Bodies (2023 TV series)

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Created byPaul Tomalin
Based onBodies
by Si Spencer
ComposerJon Opstad[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
ProducerSusie Liggat
CinematographyJoel Devlin
EditorJohannes Hubrich
Production companyMoonage Pictures
Original release
Release19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Bodies is a British science fiction crime thriller television limited series primarily written and created for Netflix by Paul Tomalin and directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner and Haolu Wang. It is based on the 2015 DC Vertigo graphic novel of the same name, written by Si Spencer and illustrated by Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay, Meghan Hetrick and Phil Winslade. The series consists of eight episodes and premiered on Netflix on 19 October 2023.[2][3]

The story starts with the appearance of a dead body in Longharvest Lane in London.[4] This event happens in the same location in four different years – 1890, 1941, 2023 and 2053 – and leads to four different investigations by Metropolitan Police detectives that eventually become interlinked, with far-reaching consequences.[4][5]


Main cast[edit]

  • Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as DS Karl 'Charles Whiteman' Weissman (1941)
  • Amaka Okafor as DS Shahara Hasan (2023, 2053)
  • Kyle Soller as DI Alfred Hillinghead (1890)
  • Shira Haas as DC Iris Maplewood (2053)
  • Greta Scacchi as Lady Polly (Hillinghead) Harker (1941), daughter of Alfred Hillinghead and wife of Sir Julian Harker
  • Tom Mothersdale as The Body (all) / Professor Gabriel Defoe (2053)
  • Michael Jibson as DCI Danny Barber (2023), Hasan’s superior and Elias Mannix’s biological father
  • Stephen Graham as Commander Elias Mannix (2053) / Sir Julian Harker (1890, 1941)
    • Gabriel Howell as young Elias Mannix (2023), an estranged 15 year old

Recurring cast[edit]

Guest stars[edit]


No.TitleDirected by [6]Written byOriginal release date [7]
1"You're Dead Already"Marco KreuzpaintnerPaul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

In 2023 London, Detective Sergeant Shahara Hasan spots a young Asian, Syed Tahir, lurking near a far-right demonstration and holding a gun. She chases him and finds a naked, shot corpse in Longharvest Lane. She eventually traces Syed and tries persuading him to surrender but, distraught and protesting innocence, he kills himself.

In 1941, a mysterious phone call instructs Detective Sergeant Charles Whiteman to retrieve and dispose of an (identical) body from Longharvest Lane. He is followed by Farrell, a suspicious superior, but on the point of finding Whiteman with the body, Farrell is killed in an air-raid. Whiteman is put in charge of investigating the body and Farrell's death, while the caller upbraids him for failure and demands he sabotage the investigation.

In 1890, Detective Inspector Alfred Hillinghead investigates the same body in Longharvest Lane. He obtains photographs of the crime scene from gay newspaper photographer Henry Ashe, who was suspiciously nearby. Seeing a man in one of the photos, the coroner brusquely warns Hillinghead against further investigation.

In 2053, Detective Constable Iris Maplewood's vehicle detects an electromagnetic anomaly originating from Longharvest Lane. She investigates the now abandoned area and discovers the same man, naked and shot, but still alive.
2"Do You Know Who I Am?"Marco KreuzpaintnerPaul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Hasan's team investigates Elias Mannix, a troubled teenage friend of Syed's who was seen with him before the body was found. Hasan interrogates Mannix's foster parents, who lure police into a trap which kills her colleague. Mannix's foster mother cryptically thanks Hasan for what she will do for Elias, then regrets saying anything and bites her own tongue off.

Whiteman frames a local criminal for the crimes, although his superior DCI Calloway remains suspicious. A child who previously saw Whiteman with the body at Longharvest Lane arrives at his station.

Hillinghead is encouraged by his superior to close the case, but does not burn the photo of the man in the glass reflection. He and Ashe reluctantly agree to further investigate the case unofficially.

2053 United Britain is ruled by a dystopian junta called The Executive, led by Commander Elias Mannix, who seized power after a devastating bombing in 2023. Maplewood is blocked from investigating, but illegally has her estranged brother identify the man she found via his DNA as the still-alive Gabriel Defoe, a quantum gravity professor. Mannix requests that she look into Defoe's association with a terror group named Chapel Perilous.
3"All in Good Time"Marco KreuzpaintnerPaul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Hillinghead and Ashe identify the man in the photo as stockbroker Sir Julian Harker. Harker invites Hillinghead to one of his mother's seances, where Hillinghead is drugged by the Harkers and photographed in a compromising position with Defoe's corpse. Hillinghead warns Ashe that Harker is plotting something and the two sleep together. Later Hillinghead returns to Longharvest Lane and carves his name and the three-pronged symbol in the base of a wall.

