A Descent into the PTSD Abyss

A Descent into the PTSD Abyss

Review: Trigger Point Series 1 & 2

Trigger Point, a British drama on Stan, delves into the high-pressure world of bomb disposal (Explosive Ordnance Disposal – EOD) technicians.  While the series features pulse-pounding bomb diffusions and heart-stopping near misses, its true focus lies in the psychological impact these experiences have on its characters.  Led by the ever-compelling Vicky McClure, Trigger Point offers a harrowing yet nuanced portrayal of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) within the EOD community.

The series centres around Lana Washington (McClure), a highly skilled EOD officer haunted by a past operation gone wrong.  Strained relationships, vivid flashbacks, and a constant sense of hypervigilance paint a grim picture of Lana’s life outside of bomb disposal.  McClure delivers a powerhouse performance, effortlessly conveying the emotional toll Lana carries.  Her eyes flicker with a mix of steely determination and raw vulnerability, showcasing the internal battle she wages daily.

The show doesn’t shy away from depicting the gruesome realities of bomb disposal work.  We witness Lana and her team confronting a variety of explosive devices, each situation a potential death sentence.  The tension during these sequences is palpable, the ticking clock a constant reminder of the potential for disaster.  However, Trigger Point goes beyond the anxiety of bomb diffusion.  It lingers on the aftermath, showcasing the emotional and physical exhaustion that comes with constantly facing life-or-death situations. It Lana’s case her work touches on every aspect of her life when her family becomes inextricably linked to her work, causing tension and heartache.

PTSD is a central character in the show.  Lana’s nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks are not merely plot devices; they are a constant presence that threaten to unravel her.  The series portrays the various ways trauma manifests, from insomnia and emotional detachment to self-destructive behaviour and substance abuse.  We see how it impacts not just Lana but also her colleagues, each carrying their own invisible scars.

Trigger Point doesn’t offer easy solutions.  Therapy sessions are depicted as a struggle, a constant negotiation between the need to heal and the desire to suppress the painful memories.  The show avoids romanticising the EOD profession.  While there’s a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose, it also acknowledges the toll it takes on personal lives.  Relationships become strained, communication breaks down, and the constant threat of death hangs heavy over every interaction.

The supporting cast delivers equally strong performances.  Adrian Lester portrays Lana’s bomb disposal partner, a calming presence struggling with his own demons.  He serves as a foil to Lana, their contrasting personalities highlighting the different ways people cope with trauma.  The team leader, played by Iain Glen, represents the hardened veteran, his gruff exterior masking a deep empathy for his team.

Trigger Point is not simply entertainment; it’s a poignant exploration of the human cost of terrorism on home soil and the invisible wounds carried by those who serve on the front lines.  By placing PTSD front and centre, the series sheds light on the struggles faced by veterans and emergency personnel, sparking important conversations about mental health and the need for support systems. 

Both series of Trigger Point are now streaming on Stan with a subscription


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