Bodyguard Series 1 – The DVDfever Review – Richard Madden

Bodyguard begins with Afghanistan war veteran cop David Budd (Richard Madden) tries to play “spot the terrorist” on a train, and he quickly makes himself the ‘Liam Neeson’ of the piece.

Before getting into more detail about the episode, the potential baddie had locked himself in a toilet, so surely the thing to do would be to get something to open the toilet door? There must be a tool like that on the train? That seems sensible, but it wasn’t carried out, here.

Either way, he does such a good job that he’s promoted… and is now bodyguard to Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes, so good in lots of things, but especially as Lindsay Denton in the fantastic Line of Duty), but alas, those taking the role of Home Secretary in real life are generally asshats. To that end, you just know he’s wanting to say something when she comments that she’s been “a total cow” since he looked her up before taking the job and saw she’d voted for military action whenever possible, thus has put him right in the firing line. Hence, he’s not a happy bunny, and thus begins the conflict between the two, never mind the real-world dangers he’ll face.

Bodyguard comes from writer/creator Jed Mecurio who brought us the aforementioned Line of Duty and Bodies, the former of which has been allowed to go from strength to strength, while Bodies was cancelled way before its time, and because of that, and since the BBC eventually saw sense, they’ve allowed him to give us new shows like this.

This first episode didn’t rush the intense, opening scene and allowed it to play its course in full. Line of Duty is famed for its extensive one-room interview scenes, and here, this series has begun with a 23-minute scene which was brilliantly captivating.

If Madden was bald and over six-foot tall, his steely glare in this role would make for a great Hitman, but after Hollywood making two false starts with that, they won’t give the character a third chance on the big screen, and besides, Hitman has always been infinitely better as a videogame than as a movie.

Bodyguard wasn’t available for previews prior to this airing on BBC1, and that usually means a series stinks, but in this case, how can you lose with Jed Mecurio? This made for a great series opener and I’m very much looking forward to catching the rest of it.


Episode 2: This episode was even better with incredibly tense scenes with a van being driven by terrorists towards a school, and a later one with an attack on the Home Secretary from a sniper. It’ll be interesting to see where the dynamic goes with the two lads from here, but given what happened, imagine snogging & doing the business with Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt or… Boris Johnson! 😱😱😱

Episode 3 had a look into the effects of David’s post-war PTSD, which was fairly interesting, and there’s always a chance he might get fingered for knowing the sniper once their war operational movements are matched up, but most of this is dealing with the sexual relationship between the two leads and I really couldn’t give two hoots about that.

Episode 4 had one major revelation I wasn’t expecting, and which I won’t divulge here. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know…

Episode 5 also had one major moment which I won’t give details about, but you’ll see it when it happens if you didn’t watch it live.

Episode 6 brought things to a head with a particularly long and tense scene after David ended up waking up after being knocked out, again in a scene I’m not going to spoil, so if you haven’t seen it, you should do now. I know. I’m giving nothing away. However, I will say that if you’ve spent the past week wondering how things would turn out in the Bodyguard finale between this theory and that theory, why didn’t you just bloody wait until it airs?

Are you enjoying The Bodyguard? Let me know in the comments below.

Bodyguard continues tomorrow night on BBC1 at 9pm, and then is regularly on subsequent Sunday nights at 9pm. The series is available to pre-order on DVD, fand you can watch each episode on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.

Bodyguard – Series Trailer – BBC One

Episode 1 Score: 8/10
Episode 2 Score: 9/10
Episode 3 Score: 6/10
Episode 4 Score: 8/10
Episode 5 Score: 8/10
Episode 6 Score: 9/10

Director: Thomas Vincent
Producer: Priscilla Parish
Writer/Creator: Jed Mercurio
Music: Ruth Barrett

Julia Montague: Keeley Hawes
David Budd: Richard Madden
Stephen Hunter-Dunn: Stuart Bowman
Andy Apsted: Tom Brooke
Vicky Budd: Sophie Rundle
Kim Knowles: Claire-Louise Cordwell
Mike Travis: Vincent Franklin
Roger Penhaligon: Nicholas Gleaves
Lorraine Craddock: Pippa Haywood
Chanel Dyson: Stephanie Hyam
Anne Sampson: Gina McKee
Rob Macdonald: Paul Ready
Tom Fenton: Richard Riddell
Tahir Mahmood: Shubham Saraf
Luke Aitkens: Matt Stokoe
Deepak Sharma: Ash Tandon
Louise Rayburn: Nina Toussaint-White
Prime Minister: David Westhead
Ella Budd: Bella Padden
Charlie Budd: Matthew Stagg