Record viewership in Britain for Bodyguard finale

LONDON • It was a question that had puzzled British television viewers. Who plotted a bomb attack that apparently killed a key character - Home Secretary Julia Montague - in the show Bodyguard?

Yesterday's finale on BBC was expected to be caught by one of the largest audiences for a drama series in Britain, reported Daily Mail. The first episode drew 10.4 million viewers over seven days - the biggest number for any new British show in a decade.

Now, others elsewhere can play detective too, with Netflix streaming the six-part political thriller outside Britain, starting on Oct 24.

According to a spokesman, the streaming service has been a quiet partner since the show's early stages, along with production company World Productions, from ITV Studios.

Netflix has done well with British television, particularly The Great British Baking Show, which was formerly shown on the BBC.

In Bodyguard, Game Of Thrones actor Richard Madden plays David Budd, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who is assigned to guard icy Montague, played by Keeley Hawes. Hawes appeared on the BBC police procedural Line Of Duty, whose writer and creator, Jed Mercurio, is also behind Bodyguard.

"It's fundamentally a thriller," Mercurio said.

"It's not making any kind of political point," he added, but is "exploiting a couple of things that are very much part of the political landscape in Britain, as they probably are in the United States".

"One is the national security versus civil liberties debate and the other is whether taking part in military action in the Middle East is in any way an influence on home-grown terrorism."

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'Record viewership in Britain for Bodyguard finale'. Print Edition | Subscribe