Created and written by Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard dominated BBC ratings with its take on PTSD, threats on national security, and politics. The series’ spot on Netflix reached a worldwide audience who quickly became fans of the thriller.
With a show based on politics – the universal factor in people’s everyday lives – fans were able to understand and relate to the topics portrayed on-screen.
“It was an amazing kind of roller-coaster ride because the show had done extremely well in the U.K.,” explained Mercurio. “But I think it maybe had something to do with the fact that every major country in the world has politicians and government and there are threats to these people and there are systems in place to protect them. So there were some universal touchstones there that I think help people access the thriller.”
Although politics are at play, there are constant changes to the landscape of it all. One thing that will always remain in constant is any type of threat to a country’s safety.
“I mean, politics is one of those things that can change so quickly, and when you’re making a show that’s set in that world, the one thing that you have to take into account is what could change in the real world that could very badly mess with what you’re trying to say,” said Mercurio. “So we kind of tried to steer clear of all the political turmoil that’s going on over here in the U.K. around leaving the European Union and all the changes of leadership that have gone along with that. We stuck to dealing with the issue of national security just because it feels like it’s quite a stable thing, that generally the threats to our national security have remained fairly constant over the past few years.”
Former Game of Thrones actor, Richard Madden, plays the role of David Budd, a British army war veteran who deals with PTSD. The trauma weighed heavily on the character and Madden too. Having previously worked with Madden, Mercurio was able to communicate and reach a certain level of trust with the actor.
“It was always about playing the truth of the character,” continued Mercurio. “Always knowing that he had to find what the scene was about for the real person, the real David Budd, and what was going on in terms of the game we were playing with the audience — which was, is he involved in the assassination, or is he not? Is he what he claims to be, or is he a danger to Julia (Hawes)? Those were all things that he had to trust the director and the editor and me to be delivering on.”
You can binge-watch the six-part series on Netflix.