By: Aidan Clarke, Staff Writer
“The Bodyguard” took British viewing audiences by storm when it was released in Aug., charging to the highest BBC viewing figures since 2008. Combining elements of murder-mystery, political drama, and high tech espionage, “The Bodyguard” arrived on Netflix in the US on Oct. 24, and looks set to make an immediate impact.
Directed by Jed Mercurio (“Line of Duty,” “Critical”), a former RAF Officer and hospital doctor, “The Bodyguard” features Richard Madden, who previously played Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones” as Police Sergeant David Budd. Budd is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now works as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Metropolitan Police Force.
The main storyline of “The Bodyguard” begins as Budd is assigned to protect the Home Secretary, Julia Montague (Played by Keeley Hawes). Montague is agenda-laden, headstrong, and extremely ambitious. However, she is also controversial, and her attempts to increase surveillance across the UK in response to terrorist attacks are viewed by others as cynical attempts at power grabs.
Budd struggles with the Secretary’s politics, as he remains deeply resentful towards the politicians (including Montague) responsible for sending him to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Budd also battles with PTSD and an estranged family. His struggle with PTSD forms a constant subplot throughout the show. In fact the entire series is as much about Budd overcoming his PTSD as it is about the conspiracy he finds himself trapped in. This is a delicate subject, and Mercurio does a phenomenal job of handling it with the sensitivity that it requires.
Budd and Montague find themselves developing a striking chemistry, and they become extremely attached to each other. However, Montague’s skeptical role of the police force, and closer ties to MI5 create a tension between her and Budd’s supervisors. Worse still, as a series of assassination attempts and terrorist attacks targeting both Montague and Budd become increasingly sophisticated, he finds himself ensnared in a deep conspiracy which threatens himself and everyone he endears.
The action scenes in “The Bodyguard” are gripping. The camerawork and directing are phenomenal, and it is clear that a great deal of effort went into making the show realistic. Every action scene has a great deal of suspense building up to it, and the shows climactic moments are a test of viewers’ nerves. Political intrigue and mystery are also extremely well developed throughout, and it is hard for viewers to settle on one figure who they can really trust. If there is a problem with “The Bodyguard”, it is that the ending is a little too formulaic. It is hard to tie up all the ends of any mystery, but I feel that Mercurio was just a little heavy handed. Some plotlines are best left unfinished, but the need to resolve every detail means the final ten minutes of “The Bodyguard” become rather tedious.
Overall, “The Bodyguard” is an excellent series, thoroughly enjoyable throughout and certainly bingeable. In my opinion it is one of the best new TV shows of 2018, and is sure to be a must watch.