Saturday, October 27, 2018

Pilot Review: Bodyguard

Bodyguard (Netflix)
Premiered October 24

Most of Netflix’s new offerings premiere on Fridays, and I’m always intrigued by those that don’t, which shouldn’t really mean anything since they’re available to watch anytime, and I definitely don’t watch the whole series right away. This one I actually got to watch on the day it debuted, and I’m glad I did, since it’s one of the best pilots I’ve seen this season. Right from the very start, the pacing was terrific and it was clear that this cop just got up while he was traveling on a train with his kids because he thought he saw some suspicious activity. Him not being on duty managed to piss off the cavalry that was actually working the case, but the cool he presented save the day and everyone on board, including the bomber that they nearly shot in the head as soon as they had a clear shot. Getting assigned a promotion to protect the home secretary showed us a different side of David, much more subdued and silent, insistent on his rules but curt and brief rather than fully indulgent. Seeing him watch the footage over and over of Julia explaining her policies revealed something much deeper, and him asking her about that meant that he’s not going to be quite as professionally subservient as might have been anticipated. I like that she pushes back, and it’s clear that these two performers are perfectly matched. Richard Madden is well known for playing Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones,” but this is the best role I’ve seen him in. I’m not familiar with Keeley Hawes but she seems terrific too. I’m definitely intrigued.

How will it work as a series? That ending scene with David attending the political meeting suggests that he may actually pose the greatest threat to Julia’s safety, harboring deeply anti-government sentiments thanks to his role in the war. It seems like he’s a straight shooter who’s going to do his job above all else, but it’s definitely up for debate, which should be fascinating to watch.
How long will it last? This show got great ratings in its debut airing on BBC One back in August, the best in a decade, and therefore its future is just going to be dependent on whether its creator wants it to continue or not. Its reviews have also been positive, so consider this one a strong candidate for continuation.

Pilot grade: B+

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