I love a stressful pilot.
Bodyguard‘s opening episode is a tension-filled experience right from its teaser (a haunting sequence set on a train which I won’t spoil here). The show’s premise is simple: an Army veteran suffering from PTSD is assigned to protect the British Home Secretary Julia Montague – a woman with politics contradictory to his own. It’s refreshingly straightforward (at least at first), and that makes it easy to hop on board for the ride.
Game of Thrones star Richard Madden finally gets his chance to shine and he’s certainly an interesting choice for a lead. Madden conveys a pretty wide range in the pilot – he’s not just a stoic bodyguard, he’s a vulnerable father and husband who’s going through hell in his personal life. I often wondered if Madden could ever lead his own show while watching Thrones, and I’m pleased to say that he most definitely can. The guy is just very likeable, and that’s a stark contrast to the woman he has to protect.
As Julia Montague, Keeley Hawes is cold, harsh, and far from welcoming when faced with her new bodyguard. I wonder if the show will ever pursue romantic sparks between the two, but regardless, Hawes and Madden generate some great chemistry in the pilot.
However, it must be said that the cliffhanger is weak. It’s disappointing when shows don’t stick the landing but this pilot could have had a much more impactful ending. Nevertheless, I’m sticking around,.
With effective thrills and a pair of solid performances, this British thriller is off to a strong start.