Trauma – The DVDfever Review – John Simm, Adrian Lester

Trauma

Trauma centres around the two leads who have entirely different family lives.

Jon Allerton (Adrian Lester) is one of the leading hospital surgeons in London, with a happy wife and daughter and an affluent lifestyle, while Dan Bowker (John Simm) is about to be made redundant from a factory, and back to his comparative hovel with a wife and three children.

However, a situation has led to Dan’s eldest son, Alex, being put in hospital with a life-threatening condition. Expert rock climber – when havig a daddy-daughter day – and clean-shaven Jon ends up in a brief conversation with Dan about the lad’s condition, which soon worsens, as the requisite operation turns out to be far more difficult and complicated than first thought. When Alex dies, Dan takes a single line from a brief conversation with Jon, about how his son was going to be alright, and runs with that. He also assumes the surgeon is lying, and struggles to get past that, picking him up on every last nuance and twisting what he said.

Was he telling the truth? Was he lying? Well, you’ll have to watch to find out, but every time it gets to a mini cliffhanger*, along comes an ad break.

(cliffhanger? rock climbing? No, you shut up!)




John Simm continues to prove that he’s one of Britain’s finest actors, as his character has to endure the hardest thing a parent can go through, while Lyndsey Marshal is also superb as his wife, Susie. Lester is also good, although he’s fairly similar in everything in which I’ve seen him.

When I first saw the trailer for Trauma, I had a feeling it was going to get a bit ‘Single White Female‘, but without giving spoilers, the first episode did provide a twist I was NOT expecting. Some may do, but I often put my brain in neutral when I’m watching a film or TV show. After all, why try and second guess a production? Just sit back and enjoy the drama!

That said, there are a number of implausible moments that come up, which obviously I won’t mention, but it just feels like they tried to Hollywoodise it a bit too much. Plus, there are elements, at time, that make it feel like a dumb soap opera. However, even when it does that, the performances from Simm and Marshal pull this through.

So, after a strong opener, the second episode faltered somewhat, and the third a bit more – albeit not quite as much once I’d had time to think about it. I’ve added more thoughts about all that now the finale has aired, and they’re also hidden behind a spoiler heading so you can’t accidentally stumble on them. If you do comment on this, please refrain from putting spoilers.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

About John Simm dramas in general, and I’ll add that after there not being any on TV for a short while, like buses, two have come along at once! Both Trauma and BBC2’s Collateral clash at 9pm on the same evening. Thankfully, they only clash the once, since while Collateral is a weekly drama, Trauma airs over three consecutive nights – a rarity in UK television, but a welcome one in these days when ‘streaming all episodes’ is regularly heard from Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Trauma beings on Monday at 9pm, and then will be the ITV Hub. You can pre-order the series on DVD, ahead of its release on February 19th.


Trauma – ITV Trailer


Episode 1: 8/10
Episode 2: 6/10
Episode 3: 5/10

Director: Marc Evans
Producer: Catherine Oldfield
Creator/Writer: Mike Bartlett
Music: Christian Henson

Cast:
Jon Allerton: Adrian Lester
Dan Bowker: John Simm
Susie Bowker: Lyndsey Marshal
Nora Barker: Jemima Rooper
Alana Allerton: Jade Anouka
Catherine Bowker: Raffiella Chapman
Mark Bowker: James Gasson
Dave Saunders: Calvin Dean
Steve Beckett: Steven Elder
Julia Lancing: Hara Yannas

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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  • Olivia Kirby

    I watched the first one last night. It was okay and I’ll watch the rest. I find John Simm incredibly watchable though, and will watch Collateral tonight as I ran out of time last night. I’m kind of re rewatching Psychoville at the moment so I’m finding it hard to switch that off!

  • What did you think of both this and Collateral?

  • Olivia Kirby

    I could not watch the last 20 minutes or so of the last episode of Trauma. The whole thing just irritated me more and more as it went on and I was surprised I got through the second episode. I got up to the part where Adrian Lester had turned up to the house and I was squirming so much I had to switch it off! Pathetic, I know!
    I’ve only watched the first Collateral, is there any more on there yet? I’ll carry on watching that. There was a lot to take in, a lot of characters to get to know.

  • I had to see the end of Trauma just to see how it would turn it out, even if it was quite daft.

    Collateral ep.2 is on tonight. There’s 4 in total.

  • Olivia Kirby

    Great, I’ll watch that and Marcella tonight then. I watched a new thing on Sky called Bliss last week too – AWFUL – I hated it!

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