Richard Madden (known for his role as Rob Stark in Game of Thrones) is a conflicted man in Netflix’s Bodyguard. He plays David Budd, a combat veteran working as a bodyguard for England’s Home Secretary.
This tension-driven drama opens up with a bomb threat on a train that Budd happens to be on with his children where Budd finds the bomber in the bathroom and expertly negotiates the situation to prevent a disaster. After saving a train full of people from the bomb, he is chosen to protect England’s Home Secretary and things only grow more chaotic from there. Keeley Hawes, plays the steely Home Secretary Julia Montague, a politician who thrives on fearmongering and Islamophobia. Budd finds himself in the position of protecting a woman that believes in the very war that left him riddled with scars and PTSD.
While Budd does what he can to protect the Home Secretary he finds that himself caught up in the train bombing investigation and political espionage.
Bodyguard is a gripping series that leaves viewers wondering what will happen next in each drama-packed episode, however because the show is so heavily focused on turning the tension up to an 11, it fails to create believable relationships between some of the characters. As the narrative progresses, Budd becomes involved with one of the other characters despite the sheer absence of chemistry or really any tangible relationship other than that their beds are in close proximity to each other. It seems that the relationship is used only as a means to an end in a larger plot point and for the sake of giving the audience a few scenes with a scantily clad Budd.
The heavy-handed tension causes the few moments that should be light and touching to feel vacant and hollow because they’re thrown into the earlier episodes to ensure the events of the explosive finale take place.
As a side note, recycling the same racist and villainous tropes feels rather tired. Instead of having a terror cell of Muslims (or the earlier big bad, the Russians) it would be interesting to see a group of white supremacists or radical Canadians (just for a change of pace) as the suspects in a bombing plot.
Bodyguard has six episodes available on Netflix. The show is rated TV-MA and does depict explosive attacks and self harm. Fans might also enjoy Broadchurch, a British cop drama, or for something a little lighter press play on The Great British Bake-Off.