The child, Esther, attempts to blackmail Whiteman. The organisation instructs him to kill her. However, Whiteman cannot bring himself to kill Esther, so he fakes her death and hides her in his flat.

Elias Mannix is arrested and tells Hasan that his foster parents have knowledge of future events, including of an explosion they claim he will carry out. Back in Longharvest Lane, Hasan notices Hillinghead's name carved in the wall.

Mannix informs Maplewood that the identical body found is Defoe's, but from two days in the future, as his organisation Chapel Perilous has been able to create time travel which threatens the Executive's power. He instructs her to follow Defoe.
4"Right Up the Wazoo"Marco KreuzpaintnerDanusia Samal19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Ashe notices a fingerprint Harker left on Hillinghead's spectacles, meaning they can still link him to the body via other prints Hillinghead previously found on Longharvest Lane.

Whiteman and Esther escape to an air raid shelter during a bombing, where Whiteman is assailed by and kills a fellow policeman who had been following him. The woman who has been calling Whiteman from the organisation is revealed to be Polly, Hillinghead's now elderly daughter, and poisons Esther.

Hasan discovers archive case files from Hillinghead and Whiteman's investigations, as well as links between Mannix's foster parents, the Morleys, and the Harker family. Hasan breaks into Harker's abandoned home, where Andrew Morley speaks cryptically about being part of a large group on an inevitable path, whose roles are to change the world and future. Morley then locks Hasan in an underground room.

Maplewood takes Defoe to her apartment to protect him from his upcoming murder. They talk over wine about free will and his research into naked singularity. He attempts to escape but Maplewood catches him, only to be tasered by her neighbour Lorna, revealed to be Defoe's fellow member of Chapel Perilous.
5"We Are One Another's Ghosts"Haolu WangPaul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Hillinghead brings Harker in for questioning about Defoe's body, but Harker blackmails him with the compromising photographs, telling him to frame Ashe for the murder.

Whiteman secures DCI Calloway's help in finding Polly, discovering she is Managing Director of Harker Bank. Whiteman abducts Polly, threatening her with Russian roulette until she confesses to killing Esther. Calloway arrests both of them for murder, but is then killed by Polly's son Hayden, the Commissioner of Police.

After learning that Elias' fingerprints match Julian Harker's, Hasan tracks down Elias' birthmother, Sarah Mannix. She learns DCI Barber is Harker's great-grandson, and Elias' father, but Barber disappears after taking Elias from HM Prison Feltham. Hasan finds a 1941 recording addressed to her from Harker, confirming that she will help him bomb London.

At the Chapel Perilous base, an older Hasan shows Maplewood "the Throat" – Defoe's active time-travel device. They explain Mannix intends to travel back to the 1800s so he can start the cult to manipulate events that culminate in the 2023 bombing and his rise to power. Preferring the security of the current society, Maplewood facilitates a raid that kills most of Chapel Perilous and leads Mannix to the Throat.
6"The World Is Yours"Haolu WangDanusia Samal & Paul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Hillinghead informs Ashe that he will be convicted for Defoe's death, but Ashe refuses to flee. Hillinghead signs a false confession, tells his family of his sexuality and is arrested. Polly maintains his innocence.

A now elderly Harker makes recordings addressed to others. Whiteman refuses Hayden's offer of joining the conspiracy and kills Hayden, Polly and Julian in revenge for Esther's death. He is arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging.

Hasan informs SO15 of the bomb. DI Bothroyd accompanies her to Harker Bank where they find a vault containing a nuclear bomb. Hasan meets Barber and Elias, who holds the detonator. Bothroyd kills Barber. Later, Hasan takes Elias to his mother, but she shuns him. Pushed over the edge, Elias changes his mind and calls a number Barber gave him, which triggers the explosion.

Defoe and Hasan are brought to Maplewood and Mannix. Hasan shoots Mannix in the leg, but is wounded. Mannix forces Defoe to set the Throat to 1890, and he enters. Defoe chases after him, and Maplewood reluctantly shoots his eye as he enters the portal.
7"Catch Me If You Can"Haolu WangPaul Tomalin & Danusia Samal19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

In 1889, Mannix adopts the identity of Sir Julian Harker, a veteran who supposedly died in Mandalay. Lady Harker agrees to go along with the deception as Mannix promises fortune, family, and prestige. In 1890, Harker is photographed by Ashe. He purchases the bank and oversees construction of the bomb vault, grows his cult, and romances Polly. Harker has Hillinghead killed, after which he marries Polly and sires a son, Hayden. Polly is brought into the conspiracy.

