Bodyguard: A political thriller in six episodes from the UK


Bodyguard: A political thriller in six episodes from the UK

David Walsh

15 December 2018


Bodyguard is a British television series that aired in August and September and is now available on Netflix.

The six-episode series centers on a British Army veteran, David Budd (Richard Madden), suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Budd now serves as an officer with that section of the Protection Command—itself a division of London’s Metropolitan Police Service—in charge of security for politicians. After foiling a terrorist bomb plot on a train, Budd is assigned to protect the home secretary, Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes).

Montague is an ambitious, right-wing politician who has voted consistently for military operations overseas. Budd has bitter feelings about his deployment in Afghanistan. In the course of thwarting the terrorist attack, he tells the would-be female bomber, “I was in Afghanistan. I saw mates get killed. Nearly got killed myself. For what? Nothing. Politicians. Cowards and liars. Ours and theirs. People full of talk but will never spill a drop of their own blood. But you and I, we’re just collateral damage.”

Nonetheless, Budd stoically takes on the assignment of guarding Montague with his habitual conscientiousness. She, meanwhile, is trying to push through parliament a new Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill, the so-called RIPA-18, known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” which would give the authorities new powers to monitor phone calls, e-mails and social media without judicial review.

Nicholas Gleaves, Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden in Bodyguard

The home secretary tells the media, “I am committed to supporting our security services by giving them greater powers to confront greater threats. … Only those intent…

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