Bodies - An explanation of the time line of Netflix's Sci Fi Murder Mystery

22 November 2023
Netflix's "Bodies" stands out as a sterling example of complex, time-bending storytelling. This series, set across multiple timelines, weaves a tapestry of interconnected narratives that challenge the viewer's perception of time and causality.

Let's delve into the intricacies of each timeline and how they interconnect to form the overarching plot of "Bodies".

bodies net flix time line plot explained

1889: Elias Mannix's Transformation into Julian Harker

In 1889, Elias Mannix, arriving from 2053, assumes the identity of Julian Harker, a powerful Londoner who died in the war. 

His adoption of this identity sets in motion events that echo through time. Mannix/Harker, leveraging his knowledge of the future, builds a financial empire and establishes a cult of influential and loyal followers who do his bidding. 

His machinations include blackmailing Detective Alfred Hillinghead into a false confession for the murder of the mysterious dead body, leading to Alfred's eventual death. Mannix/Harker marries Alfred's daughter, Polly, creating a legacy that extends into future timelines​​​​.

1890: The Discovery of the Dead Body

A year later, in 1890, the plot thickens when Gabriel Defoe follows Elias into the past. Defoe's arrival, marked by his untimely death, spawns the central mystery of the series - the dead body that appears in multiple timelines. 

Elias, now Julian, orchestrates events around this mystery, further entangling the timelines and affecting the lives of those like Alfred Hillinghead and Polly​​​​.

1941: The Culmination of Julian Harker's Influence

By 1941, Julian Harker, now an older man, wields significant power through his cult. In this era, Charles Whiteman, a corrupt detective, becomes entangled in Harker's machinations, leading to the deaths of Polly and Julian. Whiteman's actions are influenced by recordings left by Julian, which echo his regrets and wisdom to his future selves and others. 

This timeline marks a pivotal point where the consequences of Julian's actions in previous eras come to a head​​​​​​.

2023: Shahara Hasan's Quest for Answers

In 2023, Detective Sergeant Shahara Hasan investigates the same dead body, leading her to Elias Mannix, who is now a teenager. Her investigation reveals a looming disaster - a bomb set to destroy London. 

Despite her efforts, Elias, driven by a complex web of past events and familial connections, detonates the bomb, fulfilling a destiny set in motion decades earlier. 

This act cements his transformation into Julian Harker, perpetuating the cycle of events that span across the timelines​​​​.

2053: The Resolution and New Beginning

Elias Mannix, now a political leader in 2053, is aware of his role in the cyclical events of history. He seeks the Throat, the time travel device created by Defoe, to return to 1890 and restart the cycle. 

Meanwhile, Detective Iris Maplewood discovers the truth about the dead body and the time travel paradoxes. Her actions lead to the creation of an alternate timeline, offering a chance to break the cycle of events perpetuated by Mannix/Harker​​​​.

The series demonstrates the interconnectedness of time and the ripple effect of actions across different eras, creating a rich tapestry of cause and effect that challenges the viewer's perception of linear storytelling.

The Interconnectivity of Timelines

"Bodies" masterfully illustrates how actions in one timeline have a domino effect across others. The series employs a narrative structure where each timeline is not just sequential but also causally linked to the others.

The events in 1889 directly impact the happenings in 1890, which in turn influenced the narratives of 1941 and 2023. The series culminates in 2053, where the loop initiated by Defoe's experiments comes full circle.

The interconnectivity of these timelines is a testament to the series' complex storytelling and its exploration of themes like the butterfly effect, the immutability of time, and the moral and ethical implications of time travel.

Each character’s actions across different periods demonstrate the interconnectedness of time, suggesting that the past, present, and future are not as discrete as they appear.

"Bodies" is not just a sci-fi time travel series; it is a profound exploration of how intertwined our actions and their consequences can be, spanning across time and space. The series challenges the viewers to keep pace with its complex plot while offering a rewarding experience for those who engage with its intricate narrative.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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