Once you get past the breathless first few minutes (no spoilers here), we step into a world we can all recognise as our own. What with Trump in America and Brexit in the UK, politics is hotter and more thrusting, and opinions are more aggressively divided than many of us have seen before. And so it is in Bodyguard.
Keeley Hawes leaves her soft, matronly Mrs Durrell behind her as she becomes our Machiavellian Home Secretary (inspired to some degree by Amber Rudd), Julia Montague. Her new bodyguard is our troubled protagonist from the opening scene, David Budd. He's a traumatised war veteran turned civilian who works as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Metropolitan Police.
Budd is haunted by the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His mental health erodes the few, already strained, personal relationships he has in his life, and he battles with his internal daemons alone at night, with just the glow of an unanswered message on his phone screen for company.
Loneliness, trauma, tension... it's all beginning to sound a bit grim for a Sunday night drama. Trust us when we say there's also plenty of levity. In particular, 'I'm mixed race' in response to one MP instructing Montague to 'call off your monkey' is the kind of quick witted joke had us giggling at the screen.
Budd soon beings to appreciate that Montague stands for everything he hates, and finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. The episode ends with a cliff hanger that proves opening scenes are not Mercurio's only forté. Bring on episode two.
Bodyguard airs Sunday nights 9pm
|Bodyguard, BBC One review
|BBC One, BBC One | MAP
26 Aug 18 – 31 Jan 19, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM