Bodies – Limited Series


Know You Are Loved

Main Cast: Amaka Okafor, Kyle Soller

Creator: Paul Tomalin

Four detectives, four time periods, four bodies. That’s the basic premise of the British limited series Bodies. It doesn’t seem terribly strange until you realize that it’s the same body, every time, found in the same spot on the same London street.

Now I’m intrigued. Bodies introduces us to investigators in 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053. They have two things in common: they are good at their jobs and they belong to groups marginalized by their society. Each runs into systemic interference as they attempt to solve the murder in their time period.

It’s a little hard to describe Bodies without spoiling it. We leap from one time period to another as the detectives get lost in the weeds trying to do their jobs. They don’t understand this case and we only know marginally more than they do for most of the eight episodes.

As the story slowly unspools we begin to connect the times, the detectives, and those impossible identical bodies.

Bodies is primarily science fiction, with an interesting twist of social commentary. We get to know the detectives on the job and off, their personal lives weaving into the mystery. The decisions they make cause ripples in their own lives and into the future.

The talented cast does a very good job bringing these characters to life. Kyle Soller is our detective in 1890, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd takes over in 1941, Amaka Okafor in 2023, and the amazing Shira Haas in 2053. You may remember her from Unorthodox. She was so good in that series that it almost feels like she actually is that character, now turned to acting in Bodies. We also come to know the character played by Stephen Graham who features so prominently on the poster. About him I will tell you nothing except that Graham is fantastic.

The supporting cast is also excellent, and more important to the plot than we initially understand.

Each time period is rendered with care, and is distinct enough to avoid confusion when we’re hopping from one to the other. As the threads of the story come together, we jump more frequently and for shorter amounts of time. Those distinct sets help us keep up.

If it feels like I’m telling you frustratingly little about the actual story in Bodies, it’s because I am. The journey is important in this one, and you need to start, with the characters, from the beginning. Your patience as events unfold will be rewarded. You will also be glad that the series is on Netflix, so you don’t have to wait a week for the next episode.

The last of the episodes serves as a perfectly satisfying finale. It also leaves just a tiny, tantalizing opening for another season. Based on an eight-issue graphic novel series that does not continue past this point, the showrunners would have to expand the source material’s world. I hope they consider it.  

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