Bodyguard was a massive hit when it was originally broadcast by the BBC in the UK, where it achieved the highest viewing figures of any new drama in the multichannel era. It was hailed as the drama of the decade by many viewers, who are now waiting with baited breath for an announcement of a second season. When it was released internationally on Netflix the success kept growing, with US audiences becoming hooked on its heart-pounding story of a war veteran turned Specialist Protection Officer who is tasked with protecting a controversial Home Secretary, whose politics stand for everything he despises.
But what should you watch once you've finished Bodyguard? Here are seven shows to try next.
10 LINE OF DUTY
Fans of the intricate plotting and sweaty palmed tension of Bodyguard should love Line Of Duty, which was also created by writer Jed Mercurio. It's fifth series launches in the UK on March 31st and over the course of its time on the air it has become one of the most popular BBC dramas around. The show follows the exploits of AC-12, a police anti-corruption unit headed up by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure). The first series saw them investigating corrupt copper Tony Gates, played by The Walking Dead actor Lennie James, and subsequent seasons saw well-known actors like Thandie Newton (Westworld) and Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire) join the cast, along with Bodyguard's own Keeley Hawes.
If you fancy a British cop thriller that embraces its pulpy nature more than the likes of Line Of Duty or Bodyguard, then you should definitely check out Luther. It stars Hollywood heavyweight Idris Elba (Thor) as DCI John Luther, a troubled London detective who can't seem to leave his house without tripping over a serial killer. Luther is almost impossibly brilliant, with an unrivalled deductive mind, and the adversaries he goes up against are exaggerated to almost comic book level supervillains. It makes the show devilishly dark, brooding, and, above all, wildly entertaining.
Perhaps what really puts the show over the top, though, is Luther's relationship with brilliant psychopath Alice Morgan (The Affair's Ruth Wilson), who functions as Catwoman to his Batman. No one could ever accuse Luther of being a realistic show, but that is very much its appeal.
8 JACK RYAN
If watching Bodyguard ignites in you a desire for more spy-based thrills, Amazon's Jack Ryan should be your next port of call. It stars John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) as the titular CIA analyst-turned-action-hero, alongside his gruff-but-with-a-heart-of-gold boss James Greer (played by The Wire actor Wendell Pierce). Abbie Cornish (Limitless) provides the love interest and the show was co-created by Carlton Cuse (Lost).
It's a winningly old-fashioned spy thriller that makes the audience care deeply about Ryan, a man who is out of his element but just trying to do the right thing. But the show also takes time to present a fairly nuanced portrayal of Mousa Bin Suleiman and his family life; he is not a one-note villain and we are shown the why's and how's of what led to him becoming radicalised. Season two is coming this summer and Amazon has already greenlit a third season as well.
Homeland has been a staple of the golden age of TV for almost a decade at this point. Beginning in 2011, it will air its eighth and final season in late 2019. The first two seasons were particularly strong, receiving universal critical acclaim and racking up several Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Drama Series and individual acting awards for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis). Danes stars as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer with bipolar disorder who becomes convinced that Lewis' US Marine Nicholas Brody has been 'turned' by Al-Qaeda, who had held him captive as a prisoner of war. She believes he is plotting an attack on US soil, but matters are complicated by his public status as a war hero. The subsequent series' focus on Mathison's ongoing covert work and generally aren't quite as good as the early episodes, but are still more than worth watching.
24 is the modern granddaddy of them all when it comes to spy television shows. It ran for eight seasons, a TV movie, a revival season and a short-lived spin-off and is the longest running US espionage/counter-terrorism themed drama ever. It gave Kiefer Sutherland both a late career renaissance and a career-defining character in CTU Agent Jack Bauer, a man of action whose powers of battling hordes while functioning on no sleep were legendary.
24 was truly groundbreaking, with each episode taking place in 'real time' and each season showing us 24 hours in the lives of Bauer and his CTU colleagues. It meant there was always a ticking clock working against them, which the show's creators wrung as much tension out of as possible. The show became known for its twists and turns, which occasionally veered into ludicrousness, but more often than not were utterly thrilling.
Returning to Britain for this entry, Broadchurch is another show that should appeal to fans of Bodyguard. Starring recent Oscar winner Olivia Colman and Doctor Who's David Tennant, the show followed two detectives as they investigated the murder of 11-year-old boy Danny Latimer in the fictional seaside town of Broadchurch. It explores how a child's murder affects the close-knit local community and how the characters react to the media attention and mutual suspicion that arises. The three seasons aired in 2013, 2015 and 2017 respectively, with creator Chris Chibnall being able to finish out his trilogy, which was how he always envisioned the show. The acting is phenomenal throughout and the story truly hits hard emotionally. The show also gets extra geek points as it features not one, but two Doctor's: Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor plays grieving mother Beth Latimer.
4 KILLING EVE
Killing Eve's second series premieres on April 7th on BBC America and AMC. The first season was one of the most refreshing and brilliant things on TV in 2018 and we can't wait for season two. Ostensibly, it's a spy thriller about a desk-bound MI5 Officer named Eve Polastri who becomes obsessed with psychopathic assassin Villanelle, who in turn becomes obsessed with her pursuer. The two then play out deadly game of cat-and-mouse. But the show is so much more because of its off-kilter, oddball tone and truly incredible performances from leads Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.
The show is as funny as it is thrilling, as sexy as it is frightening and as mundane as it is glamorous. In fact, it gloriously subverts every expectation one might have about how a spy thriller should play out, and all credit has to go to showrunner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag).
3 HOUSE OF CARDS
House Of Cards was the first ever Netflix Original show when it debuted in 2013, so was at the forefront of the changing television landscape of the streaming era. It could not be ignored, with David Fincher (Fight Club) directing the first two episodes and assembling a cast that included Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It recently concluded its run with a sixth season that didn't feature Spacey, who was fired after sexual misconduct allegations, putting Claire Underwood at the forefront of the show and featuring a powerful female president.
2 THE BLACKLIST
The Blacklist is an espionage-based action thriller that skews towards 24 on the scale of ludicrous implausibility, but that is precisely why fans love it. It features James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington, one of the best characters in modern TV; a former US Navy Officer turned international criminal mastermind.
He agrees to work with the FBI to capture dangerous criminals they'd never have access to without his 'blacklist', which he has compiled over the years, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Of course, he also has his own motives, which are often nefarious (and very complicated).
1 HAPPY VALLEY
Happy Valley is another British crime drama that achieved significant critical acclaim and fans of Bodyguard should definitely check it out. It starred Sarah Lancashire as strong willed police sergeant Catherine, who finds out that the man who raped her teenage daughter (and drove her to suicide) has been released from prison. She becomes obsessed with finding him, unaware that he has also become embroiled in the capture plot of a local woman. Lanchashire's performance is genuinely astonishing and the show is a harrowing yet fascinating journey.