Have we met Charlotte Foxfield? What happened to Chanel Dyson? And who is Vicky Budd’s new mystery man? 10 characters that may still be significant in Bodyguard, by Jim Shelley
There’s only one problem with Bodyguard.
Unless of course it turns out that Julia Montague isn’t really dead – a conspiracy theory some viewers believe, and surely a fatal flaw if it is the twist Jed Mercurio has waiting for us in the finale.
Until then his gripping thriller has undoubtedly been the programme of the year – deservedly becoming an instant phenomenon when 10.4million viewers watched the opening instalment (the highest ratings for any new British drama since 2006).
That was a month ago, which brings us to the one big thing wrong with Bodyguard.
Is she? There’s only one problem with Bodyguard. Unless of course it turns out that Julia Montague isn’t really dead – a conspiracy theory some viewers believe
It only has six episodes and tonight we reach number five.
That means just a week before our final fix. Then nothing for a year, or more (or permanently).
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American television would never allow it.
HBO or Netflix wouldn’t dream of giving us less than the 11-13 part season that has been standard over there for years.
Mercurio deserves more than six shows to tell his story in.
Having said that he packs a ridiculous amount into them and, as he proved with Line Of Duty, is the master of the fleeting detail: subtle clues whose relevance only becomes clear at the climax.
One to watch: It only has six episodes and tonight we reach number five. That means just a week before our final fix. Then nothing for a year, or more (or permanently)
We approach the penultimate episode knowing many of our early theories and suspicions now look too obvious, like red herrings, or heavily tainted.
* David Budd is now acting like a grieving lover intent on unearthing her killer(s) rather than the potential vengeful assassin/ex-soldier he appeared to be at the start.
* MI5’s Director-General Stephen Hunter-Dunn and his sidekick ’Richard Longcross’ are surely just pantomime villains unlikely to appeal to Mercurio who always preferred to keep his culprits under the radar in Line Of Duty.
* Prime Minister John Vosler is surely unlikely to have resorted to such drastic measures to foil Julia Montague even if she was blackmailing him.
* Equally, Vosler’s allies Mike Travis and Rob Macdonald had probably been plotting to stop Montague’s bid to oust the Prime Minister rather than assassinate her.
* Tahir Mahmood now seemed unlikely to have smuggled the bomb into the auditorium in his briefcase but been used by Travis and Macdonald to sabotage Montague’s speech and with it her leadership campaign.
All of which means it’s increasingly likely the denouement will revolve around something and someone we didn’t foresee.
This was Jed Mercurio after all – the devious genius who knew all along that ‘Dot’ Cotton was ‘The Caddy.’
Here are 10 characters previously lurking in the background or shrouded in mystery whose real identity/role may still prove significant in the final two episodes of Bodyguard.
Whodunnit: We approach the penultimate episode knowing many of our early theories and suspicions now look too obvious, like red herrings, or heavily tainted
1. Charlotte Foxfield
Charlotte Foxfield was the name on the witness statement alleging ‘serious sexual assault’ against a man then at Cambridge and now, presumably, the Prime Minister featured in the report on the tablet MI5 gave Julia Montague. Is Charlotte Foxfield someone we’ve met under another pseudonym? And who the hell’s called Charlotte Foxfield? Would she really have such a bizarre name if she wasn’t going to be significant?
2. Chanel Dyson
Chanel was the aide who spilled coffee over Julia Montague just as she was about to appear on The Andrew Marr Show – and then sacked and escorted out of the building by Budd after making a scene.
‘Yeah I don’t need their s***y cab!’ she scoffed Chanel as she left in a Range Rover with blacked out windows.
All her contributions seemed suspiciously gratuitous for her not to have some further role.
We need to know more: Chanel was the aide who spilled coffee over Julia Montague just as she was about to appear on The Andrew Marr Show – and then sacked and escorted out
3. Chanel’s mystery man
Eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted the driver of the Range Rover was also at the meeting for dissident ex-soldiers organised by Andy Apstead, the sniper who tried to assassinate Julia Montague.
4. Vicky Budd’s ‘new bloke’
Vicky Budd’s mystery man has repeatedly popped up in conversations between her and estranged husband David without a single detail about him being mentioned/revealed.
‘Is your new bloke going to make a good Dad?’ the traumatised bodyguard asked for example.
Vicky’s new bloke has to be someone significant. Could it be Range Rover man, DCI Sharma, or (gulp) even Richard Longcross?
5. Roger Penhaligon
Penhaligon is not just the government’s Chief Whip but Julia Montague’s ex-husband, a detail that has (suspiciously) hardly featured – even when he comforted her mother at the hospital. Penhaligon didn’t care so much when he found out Julia had visited the PM at Chequer’s, blazing: ‘she’s snatching the key to Number 10 ! We need to do something fast!’ Like blow her up?
Who is it? Vicky Budd’s mystery man has repeatedly popped up in conversations between her and estranged husband David without a single detail about him being mentioned/revealed
6. Commander Anne Sampson
‘This is a very, very, dangerous politician!’ Commander Anne Sampson declared about Julia Montague at the start of the series. ‘Someone who must be stopped!’
As the Head of Counter-Terrorism at the Met, Sampson fits Mercurio’s profile for the culprit. Gina McKee is also too well known for such a small role – usually a giveaway sign of an actor playing the villain.
7. DCI Deepak Sharma
Nadia described the person who supplied her husband with explosives as ‘an Asian man’ and said it was not Tahir Mahmood. As the Counter-Terrorism detective leading the investigation he was perfectly placed to orchestrate everything and the last person we’d suspect.
8. DS Louise Rayburn
DCI Sharma’s colleague was also the perfect Mercurio culprit: an overtly likeable detective who seemed so honest and trustworthy David Budd had started to confide in her: far too nice. DS Rayburn had also conducted the bogus search of Budd’s home – the opportunity to put the blank in his gun and plant the USB stick in the ceiling.
More than meets the eye: As the Head of Counter-Terrorism at the Met, Commander Anne Sampson fits Mercurio’s profile for the culprit
9. PC Tom Fenton
Another potential Mercurio ‘wrong un’ – a minor member in the team of detectives always lurking in the background watching DS Budd or questioning his professionalism/sanity.
10. ‘The Surgical Administrator’
If it does transpire that Julia Montague’s death was an elaborate hoax (by MI5) or plot twist (by Jed Mercurio) ‘the surgical administrator’ (as she is cryptically called in the credits) would have played a major part in it, having shepherded David Budd away when he tried to see Montague at the hospital.
In theory, announcing her death would protect the Home Secretary from further assassination attempts. It also seems strange Keeley Hawes was denied her big death scene, with no footage of Montague flatlining and breathing her last breath. We never actually witnessed her die.
In fact like Budd we only saw a doctor break the news to Montague’s family from afar rather than hear it or get any scenes showing their reaction or what happened to her body.
It seems far-fetched but not impossible.
After all the one person we can never really trust in Bodyguard is Jed Mercurio.
Nasty side: DS Louise Rayburn was also the perfect Mercurio culprit: an overtly likeable detective who seemed so honest and trustworthy David Budd had started to confide in her: far too nice
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