TV Critic’s Corner

For openers, Netflix’s ‘Bodyguard’ stands out

Richard Madden plays an unsettled war veteran in “Bodyguard.”
Richard Madden plays an unsettled war veteran in “Bodyguard.”Netflix

The Netflix drama “Bodyguard” is a lot of fun — kinetic, tense, and twisty. I’m not quite sure why it set ratings records in the UK, but I suspect it has something to do with its long, opening bomber-on-a-train sequence, which is riveting. Also, Richard Madden is so insanely pent-up as an unsettled war veteran, he’s hard to look away from. At moments he looks as though he’s going to explode from anxiety, and it’s easy to forget that he once played the honorable Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.”

But I want to mention another cool thing about “Bodyguard,” besides its speed and intensity. At the top of each of the six episodes, except the premiere, we get a recap of the previous episodes. That’s very common these days, especially as series TV depends more and more on ongoing plotlines, and as those plotlines become increasingly complicated. As it twists and turns, the “Bodyguard” story line is somewhat intricate.


But what’s different is that the show gives us the recap as the title sequence of the episode. There’s no artfully illustrated song, as we find on so many shows. There are just scenes from previous episodes interspersed with the show’s credits. It’s two things at once — the list of who did what and the reminder of what happened — and it feels nicely succinct. Like everything else about “Bodyguard,” including its hero, the opening is taut.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.