Liar, a psycho-sexual, whodunnit-style drama kicked off on ITV on Sunday night, and it already has the nation talking. The thriller, brought to you by James Strong (previously a director on Broadchurch), centres around an alleged date rape. Laura, played by Joanne Froggatt, nervously goes on a date with handsome doctor Andrew, played by Ioan Gruffudd, which initially seems to go well. However, the pair’s recollection of events differs from that point onwards, with Laura suggesting Andrew had sex with her without her consent. Andrew insists the school teacher did consent.
This simple concept was captivating enough by itself, with both characters giving convincing enough testimonies of their very different versions of events: the detectives in the thriller really have their work cut out for them.
Initially, the viewers find themselves believing Laura, why would anyone wish to lie about such a thing? But doubts begin to creep in when subtle references to the schoolteacher’s past problems with medication are made, and this doubt grows when the evidence starts to stack up against her story.
On Andrew’s part, his innocence seems to be apparent when he texts Laura the morning after about the “amazing night” they had, and his shock at being accused counts in his favour. However, the suspicions around his late wife’s death and the fact that he swapped the wine glasses they were drinking from means the pendulum of guilt keeps on swinging throughout this bold drama.
This is a simple enough concept to keep viewers guessing, but writers Harry and Jack Williams add another couple of spanners into the works. Firstly it is revealed that Laura’s sister Katy has been having an affair with Laura’s ex-boyfriend (a policeman, Tom), which we know will add an interesting subplot that will affect the main investigation at hand. Secondly, the episode ends with Laura publicly accusing Andrew of rape on social media, which will create one hell of a storm going forward in this drama.
Yet both added spanners felt a little unnecessary, the plot was intriguing enough without the need to add in these story-changing devices. Whether they do add more to the plot, or simply confuse it, we will have to wait and see. I suspect more plot twists will be forthcoming over the coming weeks. Both Tom and Laura’s brother-in-law Liam will likely have more to do with this plot than they’ve been afforded so far, and we’ve still yet to really explore what happened to accused Andrew’s wife. Is there more to this surgeon than meets the eye?
Overall, this thriller’s opening episode did exactly as it planned: it captivated its audience and has made them really think about who is telling the truth. Yet the jury is still out as to whether 6 episodes is too long for this drama and if the added plot-twists become mere unnecessary sideshows from what is a gripping central plot.