“Bodyguard” is a whirlwind political, espoinge, psychological thriller that doesn’t let off the gas pedal.
David (Richard Madden) is a war vet working for the London police department. He is quickly promoted to protect the person in charge of the U.K.’s national security, Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), the politician who pushed for the war he served in. Now he must put his politics aside to protect her at all costs, while the terror threat rises.
The series is a tense thrill ride from the start. Immediately viewers are thrown into the world of terrorist plots, assassination attempts, political manipulation and psychological demons.
In the midst of all this turmoil is David. The complicated plot is combined with a complicated hero. It’s hard to tell if he is being manipulated or doing the manipulation. Viewers don’t always know what he’s thinking or deciding until he acts, making for edge-of-your-seat scenes by delaying the reveal.
All characters exist in a world of gray, none clearly good or bad. David makes some morally questionable decisions, as does Julia. You’re not quite sure who you want to win in the psychological battles, mostly because you’re ready for the mind games to end.
Not only are the characters and story well-written, the cinematography plays into the thrills as well. Potential dangers aren’t shown until the last second. For example, when David scans a room for threats we’ll see a seemingly harmless politician, intern, intern’s pen or a person rifling through papers, none of which seem out of the ordinary — but you know something’s going to happen. When you can’t take the tension any more, David springs into action.
I started watching this series when I saw that Madden won a Golden Globe for his performance, a well-deserved honor. The characters, plot and camera work all blend together to make for a binge-worthy, ready-to-watch Netflix series.