It only took a few minutes of Bodyguard episode 1 to realize that this show was going to absolutely be intense. Yet, we also did get a good understanding that this was not going to be a typical police drama, either.
In this series, former Game of Thrones star Richard Madden appears in the lead role as David Budd, a war veteran who is now working as a Specialist Protection Officer. His job is to help others with need in conjunction with the police service, and that includes being a protector for high-ranking officials. You see in the first 20 minutes that he is qualified for so much more than what is, at times, a pretty cut-and-dry job. He somehow manages to calm down a bomb crisis aboard a train in a way that protects both the bomber (who was brainwashed to do the act) and also the people on board. This was intense, and really all it took was this to realize that we were all-in with this show.
Moving beyond this, though, we eventually met the other lead of the show in Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes, playing a very different role than we’ve seen in The Durrells), a Home Secretary who had a tremendous amount of power and was rising up the political ladder. It was David’s responsibility to look after her and protect her, but the problem there became clear the more that we heard Julia spoke. As it turns out, she was a controversial figure with beliefs that were not in line with much of what David thought. She was the sort of volatile, at-times cold political figure that has dominated headlines over the past couple of years. Her words to David about his job were clear: She didn’t require that he vote for her; she just needed him to protect her.
The later stages of this episode gave us a little bit of a sense as to David’s home life, his PTSD, and also how it’s keeping him from being able to move forward in life. We also learned that some of the people close to David are not too keen about his job. He’s still going about it, though, trying not to complain and bracing for what is coming — which we know is eventually going to be big. Heck, if the difference of beliefs continues, he could be as big of a threat to her as anyone.
Bodyguard, at least through one episode, is off to a fantastic hour of television. Madden is fantastic as the stoic-but-detached David, a man who clearly spends so much time with his job that he doesn’t really understand his family. His wife has moved on romantically from him, he barely knows his kids, and with that, the job really is all he has. He needs help but lacks the means or the ability to get it.
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