Bodyguard, the latest BBC One original and a Netflix distributed show, stars Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden (Robb Stark) as David Budd, an Afghanistan war veteran, who is assigned to be the bodyguard to Julia Montague, the UK’s Home Secretary. Being a vet however has changed Budd’s outlook on sending troops to foreign countries and he is opposed to Montague’s pro-war attitude. On top of that, Budd’s PTSD, from his time in the war, has negatively affected his relationship with his wife (Vicky), causing the 2 to live separately with their kids. With a tense life at home and at work, Budd has to protect Julia in an increasingly dangerous world from conniving politicians to terrorists.
Positives – Richard Madden gives such a terrific performance as the main lead in the show. Numerous times, he has to talk his way out of intense situations like talking to a suicide bomber in the very first episode, which is exciting to watch, particularly because of Madden’s expressions. Episode 6, the season finale, does a clever switcheroo and this time, it’s Budd in a suicide vest and he has to clear his name and talk the police out of potentially shooting him. It was exhilarating. Not only does he do a great job in the emotional scenes, he also brings a lot to the physicality and you absolutely buy him as a bodyguard. This show also relies less on action but more on the characters and their arcs, and it is riveting to watch. The supporting cast also do a great job, especially Nina Toussaint – White as DS Louise Rayburn. The family aspects of the show were also one of the many highlights. You felt bad for Budd but you also understood where Vicky was coming from and why they needed to live separately. Despite what Budd had gone through in the war, his refusal to seek help despite being advised by numerous people in his life to do so, made for a compelling drama.
Negatives – Despite being a season with just 6 episodes, there are a handful moments that drag and one could make an argument that this show could have benefitted from 5 episodes. As I mentioned above, this show isn’t an action-heavy show, which might affect people’s viewing experience. After all, with a name like ‘Bodyguard,’ people might expect a lot of action, only to be disappointed. Just know that this show is a character-drama with a lot (emphasis on lot) of politics.
Overall, Bodyguard Season 1 is a great mini-series to binge. It has great characters, performances, dialogue, writing, and I am genuinely excited for season 2.
Rating – 4.5/5