Bodies is a British crime thriller limited series primarily written and created for Netflix by Paul Tomalin, based on the DC Vertigo comic and graphic novel of the same name written by Si Spencer.

The premise of Bodies involves four detectives in four different time periods of London, who find themselves investigating the same murder. The four detectives are introduced to the audience in backward chronology viz. DS Shahara Hasan (2023), DS Charles Whiteman (1941), DI Alfred Hillinghead (1890) and finally, in a bit of a twist, DC Iris Maplewood (2053!) The main antagonist is Elias Mannix, whom we will subsequently discover is the common factor in all four time periods.

In its eight episodes, Bodies employs a non-linear narrative that slowly but surely reveals to the audience all the major plot points and character arcs in order to ensure critical engagement throughout its run. In textbook fashion, each of the four major protagonists possesses a personality/physical flaw or dark secret which defines their motivation and behaviour throughout.

Hasan, who has a young son herself, is deeply committed to help the troubled youth she encounters, sometimes against her better judgement. Whiteman is a corrupt cop, jaded and deeply compromised. Hillinghead is a closeted homosexual in Victorian times. Maplewood is a disabled individual, brainwashed by the benefits she enjoys in a fascist regime. All four will be tried and tested but will ultimately triumph over the circumstances.

However, the success of the series hinges on whether or not the audience will buy into the machinations of Mannix that allow him to shape the world according to his own desires. This is critical because there will be instances where an astute viewer will question the logic of the circumstances that create the future in the image of Mannix. But we believe that it just about manages to do that. Well enough for us to recommend Bodies to anyone interested in science fiction, time travel and mystery thrillers.

Watch now on Netflix

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