, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

The Escape Artist is unusually willing not to let the audience off the hook, and instead, to help us understand that the pursuit of substantive justice may prove as dangerous as the crimes it seeks to right.

Jun 18, 2014 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The obvious problem with this meat cleaver approach to storytelling is not just diminishing returns - after a while, even the most sensitive of viewers can become blasé about decapitation - but predictability.

Jun 13, 2014 | Full Review…

The Escape Artist indisputably belongs to Tennant. As Will Burton, he finds the living, breathing human buried underneath the rote storytelling.

Jun 13, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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