Three episodes into BBC drama Bodyguard, the show's already broken records. The political thriller follows war veteran David Budd (Richard Madden) in his new role as a bodyguard for controversial Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes); it's attracted enormous audiences, becoming the biggest BBC launch since 2002. Little wonder, then, that viewers are already speculating about the future of the show — but will there be a Bodyguard series two? Here's what we know so far.
First, a quick (and spoiler-laden!) recap of the series to date, ahead of the fourth episode airing tonight. DS David Budd (yes, that's Robb Stark), a former soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, is appointed to provide security for Julia Montague, the morally questionable Home Secretary attempting to push through a controversial "snooper's charter" law. As the series progresses, Budd's loyalties become increasingly twisted: he's sleeping with the Home Secretary, defending her from assassination attempts, and spying on her all at once. Episode three ended with a dramatic bomb attack as Montague gave a speech; it remains unclear, ahead of the fourth episode, whether she survived.
There's certainly justification in the ratings for a second series of Bodyguard: according to the BBC, the first episode drew 10.4 million viewers — "the highest launch figure for a new drama on BBC One since at least 2002, when current records began." It's also "the number one drama of 2018 so far"; what's more, it's broken streaming records for debut dramas, with three million watching the first episode on iPlayer.
An interview with series creator Jed Mercurio in the Mirror sparked hope of a second series: Mercurio said, "I have got some ideas for a second series, but it is worth waiting until the run is finished to see from the research which bits worked and which bits didn’t work for the audience." He added, "We clearly need to be offering the audience another Bodyguard experience if we are lucky enough to get a second series; those conversations are for the future."
But Mercurio responded on Twitter to the article's headline —"Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio reveals plans for second series of BBC smash hit" — saying, "The accuracy of this headline would be markedly improved by inserting the word "doesn't" before "reveals" (and removing the s)." When Metro asked Mercurio if there'd be a second series, he responded, "I really don’t know."
That's not to say Bodyguard will definitely wrap up after the first series, however. Mercurio continued, "The approach to it was definitely that we would just focus on this series and if we’re fortunate enough it’s successful and the BBC wants to do more, and we can find a way of setting up production, then yes definitely I’d be open to the idea."
He stressed, however, that "there’s been absolutely no discussion about a second series yet; there’s certainly no plan to do a second series yet until we’ve had that conversation with the BBC."
There's certainly demand for the series to continue, as evidenced by eager fans on Twitter:
For now, it looks like Bodyguard fans will have to wait for further news of a second series. There's still three episodes of the six-part season to go, however; perhaps tonight's episode, airing at 9 p.m. on BBC One, will keep viewers satiated for a little while longer.