• Network: ,
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 29, 2013
  • Season #: 1
The Escape Artist Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: Masterpiece Mystery brings the BBC miniseries about barrister Will "The Escape Artist" Burton (David Tennant), who has never lost a case, as he defends accused murderer Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbell). Burton, however, soon discovers his client is more dangerous than he thought.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Jun 6, 2014
    It may sound like your typical procedural--but by part 1's cliff-hanger ending, it clearly isn't and the very intense Tennant deserves much of the credit for that. [13 Jun 2014, p.77]
  2. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jun 18, 2014
    It succeeds despite its little kinks in logic, mesmerizes despite the fact that we're moved to pause periodically to marvel at a plot line that requires an audience to believe that the sharpest-witted characters can be oblivious to the screaming-in-neon signs of disaster lying just ahead.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jun 20, 2014
    Who the real animal is here remains to be seen, with surprising and mostly satisfying fallout in this taut legal thriller.
  4. Reviewed by: Alasdair Wilkins
    Jun 12, 2014
    As an actors’ showcase, The Escape Artist is a distinct success. The fact that that very clearly was not its primary artistic goal only matters so much.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 12, 2014
    Suffice to say the legal jockeying and cat-and-mouse games are mildly juicy and suspenseful (thanks in part to Kebbell’s unsettling performance as TV’s latest deranged lunatic with a pleasant face), provided one doesn’t work too hard at seeking to decipher them.
  6. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 12, 2014
    Tennant is once again terrific at juggling a lot of emotions from one moment to the next. The supporting cast is also sufficiently fine, including a steely performance from Sophie Okonedo.... Plodding on too far, The Escape Artist becomes a revenge story. And yet, for the ineffably eurocentric reasons I was describing earlier, you keep watching and waiting for the surprise.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jun 13, 2014
    At times we're watching largely to see if there will be a clever turn in the writing. It would be better if we were more invested in the character drama.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jul 7, 2014
    Must see TV at its best. Main characters do a great job and the irony of the story is to good for words. Exciting, edge of your seat and smart. Have not seen a legal/crime show in quite a while that immediately grabbed your attention and did not let go. Expand
  2. Jun 18, 2014
    This is a taut suspense driven character story-not just a normal procedural. It was a cat and mouse game that you weren't handed the antagonist's motives or background on plate-leaving you wondering what was next.
    The dark and gloomy landscape added to the atmosphere as well as the set design of minimalist modernistic living spaces juxtaposed to solitary cabin and council flats.
    David Tennant was outstanding.
  3. Jun 24, 2014
    A taut series about a serial killer and the defense lawyers who let him loose, only this time the killer is let loose by the lawyer whose wife he ends up killing, and his biggest competitor for legal bragging rights then gets him off. The legal shenanigans are cynical and ludicrous but, hey this is a drama. In the end the Lawyer goes after the killer the old fashioned way and sets it up so he has the law on his side. The trials are silly, but serve to keep the pot boiling. Expand