On October 24th, Netflix is releasing the thriller Bodyguard. Originally released on BBC at the end of August, it’s become a huge hit since its premiere. The most watched drama in a decade, the final episode had an audience that totaled 11 million people. Along with that, it’s Rotten Tomatoes score currently stands at 100%. While it’s a political thriller at the surface, the show delves deep into topics such as mental health, toxic masculinity, and sexism.
Starring Richard Madden, known by many as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, the series is about a sergeant (Madden) who, after heroically stopping a terrorist attack, is tasked with protecting the very controversial Home Secretary. What follows is a tense and suspenseful story, as Madden’s character fights against his own beliefs in order to do his job and figure out who is behind the terrorist attacks. After watching this, it’s easy to see why Richard Madden might be the next Bond (just rumors, but we’ll see what happens).
Sergeant David Budd
A veteran who served in Afghanistan, David Budd seems put together and capable of handling any tough situation thrown his way. Despite this, it’s clear his time as a soldier left a mark on him, and he shows multiple symptoms of PTSD. At the start of the show, the effects of this are visible in his strained relationship with his wife, Vicky. They are separated, but remain on good terms to raise their two children, Ella and Charlie.
Budd doesn’t trust politicians, especially those who supported the involvement with the Middle East. This becomes tough for Budd when he’s assigned as Principal Protection Officer (PPO) for Home Secretary Julia Montague, who’s pushing a new counter-terrorism bill that would give the Security Services, or MI5, an unprecedented amount of power of surveillance.
Keeley Hawes, who’s also starred in creator Jed Mercurio’s other hit show, Line of Duty, plays Home Secretary Julia Montague. An extremely strong but divisive politician, Julia is a hard assignment for Budd. She’s trying to move forward with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2018, or RIPA 18, which is her controversial counter-terrorism bill. Budd has to ignore how strongly he disagrees with her values in order to protect her.
Julia’s smart and secretive, and many of the other politicians are scheming and working against her, trying to stop her from gaining a higher position in the government. Due to her career as a politician, and the public’s opinion of her, Julia becomes a terrorist target, and it’s up to Budd to save her life.
Sophie Rundle, best known for playing Ada Shelby in the Netflix show Peaky Blinders, plays Vicky Budd, David’s wife. Vicky loves David and strongly cares for him, but because of his PTSD and reluctance to get help, they’re estranged. They communicate frequently in order to care for their children, but she’s started to move on, dating other people. After David’s position as Julia’s PPO leads to an involvement in the terrorists’ plot, Vicky and the kids are forced under protection until they find who’s responsible.
Deepak Sharma and Louise Rayburn
Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Deepak Sharma and Detective Sergeant (DS) Louise Rayburn work together in the Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terrorism Command. After an attempted suicide bombing on a train arriving in London, the two officers begin an intense investigation. It very quickly involves Budd and Montague. They interview David on the case, and they each begin to form their own theories on who might really be responsible.
In Bodyguard, the police officers include a wonderful range of diversity. Ash Tandon and Nina Toussaint-White, who play Deepak and Louise respectively, are both actors to watch, playing complex and interesting characters, while also bringing much needed representation to the crime thriller genre.
Anne Sampson and Lorraine Craddock
If you’re like me, you recognize Gina McKee, who plays Commander Anne Sampson (left above), right away. She played Bella in Notting Hill, though she’s been in an abundance of other things too. Pippa Haywood, who plays Chief Superintendent (CSI) Lorraine Craddock (right), has had a long career as well. She was most recently in Requiem, a supernatural thriller that came out on Netflix this year.
As for their characters in Bodyguard, Sampson is the head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terrorism Command. She reports to Julia Montague. When Julia starts involving the Security Services more in their work, she becomes suspicious. Sampson works with her counter-terrorism team to try to find the truth.
Craddock is David’s commanding officer, and she’s very supportive of him. She assigns him to Julia because of his commendable work as a soldier. Sampson and Craddock work together increasingly in the investigation, hoping to learn more information as the case becomes steadily more intense.
Other characters include Mike Travis (Vincent Franklin), Minister of State for Counter-Terrorism, Rob Macdonald (Paul Ready), a Special Advisor to Julia who has romantic feelings for her, and Director General of the Security Service/MI5, Stephen Hunter-Dunn (Stuart Bowman), whose secret meetings with Julia cause great suspicion with her team, especially Anne Sampson.
Why you should watch
Bodyguard is continually thrilling, and with only six episodes, it’s an easy binge. The show is diverse, and the characters are complicated and multidimensional, especially the women. Each episode builds up the tension through constant twists and new information, and you honestly won’t want to stop watching until you know what’s actually going on. It’s so good, it’ll leave you with one question: When are we getting season 2?
Be ready to watch when Bodyguard hits Netflix on October 24th!
(Featured image: BBC)