In the uninviting alleyways of impoverished Whitechapel, East London, a police officer finds the body of a stripped male who has been murdered, with one eye grotesquely gouged out and strange markings on his wrist. Four colliding timelines stretching from 1890 to 1941 to the present day, then 50 years catapulted into the future, are each helmed by a different detective who unearths the same discovery of this body within their narrative and then sets off their own investigation into the tragic homicide.
Adapted from the graphic novel by British author Si Spencer and brought to screen by Paul Tomalin over the course of eight episodes, the story starts tumbling out from the start with Amaka Okafo as DI Hasan who is the first of our detectives to find the body. No stranger to a police role, having highlighted her strengths in this same crime genre during the series The Responder, she continues to bring a strong female presence in this show and presents a stark contrast to a reserved and steely-eyed Kyle Soller as DI Hillinghead in 1890, and a louche and rather pretty version of Jacob Fortune LLoyd as DS Whiteman during 1941. Also for fans (of which there are many) of the actor Stephen Graham, they’ll be thrilled to see he brings his golden touch to this series too, where he appears alongside award-winning actress Shir Hass in their cryptic roles as Manix and Maplewood, the mysterious authority figures of the future.
Each of these timelines unfolds from the very first episode and the cinematography from Joel Delvin must have been a sheer feat in itself: the precision of this shifting landscape is well crafted and executed with immaculate precision. Full credit can be given to the production team who, having previously worked on Peaky Blinders, managed to isolate each era with historical accuracy, from scenes that recreate the ariel bombing attacks during the Blitz or the forensic and technological limitations of the police force during those eras.
Bodies is a clever take on the crime genre because of the timelines it covers but it’s also a story of love, family and sometimes the absence of those things, too. A brilliantly crafted undertaking from Tomalin who plays this out with a vastly talented ensemble cast, Bodies is a must-watch for fans of police dramas and cryptic mysteries.
Bodies is released on Netflix on 19th October 2023.
Watch the trailer for Bodies here: