No time is wasted in Trigger Point† In the opening scene, two members of the London Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service are on their way to an apartment building that may contain a ‘bomb factory’. Lana Washington and her colleague Joel Nutkins race against time to find the explosives. A small mistake can be fatal. For example, a light switch in an apartment turns out to be life-threatening: the switch is linked to a bomb. When Washington pushes the button carelessly, the end is almost nigh. The only solution: hold the button and hopefully the bomb can be defused. The nail-biting suspense first episode sets the tone for the rest of the season. There is a bomber operating in town and Lana (played by Vicky McClure) must find out who it is.
Lovers of the series by Jed Mercurio, known for hits like Line of Duty and bodyguardwill be delighted with this new thriller series. Trigger Point was already a ratings success in the UK, with an average of more than 9 million viewers per episode, and fits completely in its universe in style. Wild plot twists follow each other in quick succession, but are believable enough not to become ridiculous. The series was conceived and written by Daniel Brierley, a protégé of Mercurio. Brierley made a pitch as part of a program where talented new writers get help from established names.
The idea struck a chord with Mercurio, who is involved as an executive producer on Trigger Point† “I thought it was a strong starting point, even before we had a story or characters,” he says in a conversation with NRC† “We see the impact this dangerous work has on the characters, including psychologically. You feel the pressure and the way a team has to support each other. Classic theme of drama series that take place in the workplace.”
But in this workplace, pressing the wrong button can lead to a deadly explosion. Where the threat in the story comes from is the main issue. Are they Jihadists? Does the threat come from a right-wing extremist corner? Or from somewhere else? Mercurio: “We play with assumptions that people make when it comes to terrorism. Why do people get involved in terror today? Who are they? Sometimes they have conflicting reasons.”
It is important when making a police series to find the right balance between entertainment and authenticity. How do you do that? “We do our very best to be as accurate as possible,” emphasizes Mercurio. “But there is a limit to how realistic you can make a series, you end up making drama. It’s always helpful to find out how things are going in the real world. We have advisers from the explosives disposal service, the police and from the world of counterterrorism. As long as it makes sense for the drama, you can work it into it. If you convincingly make it part of the story, the audience won’t worry about whether something is plausible or not.”
The series is largely carried by lead actress Vicky McClure, an actress who can be seen in . since 2012. Line of Duty† Her character seems like a cool frog who can function in the most stressful situations, but comes under a lot of mental pressure during the search for the bomb makers. For Mercurio, McClure was the first choice. “She works hard and is a great role model for everyone on set. And she is also very friendly.” Washington is a woman in a field where mostly men work. “She’s the only female bomb-squad in the group, but everyone treats her with respect because she’s good at her job. And at the rest of the police station we see that there is much more balance between men and women.”
A second season of Trigger Point has been announced. The team could just contain more women.