For five weeks (the first two episodes aired over consecutive nights) towards the end of the British summer, it seemed all anyone could talk about was Bodyguard. The BBC series achieved the sort of cultural and social media domination normally reserved for reality TV, and watching it you can understand why.
Former King in the North Richard Madden stars as Police Sergeant David Budd, who is assigned as the bodyguard to Keeley Hawes' Julia Montague, the Home Secretary whose politics he deeply disagrees with. What follows is a smart conspiracy series that's designed to get people discussing theories and speculating on what's going to happen, offering the kind of watercooler appeal that's all-too-rare nowadays.
It's not just the thrilling twists and turns that make this series tick, though: there's a solid political drama in here too, and a study of PTSD and what happens to war veterans when the fighting is over (Budd was a heroic war vet). Best of all, though, are the performances of Madden and Hawes; the latter excels as a morally ambiguous politician, but the former shines even brighter, having to hide so much pain and anguish behind a strong exterior. It didn't wrap everything up neatly, and it wasn't exactly grounded in its narrative logic, but this was very much a crowd-pleaser.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.