On paper, The Bodyguard looked nothing more than a half-decent story for a Sunday night. It proved anything but; The Bodyguard was an instant hit, returning the best viewing figures in a decade.
Starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes, the series revolved around a British Army veteran suffering from PTSD. His job following demob is as a protection officer for the Metropolitan Police.
If you haven’t watched the series, it is well worth it. However, the basic plot is: PTSD sufferer Budd stops suicide bomb plot, he gets promoted to protect Hawes’ Home Secretary Julia Montague.
He and Montague survive a sniper attack, his children’s school survives a suicide bomb attack; everyone survives but the baddies.
He and Montague enjoy a one-night stand and their relationship falls apart, her PR advisor blows up a bomb, but Budd gets the blame. Crime kingpin gets involved and kidnaps Budd. Fits him with a suicide vest.
Budd takes police on a slow walk through London after his estranged wife stops him getting shot. He finds out his boss is a mole and involved in the sniper plot; she confesses, Budd is innocent, gets help with his PTSD and reunites with his wife.
That’s the long and short of the six episodes which are available BBC iPlayer as a boxset.
When Is Season 2?
Officially, it hasn’t been renewed but with both the BBC and Netflix reporting phenomenal viewing figures, it seems almost inconceivable that it will be a one-off series.
Madden nabbed a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Budd and is keen for it to happen. Jed Mercurio, the series writer and producer, is eyeing series three and four, as well as a swift return. All that needs is a television channel of some sort to pick it up.
Which brings us to the burning questions:
Is Julia Montague Dead?
A key plank of any television death is, with apologies to Jerry Maguire, “Show me the body! Show me the body!”. Ms Montague’s body was never seen so the opportunity is open for ‘resurrection’; not quite in Lazarus’ territory but heading there.
Unless, of course, the whole thing is a hallucination caused by Budd’s PTSD, in the way Bobby Ewing took a two-year shower in Dallas.
The bookmakers are favouring Montague as a stiff – 8/11 – and that’s no reflection on Ms Hawes acting. But expecting to see her on the small screen as a bona fide character rather than a plot device? They give you Evens at best.
But What If She Isn’t Dead?
OK, I’ll don my `tinfoil hat and accommodate a good, old-fashioned conspiracy theory.
Julia Montague isn’t dead, she’s alive. Her reappearance will be explained by a heavily-guarded hospital room at some point.
The former Home Secretary was a ruthless political operator but rarely got her hands dirty; that’s what lackeys are for. Does she possess the killer instinct of Frank Underwood?
If she does, the target of her ire isn’t expected to be David Budd, even though he did try to kill Montague in the fug of a PTSD episode; he’s an outsider in the Montague hitlist stakes, a mere 20/1.
But her prime target is Richard Longcross, an MI5 officer, who found himself pelted with pepper spray as he raided Budd’s flat for sensitive material called the Kompromat. Longcross, who knows of the rather close relationship Montague has with his bosses, has his collar felt as a result and is in custody; easy prey for a homicidal Home Secretary the bookies think, at 10/1.
There’s food for thought in a Montague treble of Hawes to return and die in season 2 (6/1), marry Budd (25/1) and then she kills him (20/1); a potential return of over £38k?
The script may have other plans for Budd. Mike Travis might be a target for the refreshed and presumably rehabilitated protection officer given his dubious involvement in the bombing which supposedly killed Montague (6/1). But she’s dead…
And she’s not the only one. Budd himself dodged the bullet and bomb once too often for some people’s liking and at 8/1 to die in Season 2, is a decent bet.