TV review: New drama Liar examines how 'every truth has two sides'

Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd star in the ITV drama Liar. Picture by ITV

Liar, ITV, Monday at 9pm

WITH the tag line of 'every truth has two sides', the new ITV drama 'Liar' challenges two people and their version of events.

Downton Abbey fans will instantly recognise the lead actress Joanne Froggatt, who plays Laura - a newly-single secondary school teacher swept up into a romance with a surgeon, whose son studies at her school.

When Laura goes on a date with Andrew, played by Ioan Gruffudd, the pair seem to hit it off.

A romantic meal at a fancy restaurant followed by some wine at Laura's flat and having a laugh....then fast forward to the morning after and events begin to unravel.

Each of them has wildly different interpretations of what happened the night before and that's what the compelling drama centres on.

The night in question is shown in flashbacks and when Laura wakes up the day after their first date, she is distraught, believing Andrew raped her and reports him to police.

He insists they had consensual sex, swearing blind they had a fantastic evening and nothing untoward happened. He had even sent her a text thanking her for the "amazing night" they enjoyed.

When the police arrive at the hospital where he is performing surgery, they arrest him on suspicion of sexual assault, but he claims the entire evening went very differently, at least from his perspective.

"We're just seeing this completely differently, that's all," he recalls.

So who is telling the truth?

The six-part emotional thriller made for some uncomfortable viewing as it set up the story of a possible date rape. But these are issues that need to be explored.

As things unravel, the drama looks at the devastating cost of deceit on both Laura and Andrew and how it plays out for their friends and family.

But already from episode one, there are gaps in each person's story.

For Laura, her memory is hazy.

"I wasn't drunk, I remember coming into the bedroom, I remember him pushing me down and I remember as clear as anything I told him to stop," she said.

Then there's the events of Laura's past that she alludes to, will that throw doubt on her version of events?

For Andrew, his account to police of what happened doesn't tally with what viewers have been shown.

The discrepancies may be small on both sides, but it's already starting to look as if they both have something to hide.

Throw into the mix the fact that Andrew happens to be the colleague of Laura's sister at the hospital, who is cheating on her husband and having an affair with Laura's ex-partner, who just happens to be a police officer - and things are even more complicated.

Yes, this was all just episode one.

Created by brothers Harry and Jack Williams - the siblings who brought us the fantastic drama series The Missing - we've been promised twists and turns. And as we have seen in their writing before, they are particularly good at that.

They already have viewers unsure of who to believe. Each version of events sounds convincing.

It is one of those programmes that leaves you with more questions than answers - who is telling the truth and who is the Liar?

While we may have learned a great deal in the first episode, with five more to go - there's much more to be revealed I would imagine.

No matter which way the story goes, it's a drama that's opening up conversation about a sensitive subject matter.

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