‘The Escape Artist’: 6 things we learnt from the DVD extras

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Created and written by David Wolstencroft (Spooks), the three-part series starred David Tennant (Doctor Who) as Will Burton, a talented junior barrister of peerless intellect and winning charm, who specialises in spiriting people out of tight legal corners, hence his nickname – The Escape Artist.

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As well as the three episodes, the DVD release offers a second disc of extras, including behind the scenes ‘B roll’ footage from the production and a photo gallery.

While there are sadly no commentaries on the episodes, the DVD offers a lengthy series of interviews with the main cast and crew, from which we gleaned the following six nuggets of evidence…

» Producer Paul Frift reveals that the role of Maggie Gardener was written as a Hitchcock-style ice maiden blonde, so casting Sophie Okonedo was an interesting twist on that.

» Producer Hilary Bevan Jones tells of the amazingly fast timescale in which she agreed to produce the show, agreeing within an hour of reading the script.

» Andrew Jefferies QC (the show’s Legal Adviser) talks about the insight he gave into the dynamics of Chambers as well as the sartorial advice he gave to David Tennant regarding ties.

» Ashley Jensen (Kate Burton) praises the morality tale aspect of the story and speaks about how vulnerable she felt when filming the bath scene when Foyle appeared at the window, with apparently little acting required!

» David Tennant (Will Burton) mentions his friendship with Ashley Jensen, suggesting that it provided shortcuts to help them create a convincing married couple. He also praises the story’s development from legal drama to thriller, admitting that he failed to see any of the plot twists coming.

» Director Brian Welsh describes Tennant as “a force of nature” and explains how he strove to avoid courtroom cliché in the story. He also praises the unique mix of genres and the scripts exploration of grief through Will Burton.

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