Dark Sci-Fi Netflix Thriller Series Investigates Murder Across The Centuries

By Jason Collins | Updated

Netflix really loves its adaptations, and to be honest, the streaming giant has perfected the formula. Sure, there were some flops, like Cowboy Bebop, but its One-Piece and Avatar are widely successful, and the same can be said about Lucifer—which is actually an adaptation of DC Comics’ The Sandman and Lucifer, originally started by Fox. But those aren’t the only DC Comics that Netflix produced; the streaming giant’s Bodies, a 2023 crime and sci-fi limited series, is an adaptation of the hit 2015 comic series, which, like The Sandman, comes from DC’s Vertigo line.

Bodies On Netflix

The official premise of Bodies puts four different detectives in four different time periods in London investigating the same murder. The series opens with the discovery of a lifeless body on Longharvest Lane in London, which in itself wouldn’t be so suspicious if his same body didn’t appear across four different, distinct years: 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053. As per the series’ premise, each of the aforementioned years has its own detective working on the mysterious murder case, each grappling with the same enigma—the body.

Bodies Rewards Close Viewing

The mysteries unfold in a pretty dramatic and intriguing way, leading each of the four detectives to face personal and societal challenges of their time while trying to solve the case involving a mysterious body. Bodies dives and explores themes of sexuality, antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, power struggles, existential questions, and even the techno-apocalypse—the 2053 storyline is set in a dystopian future run by technology. In short, the overarching story and mystery, along with the actors’ performances, costumes, and sets, is otherworldly.

A Tight Production Timeline

All the high points of Bodies reflect a tight production. Following the series announcement in February 2022, the filming of the series began in May of that year, with Joel Devlin as cinematographer, Paul Tomalin as exec producer, and Marco Kreuzpaintner and Haolu Wang as co-directors. Much of the series was filmed in the “Old Town” of Kingston upon Hull, making good use of the magnificent Victorian buildings, which played nicely with the past timelines. Futuristic scenes, however, were filmed at the University of Leeds.

Audiences Have One Complaint

The filming was completed in October 2022, and all eight episodes of Bodies launched on Netflix in a binge-able format—as is the case with the streaming giant—to massive success. It was well received by the critics, with an 81 percent approval rate and a 73 percent average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The only downside of the series seems to be its ending; the audience seems to agree that the series would benefit more from a Twelve Monkeys-type ending rather than the one we received.

A One And Done Story

We won’t spoil Twelve Monkeys—starring Bruce Willis—for those who haven’t seen it, but the movie also has a pretty interesting time-loop story, but it clearly lacks a cheerful ending, which only contributed to the gravity of its message. With that said, the overall reception of Bodies has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s sad that the series has ended.

For those interested in watching Bodies, the series is currently available on Netflix.