Friday, May 27

Trigger Point review: Completely absurd… but what a blast | TV

TThere will come a point here, I suppose, when all the police departments have been discovered by the broadcasters’ drama teams and mined to exhaustion. In a few years, possibly, we will be fighting bravely to show interest in the operation of the Polzeath Anti-Jaywalking Squad (who is the mysterious stranger who keeps crossing against the lights?) or the Snettisham Window Protection Unit (when the Mrs. Addlestrop’s hyacinths are brutally uprooted, Claire Goose as DCI Crumblebum must catch the culprit before he starts on his lobelia). But for now there are still uncharted sectors where you can have real drama.

Then on to ITV’s new series Trigger Point, created by Daniel Brierley, produced by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio-owned company and built around that series’ woefully underused actor, Vicky McClure. She plays an “expo,” a member of the Metropolitan Police’s bomb disposal squad called, very unconvincingly, but maybe it’s just me, Lana Washington. His partner in defusing bombs is Joel “Nut” Nutkins (I suspect it’s not just me this time), played by Adrian Lester, with whom he served in Afghanistan.

Before long, the prankster couple take a call to a supposed bomb factory in a London tower; rescuing women and children tied inside couches; discover improvised explosive devices behind toilets, pressure plates in front of them; secondary devices behind the boilers; and requiring crowds to move further and further back as the explosive potential increases. Then there’s all the jargon directed at their shoulder-mounted walkie-talkies (“We’re going to have to get the pollysquash ready,” they say at one point, no matter how many rewinds you make).

Also Read  Afghanistan | "Most of the women who wear the hijab are not oppressed": Boushra Almutawakel, author of the image that went viral after the Taliban's irruption

It’s a lot of fun as long as you set your ridiculousness levels to “high”. Think CSI: Peckham or Line of Bomb Duty or Bomby McBombface, instead of The Wire But With Actual Wires or Breaking Explosively Badly and you’ll have a lot more fun. There’s Lana’s obligatory accidental triggering of the secondary device that requires her to hold absolutely still and not let her sweaty finger slip on the wobbly light switch she’s partially pressed in a not-quite-believable moment of carelessness until Nutty McNutface has disabled it. Phew! Not that there was any real danger, of course, that the lead would vanish in the first 20 minutes. Still… It’s around this time that an air of Lisa Faulkner (if you don’t get this reference, that’s fine; consider it inconsiderately oblique, but still: avoid potential spoilers) begins to gather and refuses to disperse.

Bomb, the third, is discovered under a car and they deploy that robot they used in the final episode of Mercury’s (equally ridiculous and funny) Bodyguard to try and disable Richard Madden, but it breaks down.

The vehicle belongs to Andy Phelan, the missing husband of the woman and child on the couch. Just as everyone is petting suspicion about his disappearance, he climbs out of the trunk of the car. Strapped to it is a suicide vest – bomb the fourth! This is quality stuff. With all these improvised explosive devices, Messrs. Brierley and Mercury, you really are spoiling us!

Naturally, Lana walks over to strip him of his vest, realizing that it can be remotely detonated at any time. As gun people begin to swarm the property looking for the possible shooter, Andy begins to feel the strain. “Stay still,” Lana says, and rightly so. Nutso-Nut-Nut comes to help and cuts the wires just in time. Hurrah! Andy is taken to safety, but the audience knows not to relax. That’s four bombs and no booms. Do we stretch out on the couch and adjust our waistbands for this? No. The ghost of Lisa Faulkner haunts. He extends a spectral finger. Who will she touch? How will they do it? BOOM! oh

Also Read  The Bootleg fire is so big it's creating its own climate

Lana staggers to her feet, covered in rubble and ash. The powers that be are now convinced that this is the work of a sophisticated terrorist cell. The remaining five episodes promise to delve into the world of counter-terrorism police and bomb disposal experts, as a campaign by violent extremists unfolds across the capital.

Maybe it tells us something about the psychology of people who walk toward danger instead of screaming and try to run in seven different directions to get away from it. Maybe it tells us something about institutional sexism, since Lana does her job in a field that is massively dominated by men. Or maybe you’ll be happy to stick with the witty entertainment and the occasional well-placed explosion. Whichever path you choose, just set your dials correctly and enjoy the ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.