On Saturday, September 23rd, the first – ever Tribeca TV Festival kicked off an exclusive American debut of the first episode in Sundance TV/ ITV’s new six-part dramatic thriller miniseries “LIAR.” In conjunction with the immensely popular Tribeca Film Festival, which typically occurs during the Spring season, the “TV” festival was held between September 22nd – September 24th this year and was designed to showcase some of the most highly anticipated episodic premieres of the fall. The Knockturnal was present to cover the premiere of the first episode, along with a poignant panel discussion starring main character Laura Nielson played by Golden Globe Award – Winning actress Joanne Froggatt, who’s most notable for her role as “lady’s maid” Anna Bates in all six seasons of the period drama Downton Abbey and the creators of the series brothers Jack and Harry Williams. Located at Cinepolis Cinema on 23rd St. and 8th Ave., the showing was directly followed by a panel discussion.
Primarily aired in the United Kingdom, episode one of LIAR revolves directly around Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) and Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd), a teacher and surgeon respectively whose initial attraction leads to a date. Following the night, the actions and following consequences that transpire leave viewers puzzled, disconcerted and on an ever-shifting roller coaster to discover and decode whose truth is absolute versus whose truth is an utter lie. The first episode is intriguing because it establishes the overall mystery oriented for the entire six – part series and allows viewers to gain a thorough understanding of each character’s personality and pathology. The overall series of LIAR can be described as a “show that brings us complex difficult characters and uses the freedom of a six-hour run time to reveal them to us.”
Following the episodic premiere of LIAR, the panel discussion addressed many pertinent topics within the show including subject matter, the rationale behind the idea for the show and characters, and the dynamic between characters. In particular, Ms. Froggatt expounds on why she decided to take the role of Laura as she states, “she’s determined, she’s strong, she’s so strong minded, she will not be driven from her path … when I read the script, I thought it was so thought provoking and ultimately, a brilliant piece of entertainment but a brilliant piece with intelligence behind it. This is what stuck with me. In addition, I felt like the subject matter was sort of taboo, so I wanted to be apart of starting the conversation and breaking down that taboo.”
Also, when asked about the form of research taken towards the making of this series, brothers and creators Harry and Jack Williams provided a thorough response as they stated, “We did a fair amount, we were very aware that we are two men writing about this subject; we showed it to counselors, we showed it to women in the office, we wanted to make sure things sounded right and that we did our research properly. It was important that we be responsible. We started from there and then tried to construct a story that wasn’t based upon any one particular story but once you know the reality of the matter, you can then turn around and write a meaningful story about it.”
Ultimately, LIAR is a well thought-out, carefully crafted mini-series that is suspenseful, jaw – dropping at times and masterful in-depth of plot and written script. For all interested in entertaining thrill, this is definitely a show that will keep you suspended and yearning for more at the end of it all. The Tribeca TV Festival has truly garnered a true gem with this one. Stay tuned for the next five episodes.