We might only be an hour into ITV’s Trigger Point, but the new Jed Mercurio-produced drama has already slapped viewers with a huge plot twist.
The ITV drama follows a close-knit squad of expos: police officers called upon to deal with bomb threats, led by Lana Washington (Vicki McClure) and Joel Nutkins (Adrian Lester).
Talking about the filming process, McClure has said she learned “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".
The drama might have both McClure and Mercurio attached, but the Kate Fleming star has been quick to point out that there are many differences between Trigger Point and Line of Duty.
RadioTimes.com has assembled everything you need to know about new ITV drama Trigger Point.
In the meantime, why not check out our guide to whether Trigger Point is based on a true story.
Trigger Point release date
Trigger Point premiered on Sunday 23rd January at 9pm on ITV, with episodes airing weekly.
The news of the show's premiere date was confirmed on Wednesday 12th January, after trailers on ITV had teased it would be coming to the channel the same month.
Summer 2021 saw the series begin filming, with Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure taking to Twitter to announce the "explosive start" and release first-look images.
"Can't wait to reveal more as we go along... we've got an incredible cast!! And the crew are creating absolute gold," McClure captioned the images.
Jed Mercurio also shared a peek behind the scenes on the upcoming drama, adding he was "excited" to be reunited with "national treasure" and Line of Duty star McClure.
Trigger Point cast
Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) plays bomb disposal operative Lana Washington, while Adrian Lester (Life) will play her colleague Joel Nutkins.
Writer Daniel Brierley said of McClure’s character: “Lana is the centre of the story for me, she's real, vibrant and complicated. She really fits in with the central paradox of the story, how do you train yourself to be this cool in the face of danger and then survive in the real world and have relationships?"
Speaking about Lana and Joel's dynamic, he added: "For me you can't really have Lana without having Joel, they are part of a double act. He's the only one who sees all the sides of her - she never has to pretend around him and he gets her. They have this symbiotic relationship and they both complete the other. So I couldn't have Lana, who is raw, vulnerable and wears her heart on her sleeve, without having a character like Joel who is the opposite."
Discussing her character, McClure revealed that her character is worlds away from her role as DI Kate Fleming in Line of Duty.
"I can't be worried about taking roles that might feel in a similar world or in a similar vein [to Line of Duty]," she said. "I look at Lana and Kate and I don't see them together as the same people at all. They're both very strong women. Very brave and committed. But that's the kind of role I love to take."
She added that, while she might not be “playing a police officer... people love Line of Duty so if there is any comparisons, it might not be a bad thing!"
Other key Trigger Point cast members include Mark Stanley (who plays Henry VIII in Anne Boleyn) as DI Thom Youngblood, Warren Brown (Luther) as Karl Maguire, and Kerry Godliman (After Life) as Sonya Reeves.
Rounding out the cast are Cal MacAninch (Des) as Lee Robins SCO19, Manjinder Virk (Midsomer Murders) as Samira Desai SO15, Ralph Ineson (The Capture) as Commander Bregman, and Eric Shango in the role of Danny.
So, essentially, quite the line-up of British talent!
In light of McClure's role in Trigger Point, Mercurio has said that he hopes his new drama will encourage more women to train as bomb-disposal experts.
"In terms of the gender balance within the world of explosives officers, it is absolutely a very male-dominated environment," he said. "But we all know professions should be more gender balanced and there should be a much more level playing field for entry to these roles. 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."
He added: "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."
McClure added: "There's only a very small number of expos working with the Met, and none of them are women as far as I’m aware. But there would be a lot of female expos in the army. I’ve read scripts over the years where I’ve thought, 'I really like this script... I'd really like his part though.' So I like that this is a story about a female expo, and it's completely possible because there are female expos in the army."
Trigger Point plot
Lead character Lana Washington is an ex-military bomb disposal operative, known as an ‘Expo’, who conducts her dangerous job alongside colleague Joel Nutkins, who bonded with Lana when they both served together in Afghanistan.
However, "death is always just a heartbeat away" for the Expo officers, a reality hammered home when a terrorist campaign threatens the safety of Londoners over one fateful summer.
Talking about how he came up with the concept, creator Brierley said: “I came across a 1970s BBC documentary called The Long Walk about bomb disposal operatives in Northern Ireland, and it was incredible. 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," he added.
- If you've already watched the first episode, why not check out our Trigger Point episode 1 recap here or our guide to Adrian Lester's character's fate in the first episode. Though be warned: full spoilers follow.
Trigger Point trailer
ITV premiered the first trailer for the series on Sunday 21st November 2021.
The reveal of the explosive footage came following the airing of An Audience with Adele and the premiere of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! 2021.
Vicky McClure could be seen covered in soot following an explosion in the tense scenes.
ITV has been airing the trailer extensively across its evening schedules in the run-up to the air date.
A second trailer was then released just ahead of the new series launch in January 2022, with McClure's character seen tackling an extremely tense bomb threat.
The clip sees Lana wearing full bomb disposal gear, heading for a car while fellow officers stand back before she makes a frightening discovery just as the clip cuts to black. You can check it out below:
Trigger Point continues on ITV at 9pm on Sunday 30th January 2022.