With absolutely everyone talking about this six part series, I felt like I better get in on it before I missed some kind of pop culture event. I was a bit of a late starter and finisher, which is why this review is maybe a little bit late but if you’re keen it is knocking about on BBC iPlayer for the next 6 or so months.
Richard Madden plays David Budd, a Helmand Province war veteran and Police Sergeant suffering from PTSD which he refuses to acknowledge. David’s refusal to get help has affected his relationship with his wife, Vicky (Sophie Rundle) from whom he is separated and his two young children.
When he coincidentally finds himself on a train with a suicide bomber (Anjli Mohindra) and diffuses the situation he comes to the attention of his superiors and is assigned to protect Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), the Home Secretary. David’s feelings towards Julia are complex. He is filled with anger at the events of the war but driven by duty and an underlying attraction to her charisma and power.
Julia is herself is a controversial character, ambitious, bold and willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top. One of her most challenging plans is the intention to introduce a new bill that will give the security service increased powers to monitor the public’s communication.
Soon more terror attacks occur and there is an attempt on Julia’s life. David gets sucked into an ever deeper conspiracy, his past starts to resurface and his behaviour becomes more erratic as he tries to get to the bottom of things and prove his own innocence.
So there were some absolutely great things about this series. The performances, especially from Madden are great. David isn’t the easiest character to back – he is secretive, cold, angry and often makes questionable decisions however Madden gives him heart and makes it possible to empathise with him. The conspiracy itself is complex and twisty and will keep you guessing and it makes you wonder how many of these kinds of machinations are actually on the go in the cabinet.
On the other hand it is a bit of a season of two halves. The first half is super exciting and intense and then it kind of slows down a bit and loses some of its impetus. By episode 5, I wasn’t as excited as episode 1 anymore.
Overall I would highly recommend Bodyguard for anyone who enjoys a bit of a intense, political thriller or just a thought provoking story. I am not usually that keen on political series but I still really enjoyed this.