Apple TV+’s Liaison: Is the Miniseries Inspired by Real Life?

Created by Virginie Brac, Apple TV+’s ‘Liaison’ is an espionage thriller miniseries that follows the story of two people who try to save the UK from a series of cyberattacks aimed at destabilizing the nation. With Vincent Cassel and Eva Green in the lead roles, we follow Gabriel and Alison as their paths collide years after they bid farewell to each other, ending their passionate affair. Therefore, they try to find and stop the terrorists who appear to be well-equipped to bring the nation to its knees.

In doing that, the pair also have to navigate their murky past, especially when long-buried secrets and complications in their relationship come to the surface. Directed by Stephen Hopkins, the series packs many twists and turns, blending genres to deliver an exciting story. If you are wondering whether any part of it has been inspired by true events, then here’s what you should know about it.

Liaison is a Fictional Tale

No, ‘Liaison’ is not based on a true story. It is driven by an original script penned by Virginie Brac, known for her work in ‘Engrenages,’ and directed by Stephen Hopkins, who has proved his expertise in telling high-chase thrillers like ‘24’. While the show doesn’t enact a true series of events, it does seek inspiration from some very crucial problems faced by today’s society. The most imminent danger in the show is a cyberattack by terrorists which threatens to cripple the country. While no attack of such scale has happened in the UK, the country, like most others, has seen a spike in cyberattacks, mostly ransomware, in recent years.

Talking about how important it has become to strengthen cyber security in ensuring the proper functioning of a society, Mat Daley, who serves as the Director of Information Technology Services in London, said: “Cities across the globe, including London, are seeing increases in the volume, diversity, and complexity of cyber attacks.” To keep up with the increasing attacks, the city called for a budget of more than one million dollars after reviewing and testing for vulnerabilities in London’s cyber security.

In one of the recent cases, the Royal Mail was reported to have fallen victim to a ransomware attack that disrupted not only the postal service but also many businesses affecting the economy, though not in as grand a way. The attack was linked to Russian criminals and was resolved in the next few days. While it might seem much more trivial in comparison to the attack that the characters try to thwart in ‘Liaison,’ it only goes to show the increasing vulnerability of government systems.

Much like the postal service, a cyberattack can target anything from the electric grid to the water supply or transportation, all of which are crucial to keeping everything functioning. The lapse in security of even one of these things can lead to devastating consequences, which is what ‘Liaison’ shows the audience right in its first episode when the hacking of the barrier system of Thames is used to flood the city and cripple its infrastructure in just one night.

Furthermore, statistics have shown that rate of cybercrime is only increased with every year, with more and more organizations falling prey to such attacks. Apart from this, the show also comments on the political situation of the country. In an interview with Guardian, actor Vincent Cassel, who plays the lead role of Gabriel, a French mercenary who lands himself right in the middle of the mess, said that ‘Liaison’ could be considered “an extrapolation of what could happen post-Brexit.”

He added, “The English position in Europe has always been shady. The fact that you never moved to the euro means that it was no real plan to stay for a long time. You know, England is an island – and an island that is really close to America, whether we like it or not.” With all this in mind, it is clear that the makers of ‘Liaison’ relied on their research and used some of the most pressing matters, be it about politics or national security, to create this engaging story that never strays too far from reality.

Read More: Where is Apple TV’s Liaison Filmed?