Trigger Point episode one spoilers follow.
Vicky McClure is back in new drama Trigger Point as the strong, brave explosive officer (EXPO) Lana Washington. She is joined by co-star Adrian Lester, who plays fellow EXPO Joel Nutkins. The two are called to a London housing estate to investigate a potential bomb factory and a suspected bomb maker, Andy Phelan (Rick Warden).
Episode one takes place in and around the estate where a cookie-crumb trail of bombs are left dotted about waiting to be discovered by the experts. However there is just one bomb to0 many – and someone meets a pretty gruesome fate.
Creators Daniel Brierley (debut writer) and Jed Mercurio (executive producer) do a great job of foreshadowing this dark ending, but who is going to suffer isn't as obvious as it initially seems.
From the beginning it's clear that Lana is the one in the crosshairs. It starts with a pair of lucky clippers that she steals from her partner Joel that she uses to snip the wires leading to the bombs (which begs the question: when will her luck run out?).
The creators pepper clues throughout, the most obvious of all perhaps being Joel and Lana's friendship. The two are clearly bonded. They display a relationship built of familiarity, trust, inside jokes and buddy-buddy banter. All this is underpinned by the fact that they served in Afghanistan together and have clearly supported each other through the worst of times.
Though the creators ham up their friendship a little, they are a likeable duo, so that when tragedy strikes the impact is that much greater.
We quickly realise that Lana can be reckless and doesn't hesitate when it comes to putting herself in danger if she thinks it will save a life.
McClure is no stranger to playing fearless women. Of her Line of Duty and Trigger Point characters she told Digital Spy: "I look at Lana and Kate [Fleming] and I don't see them together as the same people at all. Not only in the way that Lana looks, and the way that we've designed that – her personality is very different. They're both very strong women, for sure, and very brave but those are the kind of roles I love to take."
Brierley admitted he had written the role of Lana with McClure because of the complexity of her characters: "I think the roles she's done in the past have that perfect blend of courage, determination and vulnerability that's Lana to me."
This is definitely evident in Lana, whose mistake nearly costs her and Joel their lives. She's quick to refuse his help, though, instead wanting him to escape before the bomb goes off. When the bomb squad's robot goes lame mid-investigation she insists on doing a manual check despite the risks. Later, when a hostage is found with bombs strapped to him she refuses to let snippers 'eliminate the threat' and puts herself in harm's way to help. Brave? Certainly. But also apparently the makings of someone with a death wish – or so you'd think.
Yet when it comes to the crunch, it's Joel who unexpectedly finds himself in danger. Though brave, Joel is the more measured of the two. He is devoted to his job but questions his choice to stick with it as it is putting a strain on his family. He even quotes the Lethal Weapon line: "I'm getting too old for this shit."
He's the one who gets caught in an explosion during an investigation, one that knocks Lana unconscious. When she comes round she stumbles around looking for Joel and instead finds an arm separated from his body.
Though a scattered limb does suggest this is the end for Lester’s Joel, he is scheduled to be a part of four episodes of the six-part series. Whether or not he is severely injured or returning in the context of flashbacks is yet to be confirmed. Speaking of his role, Lester said (via ITV statement): "I'm really looking forward to partnering with Vicky on this great new series. Jed Mercurio's material is always great. This series is ambitious and challenging which is why it's exciting to be a part of the team."
In an interview Lester hinted to Digital Spy and other press that we should expect the unexpected: "I think one of the fun things is that people don't know what's going to happen next. Daniel's script keeps the audience on their toes. Drip feeds the information as all good thrillers should and stays one step ahead of them.
“You have to truly believe you don't know what's going to happen next. And truly believe the threat your main character is facing otherwise it's boring and you definitely get that with Jed's shows. And Daniel's script definitely provides that. You definitely have that feel that something bad is going to happen to somebody at some point."
Trigger Point premieres on ITV in the UK on Sunday, January 23.
Line of Duty series 1-6 are available on BBC iPlayer, and DVD and Blu-ray boxsets are also available to buy now.
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