Bodyguard is a British television drama series that first aired on BBC One on August 26, 2018. The series was created and written by Jed Mercurio and stars Richard Madden as Sergeant David Budd and Keeley Hawes as Home Secretary Julia Montague.
The series focuses on Police Sergeant David Budd, a British Army veteran who suffers from PTSD. Now working for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of the Metropolitan Police, he is assigned as the bodyguard for the Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Julia Montague. Her political beliefs are in direct opposition to Budd's and he must reconcile his personal feelings with his professionalism.
Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?
Bodyguard was commissioned by the BBC from World Productions in 2016. At the time, the production company was independent, but was bought by ITV Global Entertainment in 2017. As a result of the buy out, ITV Global Entertainment handles international distribution resulting in Netflix being granted the international distribution rights for outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.Further information
The series was film mainly in London, including locations such as the Whittington Estate and Battersea for Budd and Montague's flats respectively. CityPoint near Moorgate and Woburn Square in Bloomsbury were the filming locations for the majority of episode six's scenes. The train scenes for the first episode were filmed on the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Several well-known BBC journalists, including Andrew Marr and Laura Kuenssberg appeared in the series as themselves.
Bodyguard achieved the highest viewing figures for a new BBC show since 2008, beating the season two finale of Downton Abbey. The final episode of the series drew 10.4 million viewers.
The series garnered positive reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the series an average of 8.8/10. However, the praise was not universal, and criticism was levelled at the series for its portrayal of Nadia Ali. Some felt that the depiction was Islamaphobia since it replaced the stereotype of oppressed Muslim women with the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists.