Created by Daniel Brierley, ‘Trigger Point’ is a crime thriller series that revolves around Lana Washington (Vicky McClure), a bomb squad officer with the Metropolitan Police in London. She finds herself at the vanguard of the police investigation after a series of explosions rocks the English capital. As her boss and friend Joel Nutkins gets killed in the first explosion, the search for the perpetrators becomes a personal mission for Lana.
Moreover, with the discovery of a far-right group’s possible involvement, the situation becomes further volatile due to the upcoming election. While ‘Trigger Point’ is a gripping ride of action and mystery, it does a great job of placing modern English society under the microscope, examining its social, religious, cultural, and political fault lines. If that has made you wonder whether the riveting show is inspired by actual events, we got you covered.
Is Trigger Point a True Story?
No, ‘Trigger Point’ is not based on a true story. Although, as with most other TV shows, certain elements of truth are embedded in it. Daniel Brierley wrote the script himself; he first came up with the premise for ‘Trigger Point’ when he was being mentored by ‘Line of Duty’ (which also stars McClure) creator Jed Mercurio under the TV bursary scheme. Brierley revealed that the idea for ‘Trigger Point’ came to him after watching the BBC documentary ‘The Long Walk’ on YouTube. “… I came across a 1970s BBC documentary called ‘The Long Walk’ about bomb disposal operatives in Northern Ireland, and it was incredible,” he told ITV.
The creator continued, “I’ve always been fascinated by the mindset of people approaching danger, the people who run towards the problem rather than run away from it because that’s counter to all our human instincts. If I saw something dangerous in the street, I would turn and walk in the other direction, so these operatives were training themselves to suppress something really natural. I thought that was a really fascinating jumping-off point for a drama, and I wanted to get inside their mindset.”
‘Trigger Point’ is Brierley’s first project as a creator. He knew that he had to be sensitive and careful while dealing with the complex subject matter of the show. “Of course, we knew that we were dealing with subjects that are real and raw, and it was important to make sure we gave enough balance and a fair portrayal of all sides,” he stated. “The series is set in London during a terrorist campaign and a hotly contested election, so we really had to make sure it felt real while also being sensitive. There was a duty to be honest and to show things how they really are.”
Brierley added, “I’ve been in London for 20 years now, and I remember 7/7, London Bridge, and Parson’s Green, so you tap into those tensions, the memories of the first time getting back on the tube, or seeing the 38 bus in pieces. There’s so many things happening around the world all the time, and for writers, we have to tap into it.” Moreover, Vicky McClure spoke in detail about how real bomb-squad officers helped the cast and crew on the set while accepting that the show took creative liberties in some issues.
“There were things that felt like absolute madness, like taking my helmet off as I approach the bomb, but then they explained to me that it could impair your vision, or it could knock the device if it slipped, all these logical things, so you need to take it off to actually work properly around the device. I was learning a lot,” the actress said.
Jed Mercurio, who also serves as an executive producer on ‘Trigger Point,’ explained that it was a conscious decision to have a female lead despite bomb disposal being a predominantly male-dominated sector of law enforcement. “… we all know professions should be more gender-balanced, and there should be a much more level playing field for entry to these roles,” he added.
“So it feels like a good statement to have a female lead – there are women who do occupy these roles, and as we go forward, there will be more. There’s no real gender specificity to Lana, she doesn’t carry out her role in a feminine way, she’s just a professional. I think it’s really important in terms of representation. If we showed the world as male-dominated, it might be sending the wrong message to people who might be considering that career.” Evidently, Trigger Point’ isn’t based on a true story, but it’s perfectly understandable if someone thinks it is.
Read More: Where is Trigger Point Filmed?