Maplewood has secretly rescued Hasan, who is being treated at her brother's apartment. From reading Defoe's notes, she correctly predicts that Defoe will also have time traveled four days into the future. The group plans to have Maplewood travel to 1890 and sow doubt in Harker.
8"Know You Are Loved"Haolu WangPaul Tomalin19 October 2023 (2023-10-19)

Maplewood manages to tell Hillinghead about Harker's past and Hillinghead's impending death. Hillinghead tells Harker he knows the latter is Elias Mannix and that he will die alone and unloved. The confrontation changes the timeline, as the shaken Harker becomes cold and distant. He tells an anxious Polly that she is bound by the time loop, and their relationship deteriorates.

In 1941, a regretful Harker makes a secret last recording advising Elias against the plan. After Whiteman kills Polly, Harker convinces him to get the recording to Hasan. Whiteman hides the recording in a framed photograph before being killed by Hayden's officers.

Hasan travels back to 2023 and finds the recording left by Whiteman. She informs her younger self of the second trigger. Older Hasan then plays Harker's new recording for Elias to hear, and he does not detonate the bomb. Sarah embraces Elias, who disappears from existence along with older Hasan as the loop is undone.

The detectives live new lives free from the loop's tragedy. In the alternate 2023, Hasan takes a black cab driven by Maplewood, who indicates she knows Hasan. The letters KYAL appear on the side of a skyscraper.


Harker’s home was filmed at Wilberforce House.


The series was announced in February 2022 with Paul Tomalin set as creator and executive producer. Moonage Pictures was set to produce. Danusia Samal also serves as a writer.[8]


In July 2022, Shira Haas, Stephen Graham, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Kyle Soller, and Amaka Okafor were cast.[9]


Filming began on 16 May 2022.[10] Joel Devlin serves as the cinematographer. Many scenes were filmed in the 'Old Town' of Kingston upon Hull, making use of the Victorian buildings in Hull's city centre; others were filmed on board Hornblower Cruises' boats in York and at the City Cruises Boatyard in York. Harker's home is Wilberforce House on High Street, Hull.[11] Many of the futuristic scenes were filmed at the University of Leeds and at Sheffield's Little Kelham and Park Hill developments.[12] Part of Wentworth Woodhouse normally hidden from the public was used for Longharvest Lane.[13] The series was completed on 21 October 2022.


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 81% approval rating with an average rating of 6.8/10, based on 26 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Anchored by the indispensable Stephen Graham, Bodies' multiple twisting time strands coalesce into one satisfying binge."[14] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 65 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15]

The Irish Independent notes a recurrence of motifs, words (such as 'Know you are loved') and names (such as 'Harker' and 'Mannix'), akin to the 2012 film Cloud Atlas.[4][16]


  1. ^ "Jon Opstad Scoring Netflix's 'Bodies'". 15 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  2. ^ "'Bodies': What to Know About the Genre-Defying Crime Series". Netflix Tudum. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Bodies TV review — Netflix jams four police dramas into one time-hopping series". Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b c Pat Stacey (19 October 2023). "Bodies review: This twisty, centuries-spanning mystery is so weird it will make your head pop". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  5. ^ "The time-travelling, twisty, absurd plot of Netflix's Bodies, explained". British GQ. 26 October 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  6. ^ Devore, Britta (8 July 2022). "Stephen Graham and Shira Haas Have Been Tapped to Star in Netflix's Thriller 'Bodies'". Collider. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  7. ^ "Shows A-Z – Bodies on Netflix". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  8. ^ Goldbart, Max (28 February 2022). "'Bodies': Netflix Greenlights Adaptation Of Si Spencer's Mind-Bending Graphic Novel From 'Pursuit Of Love' Producer Moonage Pictures". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  9. ^ Goldbart, Max (8 July 2022). "'Unorthodox' Star Shira Haas & Stephen Graham Amongst Leads For Netflix UK Thriller 'Bodies'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  10. ^ Asatryan, Tigran (11 July 2022). "'Bodies' Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far". What's On Netflix. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Watch: Stars film Netflix drama in York – as name of the show is revealed". YorkMix. 20 October 2022. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  12. ^ ""Bodies - Screen Yorkshire"". 24 October 2024.
  13. ^ "Longharvest Lane from Netflix Series 'Bodies' revealed as hidden location at Wentworth Woodhouse". Rotherham News. 24 October 2023. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  14. ^ "Bodies: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  15. ^ "Bodies: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  16. ^ Note that Cloud Atlas suggests a form of reincarnation, while Bodies is about time travel.

External links[edit]