BBC's 'Bodyguard' is set for a gripping season finale, and now it's coming to America; here's why you need to watch it
With the series grabbing the attention of Netflix for international distribution rights, here's what makes 'Bodyguard' a series you simply must watch!
The tension grips you from the opening scene itself. Just 15 minutes into episode one and Sergeant David Budd (played by Richard Madden from 'Game of Thrones' and 'Ibiza') is already averting a possible suicide bombing on one of London's trains.
The stoic Afghanistan war veteran and Metropolitan Police Protection Command officer thwarts an act of terror without any casualties, with tension peaking when he attempts to convince the suicide bomber to not press the button even as he steels her from getting shot by counter terrorism officers. Little does he know that this intervention sparks off a chain of events that form the narrative for the rest of 'Bodyguard'.
The British TV political crime drama, created and written by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions for the BBC, is a six-part series that has taken the world by storm. With enough action for adrenaline junkies and a host of surprising twists and spooks, the show is already the biggest ratings hit of the year, even catching the attention of streaming giant Netflix, which has grabbed the international distribution rights to the edge-of-the-seat thriller.
'Bodyguard' began broadcasting on BBC One every Sunday from August 26 and instantly shot to the highest viewing figures for a new BBC drama in the multichannel era. It also scored a 100 % 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregator site, and has the highest launch figure of any new British drama since 2006, with 10.4 million viewers. With the season finale set for a cliffhanger ending on Sunday, September 23, on BBC One, the series' penultimate episode last Sunday (September 16) saw more than eight million viewers tune in.
So what makes this show special. Aside from the spectacular acting by Madden and Keeley Hawes (who plays The Right Honourable Julia Montague, the Home Secretary), the drama combines the tension within the Home Office and the police protection branch amid a grave terror threat to London and its policymakers, all while offering a heavy dose of spills, thrills and chills.
Promoted to protect the Home Secretary, Budd is caught between a rock and a hard place when he is asked to ensure the safety of a political figure, whose politics stand for everything he despises. While he is torn apart ideally, he doesn't hesitate even once putting himself in the line of fire, time and again. Sporting his strong native Scottish accent, the policeman's most venerable moment comes in episode three in one of the most-talked-about sniper scenes in a modern TV drama.
Watch the scene here (Warning: Some graphic content):
Well, spoiler alert: Budd manages to save Julia this time, but the assassins try again and manage to kill Julia by the end of the episode. What follows is a narrative full of eye-candy twists and surprises for thrill seekers, with Budd leaving no stone unturned in finding her killers. By the end of episode five, fans are desperate for answers.
Is Julia Montague actually alive? What dark secrets does Budd harbor? Is there even one person he can trust? And how is the thwarted suicide attempt on the train, the Home Office's policy decisions and Budd's personal history with Julia all connected? Is this a conspiracy from within the government or one man's vengeance raining havoc on London's politic landscape? With only a trailer and a bunch of photos of the finale to offer some answers, it is only on Sunday night that we will be able to put those speculations to rest and hopefully witness a 'happy ending'.
'Bodyguard' also features Gina McKee as Commander Anne Sampson, Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, Sophie Rundle as Vicky Budd, David's estranged wife, Paul Ready as Rob MacDonald, Special Adviser to the Home Secretary, Vincent Franklin as Mike Travis, Minister of State for Counter-Terrorism, Nina Toussaint-White as Detective Sergeant Louise Rayburn, Counter Terrorism Command and more.
Here's the season finale trailer:
In an interview with BBCTwo, writer and creator Jed Mercurio answers some of the questions. To strong demands for another season, he says: "I'm hopeful there will be a second series. But we've only just started talking to the BBC about it so that remains to be seen."
On what inspired 'Bodyguard', he says: "I wanted to do something that was set in the world of politics but also had a thriller element and we came up with the idea of going through the police protection branch because that was an aspect of policing that hadn't been seen before. " He elaborates that the reason they chose this particular format was quite impulsively. "Six episodes is the standard commission for a new drama. and the discussion was about whether we would do a mini-series length of about three or four, but we actually felt that we had such a meaty story that it would extend to six."
So is Julia Montague alive? Mercurio can't help but quip: "Well Keeley Hawes is alive. Julia Montague you'll have to wait and watch on Sunday night to find out."
While the show is exclusive to the UK, stay tuned to Netflix to bring it across the world next month.