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.
I watched this from the start. Having worked for the Met Police Diplomatic Protection Group for eight years, with extensive contact with SO1 close protection officers, SO16 and other firearms officers, as well as SO15 Anti-Terrorist and MI5 and 6 Security Services contact daily, I approached it with far too much inside knowledge to suspend belief and just let it roll over me.
Despite that, it was an enjoyable ride, once I stopped being angry about the ‘affair’. Then there was that very good twist around the female suicide bomber. I didn’t see that coming. Better than a lot of stuff on TV these days, that’s for sure. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
I didn’t see most of the twists coming. And the casting was superb. I never would have recognised the guy from Game of Thrones.
I think I will check this out if I ever come across it. I do enjoy a good political thriller.