After writing about Mike Bartlett’s piece ‘Liar’ that was showcased on ITV, I had to watch and review Trauma that recently hit the screen. Trauma is a short three part drama about a father of a young boy who is stabbed and unfortunately dies when the surgeon cannot save him. Rather than following the expected route of knife crime/ the person that tried to kill his son, it follows the obsession with the surgeon that was unable to save him.
If you’ve watched both Liar and Trauma you can tell it is written by the same person as the general writing of stalking and intense interest is really similar. In terms of the story, there were definitely parts that were unrealistic. The amount of times the protagonist got into private talks or surgeries in the hospital is just not something that would happen. I think if it was one thing he got into and it showed the risky moments of him getting to that place it would have been more believable but the constant getting away with things seemed a little bit far-fetched. I personally feel like the story and characters could have been fleshed out a bit more as there seemed to be pointless characters that showed not much involvement towards the story, for example the two other kids Dan Bowker had. Other than him walking them to school every so often they had no connection to the story. There was no development of their characters, there was no hint of how they were taking their brother’s death and in all honesty it put Dan’s character in a weird light for being upset about his son. I think the writer was trying to make his character seem crazy and stalker like however it took away from the other characters a little bit for me.
When it came to characters I think in the end I was feeling sorry for the wrong character and I don’t know if that was due to the way the characters were written or because of how the piece played out but even though Dan was right about the surgeon and he wasn’t crazy, I still didn’t like him and in all honesty still felt sorry for the surgeon even though he had lied. I don’t know if this was the intention of the piece but it just seemed a little bit backwards in the end.
I think the ending was ok in terms of everyone had a somewhat happy ending however it wasn’t like a yay moment or anything. With drama pieces I always feel like there should be yay, oh my god or wow moment where you’re either hanging on for more, surprised by the ending or you’re happy with how it all ended and I feel like it just ended quite generically that they all kind of sorted it out. This might be some people’s cup of tea but for me it wasn’t an exciting moment in the end. Unfortunately I think some characters development, the short aspect of piece as a whole and the fact that it kind of bridged over the actual stabbing really didn’t allow the piece to reach its full potential. Focusing on a surgeon messing up is a good idea and I personally think it could have been showcased a bit better.