Bodies

Bodies

TV-MA

netflix

An exceptional, multi-faceted British crime thriller adaptation centered on one body and four separate time periods

The Very Best

8.3

TV Show

United Kingdom
English
Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
2023
Amaka Okafor, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Kyle Soller
455 min

TLDR

The concept alone is already intriguing, but the way that the show delivers on the execution… Wow. Chef’s kiss.

What it's about

A body is found in Longharvest Lane, with 4 tally marks and a missing eye. Four detectives are on the case: present-day Sergeant Shahara Hasan, dashing 1940s womanizer Karl Whiteman, stern 1890s inspector Edmond Hillinghead, and amnesiac Maplewood, living in post-apocalyptic 2050.

The take

Based on the DC Vertigo comic, Bodies is an intriguing crime thriller with a unique twist – one body, in four separate time periods, being solved simultaneously all at once. While the show is triggered by the same body, the mini-series feels like four separate shows at the same time, marrying the classic Victorian detective mystery, war-torn film noir, and modern day police procedural through post-apocalyptic science fiction. And the four separate detectives take the helm of their respective side of the case, as well as how they deal with the discrimination against them. With four excellent strands to the same mystery, Bodies is an exceptional adaptation that demonstrates how even though details change, some things still remain the same.

What stands out

With the shifting time periods inherent with the show’s premise, Bodies needed distinct styles between scenes. Of course, that means period-accurate costumes and production design, which the show does deliver. However, more than that, Bodies keeps the police procedural fresh by incorporating three related genre stylings iconic to each of their eras. On top of the modern day cop thriller, it has the Victorian-style Sherlock-esque detective mystery, the morally ambiguous 1940s film noir, and experimental science fiction. Cinematography and color grading matches each genre’s style, though sharpened and cleaned up with today’s technology. It honors the approach the original writer, the late Si Spencer, took in crafting his story, hiring four separate illustrators to capture four separate art styles.

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