Netflix's time-jumping mystery thriller Bodies looks temptingly twisty in new trailer

Bodies still image showing a woman standing over a body in an overgrown street
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you like your detective dramas dystopian and your stories sci-fi, Netflix's Bodies could be the perfect show for you. It features a murder victim and the detectives investigating their death: all four of them, with the same body appearing in four different timelines from the late 1800s to the early 2050s. As the strapline puts it: "Four detectives. Four timelines. One body."

Based on the graphic novel by Si Spencer, Bodies is a mix of time-traveling sci-fi, police procedural, murder mystery and period drama, and features a strong cast including Amaka Okafor, Emmy nominee Shira Haas, Olivier Award winner Kyle Soller and SAG Award winner Stephen Graham.

I need to declare an interest here: I'll watch pretty much anything with Stephen Graham in it, most recently the intense restaurant drama Boiling Point. But even without his involvement, this would be on my to-watch list. The graphic novel it's based on garnered rave reviews, and as Comics Alliance puts it, it's effectively four genres in one: "Inspector Hillinghead's is a classic Victorian detective tale, the 1940 story is a WWII-era detective noir, the present-day yarn a modern urban horror, and 2050 a discombobulated science fiction."

What is the Netflix show Bodies about?

Speaking to Netflix, show creator Paul Tomalin said that it's "mind-snapping... It’s a police-procedural show that shifts and transforms from moment to moment, so you never know what’s coming next … a wolf in detective drama's clothing."

The show begins with the discovery of a dead body in London; business as usual for a city detective, or so it seems. But what the detective doesn't yet know is that the same victim has been discovered by three other detectives in three other timelines: in 1890, in 1941, and 30 years in the future. As each detective investigates the mystery the timelines begin to knit together and reveal a sinister conspiracy – one that by the looks of the trailer has Stephen Graham's authoritarian leader at the very heart of it.

It'll be interesting to see whether in addition to the stories, the Netflix show takes the visual imagination from the graphic novel too: it had a different artist for each story, giving each of the four stories its own distinct style. It was a hugely ambitious piece of storytelling and I'm really excited to see how Tomalin has brought it to the screen. If it sicks the landing, it could absolutely be one of the best Netflix shows this year.

Bodies will be available to stream from 19 October.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.