For enthusiasts of crime dramas, murder mysteries, police procedurals, and time-bending sci-fi series, “Bodies,” an eight-part offering on Netflix, promises to deliver. The show centers on an enigmatic corpse discovered in a London alleyway, but what sets it apart is that this discovery spans four distinct eras, ranging from 1890 to 2053. In each of these time periods, investigators are tasked with unraveling the mysteries surrounding this unusual occurrence. However, as we delve into the ensemble cast of “Bodies,” it becomes apparent that some of these investigators harbor secrets of their own.
The inaugural episode, titled “You’re Dead Already,” lays the foundation for four intertwining narratives, each with its pivotal characters. While investigations are already in progress in at least two of these timelines, the episode unfolds in a manner that can be initially disorienting, given its frequent shifts between 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053.
To provide some clarity amidst the narrative complexity, here’s a chronological breakdown of the events witnessed over the course of an hour. While this reordering sacrifices some of the artistic nuances and parallels woven into the show, it ensures that no crucial details are overlooked.
Bodies Episode Recap
1890 – Facial hair galore: Detective Alfred Hillinghead, distinguished by his impressive mustache, apprehends a child for theft before being called to a crime scene. There, he encounters the lifeless body in the alleyway, a recurring sight in this episode. Henry Ashe, a journalist, is found photographing the scene. Unfortunately, he can offer little additional insight.
An autopsy reveals a gunshot wound to the left eye, wrist markings, a scar on the right side of the head, and fingerprints devoid of any matches. Curiously, upon examining the brain, no exit wound or bullet is discovered. Hillinghead retrieves developed photos from Ashe’s apartment, revealing a reflection of an elderly man. This discovery leads to Ashe’s arrest, a move triggered by his attempt to kiss Hillinghead.
At the police station, Ashe discloses that his photography partner is the son of the police commissioner. Meanwhile, the surgeon with the impressive mustache recognizes the figure in the photo but remains evasive. He advises Hillinghead to destroy the pictures to safeguard his own life.
1941 – War-torn streets: As World War II rages on, detective Charles Whiteman navigates his duties. Investigations into corruption and smuggling within the force are underway. Whiteman, it turns out, is the informant, receiving a call instructing him to dispose of a body. The caller’s cryptic message is interrupted by a sudden blackout.
Whiteman locates the body and, to his astonishment, it’s the same one discovered in other timelines. As he prepares to transport it, an air raid begins, forcing him to halt. Later, Whiteman conceals identifying information from his vehicle and feigns surprise upon finding the body.
2023 – Modern-day investigation: Detective Shahara Hasan’s day off is interrupted as she’s called in for duty. While monitoring a far-right rally, she encounters a suspicious individual with a gun. A pursuit ensues through alleys and rooftops, culminating in the discovery of the body.
Upon examination, it’s revealed that there’s no bullet in the gunshot wound. The gunman, identified as Syed Tahir, manages to escape after a brief encounter with Hasan. She later connects with Tahir’s sister.
The following day, a meeting is arranged at Stratford’s Westfield shopping center. Tahir cryptically hints at the orchestrated nature of events before taking his own life.
2053 – A glimpse into the future: Detective Iris Maplewood navigates a futuristic, utopian London. A sudden power surge leads her to an anomaly in the street, where she discovers a seemingly lifeless body. However, to her astonishment, this body abruptly awakens.