ITV’s highest-rated new drama in 2017 returns after a long three years – and we want answers! Warning: spoilers ahead…
Monday 2 March, 9pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub
“Who killed Andrew Earlham?” was not the question on everyone’s lips after the series 1 finale of Liar. It was “Who wouldn’t want to kill Andrew Earlham?” The suave surgeon turned serial rapist seemed to have received his comeuppance. But as his lifeless body lay on the Tollesbury marshes, we knew this was not the last we had seen of him.
Series 2 proves he’s capable of causing more pain and trauma from beyond the body bag. As news of his death reaches and rocks the community, his victims, including his son’s teacher Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey), Detective Inspector Vanessa Harmon (Shelley Conn) and his late wife’s friend Catherine (Dawn Steele), are flooded with a mixture of emotions.
It picks up three weeks after Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) was issued an arrest warrant for the sexual assault of 19 women. Andrew went on the run until his death, and before his crimes had the chance to catch up with him.
Flipping between the present and past (yep, Ioan is at least returning in flashback form), we track his movements and revisit some harder-to-stomach ones, including Laura and Andrew’s fateful first date. Just as series 1, written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Baptiste), focused on a he said/she said narrative between Laura’s truths and Andrew’s lies, the six-part second series features more twists.
The first? Laura is arrested for Andrew’s murder. As to whether she is innocent or not remains another matter (she did drug him in series 1, after all), but Froggatt asserts her right to remain silent: “I can never guess what Jack and Harry are going to come up with, which is what makes them so good. It’s very dissatisfying, especially with a thriller, when you go, “I knew that was gonna happen.” They keep us guessing.”
DI Karen Renton (Katherine Kelly, right) isn’t ruling Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt, left) out as a suspect just yet.
Katherine Kelly (Cheat) joins the cast as no-nonsense DI Karen Renton, who’s put in charge of the case.
“Her job is to gather evidence, it’s not actually to find justice,” says Kelly. “Like a bowling ball – just get a strike, knock them all over and then start, because that’s the best way to get [someone] quickly.” After all, the longer time elapses, the less evidence there is to gather. “She comes in with her tactics and that would be to accuse everybody. You’ve got to come in hard.”
Karen’s right-hand man is DS Rory Maxwell (Danny Webb, Alien 3), who was involved in the case when Andrew was alive. While interviewing suspects, considering what Andrew has done, he tends to offer this line: “No one would blame you…” And they certainly have their pick of suspects, including Laura’s new partner Ian Davis (Kieran Bew, Da Vinci’s Demons), who previously found himself in a spot of trouble with the law.
Other additions to the series include Howard Charles (The Widow) and Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey) as Carl and Winnie Peterson, whose lives also appear to have been forever changed by Andrew. Andrew’s son Luke (Jamie Flatters), who was led to believe his father was innocent, is also faced with a difficult reality, as his dad’s face is plastered across every paper and TV channel.
“How do you explain THIS?”
There are no plans for a third series at the moment. The Williams brothers wanted the first to have an appropriate ending, and to wrap everything up in the second. So, is that what we should expect – a decisive ending, case closed? Kelly and Froggatt glance at each other with knowing smiles. “Laura and Andrew’s story is so satisfying, isn’t it?” Kelly asks rhetorically. Froggatt agrees: “It feels like Laura and Andrew’s conclusion comes.”
When is series 2 of ITV’s Liar on TV?
Series 2 of Liar airs on ITV on Mondays at 9pm, with the first episode airing on Monday 2 March.
The last episode will air on Sunday 6 April.
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