‘Bodyguard’ season 1 review: A thrilling 6 parter that leaves you wanting more

Richard Madden leaves ‘Game of Thrones’ shadow to have his own series worth its salt. 

Normally, BBC shows tend to bore me. I am not sure what it is, but the last series from that that actually interested me was David Tennant’s ‘Broadchurch’, and other than that, I don’t pay any attention to British primetime TV. However, ‘Bodyguard’ starring Richard Madden (who portrayed Robb Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’) changed my opinion, after watching it for myself after seeing many positive reviews from fans and critics.

The series takes place is London, focusing on David Budd (Madden), a war veteran and bodyguard who is assigned to protect Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), a divisive politician with many views that Budd doesn’t necessarily agree with. Going in, I was hoping for the next 24 type series, Madden taking the place of Kiefer Sutherland. ‘Bodyguard’ is certainly not that. Most definitely a political thriller, this series, while having a very interesting first episode, has a boring middle section, that only picks up near the very end.

While only given 6 60 minute ish episodes, there was still a separation, meaning that it was quite obvious when it got good. While both Budd and Montague are interesting characters, Montague was incredibly unlikable, and given a considerable amount of screentime, while Budd was excellent, always been sort of a questionable hero of the story. The are accompanied by an excellent and believable supporting cast, that most definitely made it very easy to suspend my disbelief.

As stated before, I went in expecting an action series. It became apparent around the 2nd episode that is was really not even close to that, choosing instead for a slow burn approach. However, around the end of episode 3 and 4, it ramps up on the overall tensity dramatically, and the series really becomes great tv, really gluing me to the screen for those last couple hours, in contrast to me nodding off in first half of the series.

Really, the most enjoyable part of the series that cannot be emphasized enough is Richard Madden. I have indeed seen his performance in Game of Thrones, and he wasn’t given the best screen time, or given the opportunity to have the most fleshed out character. With Budd, Madden proves he is an undeniably phenomenal actor. Along with Amy Adams’ Camille  of ‘Sharp Objects’ and Jonah Hill’s Owen of ‘Maniac’,  Madden’s Budd provides a terrific and endearing character that I always enjoy seeing.


While I didn’t like Bodyguard’s slow burn first few episodes, the last 3 were excellent, tightly paced television worth the wait. The depth and strength of Madden’s character is certainly deserving, as I can’t see another actor playing Budd. At the end of the 6 episodes, I was left wanting more of Budd, and wanting to see more of Madden’s performances in general. While the first half was much slower than the second, it was definitely nowhere near awful, and the pacing flips like a switch almost.