How Accurate is the BBC Series Bodyguard?
Anything with Richard Madden is obviously going to be a hit, but this was a series that had a lot of things going for it: good story, good acting, and good build-up. But how good was it—or how accurate, to be more precise—in portraying what a bodyguard’s life is like?
There are things that Bodyguard got right—and things that it got wrong, of course.
What Bodyguard Got Right: PTSD
Bodyguard battled one of the most critical illnesses many veterans often have to contend with: PTSD. Given how few people actually talk about PTSD in veterans, it was a welcome offering. What Bodyguard also got right is that, unlike media sensationalization of it, PTSD isn’t always a bad thing. It doesn’t always make people evil. It makes them confused and anxious, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily turn them into mass murderers.
Bodyguard portrays a very accurate depiction of what a veteran who is going through PTSD experiences. There are moments of uncertainty and moments of clarity, but mostly there are attempts to reconcile with their new life. Another series that got it right was Sherlock—also a BBC series.
What Body Guard Gets Wrong: Relationships
There is absolutely no way a bodyguard, at least a professional one, will end up dating the person they are meant to protect. Does it happen in some cases? Of course, but the possibility of it happening is extremely rare. It happened in Princess Diana’s case, yes, and look at how that turned out.
The reason why a professional bodyguard will always be on his guard around the person he is protecting is because there cannot be any emotional involvement when you’re tasked with protecting a person. You can’t let sentiment get in the way when you’re supposed to keep an eye on the person—if you do, you get distracted, and that can have potentially drastic consequences.
What Bodyguard Gets Right: Alcohol
At one point in the show, David is offered a drink by the person he is protecting. He refuses, saying that he is on duty. That is very accurate since professional bodyguards don’t indulge when on duty, regardless of how long or tiresome the hours are. They are always on high alert, vigilant, and in perfect control of their senses. Bodyguard did do a great job of portraying how alert and responsible security details are—because we would be doing a sorry job if we weren’t vigilant.
What Bodyguard Gets Wrong: Smiles
The protagonist, played by Richard Madden, seems to have caught the Kristen Stewart affliction in this series: he never smiles. And while it’s true that you won’t see bodyguards on duty flashing their teeth at people, they are humans like you and me when they’re on their time off. They do smile when they aren’t at work—they aren’t The Terminator.