The Show The Whole SL Office Is Talking About: Bodyguard

The Show The Whole SL Office Is Talking About: Bodyguard

Already billed as the Beeb’s most violent show to date, new Sunday night drama Bodyguard has got the SheerLuxe office on the edge of their seats. Here’s why you need to catch up before the next episode this weekend…

What’s it about?

This new six-part series is set around police sergeant David Budd (Richard Madden), a heroic but hot-headed war veteran now working as a specialist protection officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. After distinguishing himself by courageously neutralising a terrorist threat (top tip: don’t watch this on your train commute into work), the police sergeant is assigned as a principal protection officer to the Home Secretary, Julia Montague MP (Keeley Hawes).

Julia is a controversial politician intent on pushing a new counter-terrorism bill through parliament which would give the security service enhanced surveillance powers. Her political ambitions make her a high-profile target. Dedicated to his job but concealing deep resentment of politicians following his traumas in Afghanistan, David's divided loyalties might just make him Julia's greatest threat.

Who stars?

First up there’s Richard Madden – most famous for playing Robb Stark in Game of Thrones. Easily the show’s standout performance, Madden plays the divided David – who’s pushed and pulled being a doting father and a war veteran struggling with PTSD – with a deft touch. He’s both likeable and respectable, but ripples with danger and unpredictability. Meanwhile Julia is played by the formidable Keeley Hawes, a TV regular who’s well used to ramping up audience’s blood pressures in the likes of Line of Duty and The Missing. Initially hostile towards one another, the duo’s intrigue and differences in opinion provides further tension for audiences – particularly at the grand reveal towards the end of the first episode.

Other notable cast members include Gina McKee (Line of Duty, Notting Hill) as Commander Anne Sampson, Head of the Metropolitan Police Counterterrorism Command, Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders, Jamestown) as David’s estranged wife Vicky, and Vincent Franklin (Happy Valley, The Bourne Identity) as Mike Travis, Minister of State for Counterterrorism. There’s also a special guest appearance from political broadcaster Andrew Marr, who gives Julia one of his trademark grillings on The Andrew Marr Show.

Will I like it?

If you’re anything like the rest of the country, then yes – episode one drew in 6.9m viewers, and Twitter was awash with praise following the bank holiday double bill. Written by Jed Mercurio, the brains behind Line of Duty, viewers can expect an explosive mix of gripping plotlines, face-behind-your-cushion tension and a raft of complex characters.

The show’s predilection for tension is apparent from the off, when we’re introduced to David’s character via a 20-minute scene where he negotiates with a suicide bomber on a packed train into London, as his two young children sleep in the adjacent carriage. As a thumb hovers over the detonation device, we see David as someone with empathy, tact and measure. Yet by the end of the episode, we’re offered a very different perspective.

The other reason we loved it so much? For all its emphasis on David as a heroic, skilful protagonist, the series is jam-packed full of strong female characters in positions of power. From the Cabinet to the police force (where we witness a woman as Head of the Metropolitan Police, as well as female snipers, unit leaders and explosives experts), there’s no denying that it’s really refreshing to watch a show where women as professionals are taken extremely seriously. We can’t wait to see what direction Bodyguard goes in next.

Where can I watch it?

Bodyguard airs each Sunday night at 9pm on BBC1. Episodes one and two are available to stream via BBC iPlayer now.

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