Shelley Conn as DI Vanessa Harmon, Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Earlham with Joanne Froggatt as Laura Nielson in the psychological thriller, "Liar".  Picture: Supplied
Shelley Conn as DI Vanessa Harmon, Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Earlham with Joanne Froggatt as Laura Nielson in the psychological thriller, "Liar". Picture: Supplied

'Liar' is a psychological thriller that's a mindf**k

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published May 2, 2020

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I’ve always been drawn to TV shows, where the truth is not as straightforward as it seems. I’m not talking about your typical crime drama, where the hunt is on for some menacing character, who is embroiled in some kind of deadly or dangerous act. 

I’m talking about something more along the lines of "The Sinner" or "The Night Of". Right from the get-go, the main person looks guilty. The evidence is heavily stacked against them. 

The writers of these shows plant seeds of doubt at every turn, gradually revealing the harsh truth in the most mind-blowing way. 

That’s what I’m getting with "Liar" on BBC First. Simply put, it’s a bit of a mindf**k, where a he said-she said scenario plays out.

This six-part series is helmed by stellar actors Joanne Froggatt as Laura Nielson and Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Earlham. 

Ioan Gruffudd as Andrew Earlham with Joanne Froggatt as Laura Nielson in the psychological thriller, "Liar". Picture: Supplied

She is a high school teacher, who recently split from her police officer boyfriend, Tom Bailey (Warren Brown). A ravishing beauty, she seems to be coping with the breakup well. Heck, she was even considering braving the dating world again.

Andrew is an accomplished surgeon and a widow. His son, Luke, is one of Laura’s students. He is quite easy on the eye. A catch, some would say. 

Encouraged by her sister Katy Sutcliffe (Zoë Tapper), Laura agrees to go on a dinner date with Andrew. They get along swimmingly well and the night ends with a nightcap at her place while he waited on a taxi. 

That’s where things get messy.

Laura is a mess the next day and accuses Andrew of raping her. He, on the other hand, has a completely different version of events. 

Filled with anger, she is determined to make him pay. As such, there is no reasoning with her. Frustrated by the bureaucracy of the law, she shares her story on social media. Sadly, it doesn’t go her way and she gets trolled. 

Her impatience grows even more, which leads to her breaking into his place. 

Throughout this time, Andrew maintains his composure as well as innocence. The case is thrown out when someone from Laura’s past comes forth to say she’s done something similar before.

The question is: Who do you believe?

Laura comes across as unhinged. As much as you feel for her, you also start doubting her side of the story. It feels like there were some unresolved issues from her past that haven’t been dealt with and it could have triggered her current circumstance. 

After all, Andrew is a charming person, who is patient and passionate about what he does. And he is a great single dad. 

In the third episode, the duplicity of his character is slowly unmasked. This is clear in a scene where Tom tries to intimidate him only to have the tables turned on him - Andrew threatens to expose his affair with Laura’s sister. 

With her back against the wall and the urge to get justice, Laura decides to dig a little deeper into his past and his late wife’s death. 

Meanwhile, Andrew is looking at taking legal action against her for ruining his name. 

Liar is an ingeniously penned story. Viewers try to unravel the truth only to be left with more questions. The casting is spot-on. 

This psychological drama is just the distraction viewers need. Of course, the jury is still out on who is telling the truth...

"Liar" airs on BBC First (DStv channel 119) on Monday at 10.10pm.

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