Just over week after it premiered, the new sci-fi series Bodies is among the most popular shows on Netflix. The series is based on the 2014 Bodies comic by writer Si Spencer and artists Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay, Meghan Hetrick, and Phil Winslade. But don’t worry about needing to catch up on your reading. Everything you need to know is in the show itself.
Paul Tomalin adapted Bodies for television, and he assembled a cast of seasoned veterans and stars on the rise, including Jacob Fortune-Lloyd. Shira Haas, Amaka Okafor, Kyle Soller, Greta Scacchi, Tom Mothersdale, Michael Jibson, and Stephen Graham. Based on their performances here, don’t be too shocked if some of these actors break out in Hollywood. Haas had already lined up a role in Captain America: Brave New World months before this show came out. This will only help her on the way to bigger things.
We’re going to share three reasons why you should watch Bodies on Netflix. It may even become one of your new favorite shows.
Like most mysteries, Bodies begins with the discovery of a dead body. In this case, it’s a naked man who has been shot in the eye and has a distinctive tattoo on his left wrist. The twist is that the same body has been discovered in the same place in four different time periods: 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053.
How is that even possible? For the detectives in each time period, solving this case is even more difficult because they don’t realize that their victim somehow appears to exist simultaneously at four different points in time. From there, the case takes even more bizarre twists and turns while leaving the audience with another mystery to ponder: How did Britain fall under the control of a fascist regime by 2053?
None of this works if the audience doesn’t feel anything for the main characters. That’s a lesson that too many mystery box TV shows and films tend to lose sight of when telling their stories. Unexplained mysteries are a good way to hook an audience, but it’s the people in the story who are really important.
Detective Inspector Alfred Hillinghead (Soller) holds down the fort in 1890, Detective Sergeant Charles Whiteman (Fortune-Lloyd) hails from 1941, and Detective Sergeant Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) lives in present-day 2023. However, it’s Detective Constable Iris Maplewood (Haas) who serves as the audience surrogate in the future world of 2053. A lot of this show hinges on Maplewood, and Hass has an incredibly expressive face that she puts to good use throughout the eight-episode run. All four of these characters are well-acted by their performers, but Hass is easily the standout.
Beyond the detectives, Stephen Graham’s turn as Commander Mannix is another weapon in this show’s arsenal. To say more about Graham’s character would be to reveal too much. For now, we’ll just say that he fully inhabits the role in a memorable way.
The really fun part of this show is watching the unfolding links between the four time periods, especially when the various detectives catch a hint that their investigation will be far from normal. It’s a life-changing event for everyone involved, with some very disturbing implications for every point in time that it touches.
There’s no point in telling you how the show ends, since the resolutions deserve to be experienced firsthand. Without spoilers, we can say that Bodies tells a complete story from beginning to end. It’s a limited series that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and it provides the answers to the mysteries that it explores. Sometimes, that’s a rare thing in television.
Watch Bodies on Netflix.
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