Bodies – The DVDfever Review – Netflix – Stephen Graham

Bodies Bodies is a new 8-part drama where a dead body is found in four different timelines, but it’s actually the same body!

Starting in 2023, cop Shahara Hasan (Amaka OkaforGrace) is on the beat in London with the full Force (not THAT Full Force, but it would be cool if they popped up), when in the middle of everything, the street lights suddenly, and inexplicably explode… but then she spots a young man holding a gun, gives chase and comes across the body in question.

Situated on Longharvest Lane, it’s the body of a man in his 30s, lying on the ground, with a very obvious tattoo, and – unfortunately for him – an eye removed. Ouch!

Then we go back to 1941, World War II is in effect, lights flicker in the cop shop before… can you guy? And cop Charles Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-LloydSee How They Run) finds exactly the same body, complete with tattoo and incomplete in the eye department, as well as lying in the exact same position.

But that’s not all, since we head back further to 1890, in the Victorian era, and are shown the same thing there, before we see the autopsy in each timeline. The method of death is the same (well, I did mention the eye…), and the autopsy DOES get grizzly.

And finally, a glimpse of the future, in 2053, when the same thing happens yet again, and is investigated by cop Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas)… well, the billing DOES state that there’s four timelines in this drama. Plus, 30 years on, what we see this doesn’t look too impossible as to how the future could look, taking the utilisation of the equivalent of Alexa, but adding fancy lighting. However, for those who live in squalor, that hasn’t changed, so I presume the Tories are still in charge…

In that era, characters are also shown watching a programme about “Remembering 2023” and a particular event which took place, which led to the UK being controlled by The Executive, and the Commander in Chief is Stephen Graham (Boiling Point). Well, I certainly didn’t have on my bingo card for 2053. He’s a great actor, but in charge of the country? Okay, so he’s not playing himself, but Commander Mannix.

It’s also the era of robotic implants, plus huge electronic billboards just appearing on the sides of buildings, a la Blade Runner.

I did spot that a regular phrase keeps coming up between the timelines, which led me to start wondering if I was beginning to twig what was going on, although it did seem odd that no-one links up the bodies over time. If something first happened in 1890, how come no-one remembers this further down the line? Isn’t the evidence logged?

If this sounds confusing, then by the conclusion of episode 2 – and into episode 3 – Bodies does set out more of its stall to give you a better idea of where it’s going. Even still, it’s quite daft and doesn’t really make a whole heap of sense, but it is very entertaining.

And, of course, the biggest mystery is NOT the same body appearing in four different timelines, but that national treasure Stephen Graham is NOT delivering his lines in his trademark Liverpudlian accent! Maybe that’s something you can change in the future? Okay, to be fair, in episode 3, I did find him slightly slipping back into it, but it makes a bit of a change.

Overall, I like TV shows and films with different timelines, so this does speak to me, and after three of the eight episodes so far, this is drawing me in.

There’s a lot I’m obviously not going to say because it would mean spoilers – and this is a drama which slowly reveals its hand, bit by bit, but this is well-acted and written so far, albeit with occasional daft tropes, such as how Hasan is one of those typical maverick cops who ignores their superiors and doesn’t play by the rules. I doubt they happen in reality, as they’d risk their job, but in films and TV, they’re ten-a-penny. Still, it’s a minor complaint compared to what else is going on.

There’s also a case of a deaf subtitler, when in 2023, in response to Hasan’s reckless behaviour in one scene, her boss, Barber (Michael Jibson) comments, “‘kin hell”, but the subtitles say, “Okay, now”. Minor issue, I know, but I do spot such things.

Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.

Bodies is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from October 19th.

Bodies – Official Trailer – Netflix

Detailed specs:

Running time: 60 minutes (8 episodes)
Release date: October 19th 2023
Studio: Netflix
Format: 2.39:1

Series Directors: Marco Kreuzpaintner, Haolu Wang
Producer: Sophie MacClancy
Writers: Paul Tomalin, Danusia Samal
Music: Jon Opstad

Shahara Hasan: Amaka Okafor
Barber: Michael Jibson
Inspector Goodman: Tim Downie
Mannix: Stephen Graham
The Body: Tom Mothersdale
Rick Williams: Anton Cross
Iris Maplewood: Shira Haas
Charles Whiteman: Jacob Fortune-Lloyd
Kathleen: Emily Barber
Chief Inspector Calloway: Derek Riddell
Chief Inspector Paxman: Nicholas Farrell
Inspector Anderson: Clare Perkins
Elaine Morley: Kate Ashfield
Andrew Morley: Mark Lewis Jones
Lorna Dunnet: Phillipa Dunne
Polly Hillinghead: Synnøve Karlsen
Charlotte Hillinghead: Amy Manson
Farrell: Jonny Coyne
Lee Cozens: Zachary Hart
Syed Thair: Chaneil Kular
The Lady: Greta Scacchi
Ishmael: Nitin Ganatra
Elias: Gabriel Howell
Eagan: Tommy Garside
Jawad: Oscar Coleman
Alfred Hillinghead: Kyle Soller
Constable Byrne: Will Merrick
Officer Webb: Christopher Brand
Henry Ashe: George Parker
Prime Minister: Selva Rasalingam
Maggie: Alexandra Roach
Ladbroke: Andrew Whipp
Esther Jankovsky: Chloe Raphael
Aaliyah Tahir: Natalie Dew
Alby: Edwin Thomas
Marina: Jessamine-Bliss Bell
Kathleen: Emily Barber
Grace: Lydia Fraser
Professor Hamish McCabe: Richard Tate