Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. And keep your eyes glued to Bodyguard when it drops on Netflix this week.
The reputation of this series precedes it, attaining the highest BBC drama figures since 2008 and storylines that sent social media into meltdown.
Penned by the brilliant Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty) it’s a thrill-ride immersed in an era of terrorism, starring Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as police protection officer David Budd.
Budd is a former and scarred Afghanistan vet, denying any PTSD, but estranged from his wife (Sophie Rundle) but remaining a doting dad to his two kids. He is also alert but not alarmed as demonstrated in an opening incident aboard a London train, which leads to a promotion protecting Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes).
But the two clash from the get go. Hawes is politically hard-lined, a supporter of the Iraq & Afghanistan campaigns and is planning to introduce tough legislation that deeply challenges Budd. Ever the steel-blue professional, he keeps his opinions to himself.
“I don’t need you to vote for me, only to protect me,” says Julia.
“Rest assured, ma’am, I’ll do what’s required,” he replies.
As politics and protestors swirl around him, and unable to reconcile with his wife, Budd is increasingly tested. Alas, to reveal much more would be sheer spoiling, suffice to say Mercurio is a master at twists, cliffhangers and gripping tension.
In his designer suits hunky Richard Madden has never been better, the epitome of the strong, silent type, who steps up to the action plate and heats up the intensity. Keeley Hawes is perfectly cast as an aggressive politician unafraid to wield power in male-dominated circles.
Notable performances also include Gina McKee and Nina Toussaint-White as part of a diverse ensemble.
As the 6 part series progresses Mercurio’s conspiracy theories become dense, and occasionally tricky to follow, but it ramps up to a thrilling finale you won’t see coming.
Having this on Netflix means you can binge your way through multiple episodes and like a guaranteed page-turning novel you won’t want to put it down.
Bodyguard debuts Wednesday on Netflix.