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Vicky McClure and Adrian Lester star in Trigger Point (Image: TVNZ / Tina Tiller)
Vicky McClure and Adrian Lester star in Trigger Point (Image: TVNZ / Tina Tiller)

Pop CultureJanuary 26, 2022

Missing Line of Duty? TVNZ’s new crime thriller Trigger Point is a real blast

Vicky McClure and Adrian Lester star in Trigger Point (Image: TVNZ / Tina Tiller)
Vicky McClure and Adrian Lester star in Trigger Point (Image: TVNZ / Tina Tiller)

Everything you need to know about TVNZ OnDemand’s explosive new thriller, made by the team behind Line of Duty and Bodyguard. 

I’ve watched the trailer, put on my protective gear and sharped my wire cutters, but it seems like TVNZ’s new drama Trigger Point is Line of Duty…with bombs?

Exactly, and that’s because the show is produced by Jed Mercurio, creator of hit dramas like Line of Duty and Bodyguard. Trigger Point is another crime thriller about hard-working officers in high-pressure situations, and while the storylines aren’t as complex, it has the same tense twists and turns that made LOD and Bodyguard such gripping TV.

It also stars Vicky McClure (LOD’s DI Kate Fleming), who chucks on a new bulletproof vest to play Lana Washington, a no-nonsense yet maverick bomb-disposal expert.

I’ve never met a bad Lana. Lana Coc-Kroft, Lana Searle, even Larnach Castle. 

She’s called Wash for short, but wait til you hear the name of Lana’s trusted partner: Joel Nutkins. Mr Nut. Old Nutty Nutkins. Sir Nutalottus with the big bomb.

Look, if I was kidnapped, forced to wear an an explosive vest and locked in a car boot, I wouldn’t care what the bomb disposal officer’s name was. 

Lana Washington and Nutty McNutface stare down the bombs

Sure, and that’s exactly what happens in the first episode. Wash and Nut (Hustle’s Adrian Lester) are experienced Metropolitan Police explosive officers – or “expos” – whose job is to neutralise explosive devices. They’re the double act who go running into dodgy situations when everyone else is running out, and they’re the only ones who know which cables to chop with their lucky wire-cutters. It’s more nerve wracking work than when Line of Duty’s Steve has to choose which waistcoat to wear.

It does sound stressful. I struggle to untangle my phone charger cord at the best of times. 

There’s a moment in episode one where Nutkins realises a bomb is triggered by a light switch, at the exact moment Washington goes to turn the light on. Have you ever tried to keep a light switch half on and half off, when your life depended on it? You’ll be sweating in cracks you didn’t know you had.

Look forward to it. What else happens?

Now we’re sucking diesel

The first episode – available now on TVNZ OnDemand – sets up the drama for the rest of the season. Washington and Nutkins (both ex-military who served together in Afghanistan) are part of the bomb squad dealing with a suspected explosives factory in a London housing estate. They don’t know it yet, but it’s the start of a terrorist campaign that will threaten the safety of the city over one long, hot summer.

In one hour, Nut and Wash dispose bombs in a toilet, behind a hot water cylinder, under cars and on a kidnap victim. There’s a cracker of a cliffhanger at the end of episode one, and while you might have predicted this event about seven minutes in, the result will still make you wish all six episodes dropped at once. Also, by the end of the first hour, you’ll be yelling phrases like “deploy the robot” into your walkie-talkie like you were born for it.

I’m here for one thing, and one thing only: what’s the difference between Lana Washington and LOD’s Kate Fleming? 

They’re both tough cookies who say “nice one, mate”, but Lana Washington is much cooler than DI Fleming. Lana loves a snazzy pair of sunglasses, and at the end of a long day detonating bombs, she cranks up the music and bobs her head in time with a nodding dog. She’s also just started dating her boss, DI Thom Youngblood. That’s another amazing name, and when has dating your superior ever gone wrong?

So what else can we expect?

This was a really tense episode of First Dates

There’ll be a lot more crawling into small spaces while people scream “don’t move!”, because it’s clear this bombmaker is here to cause trouble. Washington will be determined to find out who is behind the attacks (I’m picking an inside job, someone alert Ted Hastings), and we’ll also meet more of the supporting cast, which includes Kerry Godliman (After Life, Taskmaster), Ralph Ineson (Peaky Blinders) and Lee Robins (Vigil).

So is Trigger Point the explosive drama to fill the Line of Duty hole in our lives, or a bit of a fizzer?

It’s more predictable and less convincing than Line of Duty, but despite the far-fetched situations Nut and Wash find themselves in, it’s still thoroughly watchable TV. Did a toilet ever explode on Line of Duty? Sadly never, and that show was all the poorer for it.

New episodes of Trigger Point hit TVNZ OnDemand every Monday at 11am.

Keep going!