As a series, the Sigmund Freud Files seem to be quite the rollercoaster ride in quality. After the awful opening audio drama we were rewarded with a tense, tightly written character piece promising a better series, but now it seems we’ve slid back into the mentality of the first tale. Once again the problem is that Martens seems intent upon using Freud as a borderline detective or police investigator, forcing him well outside of his element and resorting to many tired and overdone tropes.
The story this time involves Freud being dragged into a shooting. A screaming man on a rooftop with a rifle is threatening everyone in sight, firing off pot shots at the passers-by. While normally this would be worth elaborating upon further, you can already guess where this story is going. It’s a modern PTSD soldier story with a few 1800s trappings and little else. Just about every cliché you can think of is wheeled out here, and much like The Second Face the true villain of the piece is someone you can pick out within the first few minutes.
There’s sadly very little else to add to this one beyond “traumatised sniper story you’ve seen a hundred times before,” as the writing offers little in the way of true originality. You need not even bother to keep track of character names, as you’ll be mentally ticking off their role in the story, from militaristic blowhard to the victimised family. Even Freud himself is sadly poorly utilised once again, showing little of his true capabilities and regulated to the role of only sane man in the story.
Suffice to say, the plot itself isn’t much in the way to write home about and the script offers little in the way of truly inventive dialogue. However, what elevates this above The Second Face are the performances, with the cast. Rintoul, Prekopp and Tate have all nicely adjusted to their roles, and there’s a level of conviction to their lines that helps to sell some of the scenes despite there played out nature. This becomes especially clear during the concluding scenes, where the performances perfectly reflect the PTSD nature of the sniper and the desperation on both sides. It’s an astounding performance from everyone involved, which makes it so disappointing this glimmer of quality only shows up at the tail end of the third act.
If you’re after a good example of the Sigmund Freud Files, stick to Father and Son for the time being as Injury offers very little to attentive listeners.
THE SIGMUND FREUD FILES 3 – INJURY / DIRECTOR: DOUGLAS WELBAT & PATRICK SIMON / AUTHOR: HEIKO MARTENS (TRANSLATED BY ARMIN PREDIGER) / STARRING: DAVID RINTOUL, CARL PREKOPP, EMMA TATE, NICOLETTE MCKENZIE, JESS ROBINSON, ASHLEY MARGOLIS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW