Bodies: Review of Netflix's Sci Fi Murder Mystery

22 November 2023
"Bodies," Netflix's latest foray into the realm of science fiction, presents a riveting yet occasionally bloated narrative that takes viewers on a journey across time. This series, at its core, is a time-bending mystery, notable for its ambitious storytelling and complex narrative structure.

Set against the backdrop of four different timelines - 1889, 1890, 1941, 2023, and 2053 - the series masterfully intertwines these eras around a singular, mysterious event: the appearance of a dead body in the same location across these years. The story kicks off in 2053, with scientist Gabriel Defoe's exploration of the Deutsch Particle, laying the groundwork for the series’ time-travel mechanic. Each timeline is not just a backdrop but a vital part of the intricate puzzle that "Bodies" sets out to solve, with each era contributing its unique pieces to the overarching mystery.

bodies netflix show review plot

One of the show’s strengths lies in its character development, particularly in the 1889 storyline where Elias Mannix, a time traveler from 2053, assumes a new identity with profound implications for the future. The narrative then expertly navigates through the subsequent years, piecing together a complex tale of time travel, destiny, and consequence. In 1890, the arrival of Defeo, following Elias, sets in motion events that ripple through time, involving characters like Alfred Hillinghead and Julian Harker in ways that are both unexpected and fascinating.

The series is at its best when it dives deep into these characters’ lives, exploring their motivations and the impact of their actions across time. However, this is also where "Bodies" occasionally stumbles. The narrative, while ambitious, sometimes becomes convoluted, with a storyline that can be as bewildering as it is intriguing. The historical periods, though, are represented with convincing authenticity, adding a layer of richness to the narrative tapestry.

What truly elevates "Bodies" is its exceptional cast, who bring depth and nuance to their roles, making even the most bizarre aspects of the mystery feel grounded and real. The series doesn't shy away from complex narrative structures, akin to a Christopher Nolan adventure, replete with time-hopping heroes and mind-bending twists.

And now for what can be considered spoilers...

At the heart of "Bodies" is a labyrinthine plot that deftly weaves together multiple timelines to tell a story that is as much about the mysteries of time travel as it is about the human condition. The overarching plot hinges on the discovery of a dead body that appears simultaneously in four different years, in the same location. This discovery sets the stage for a narrative that spans over a century, from the late 19th century to the mid-21st century, revealing a tapestry of interconnected lives and events.

The series begins in 2053 with Gabriel Defoe, a scientist dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of the Deutsch Particle, a theoretical concept pivotal to the show’s time travel mechanics. His research leads to the creation of the Throat, a time machine, which becomes the fulcrum around which the entire narrative pivots. As characters from different timelines interact with this machine, their actions reverberate across time, influencing events and outcomes in unforeseen ways.

In 1889, the narrative introduces Elias Mannix, a time traveler from the future who assumes the identity of Julian Harker, a decision that has far-reaching implications. His actions in this era set in motion a chain of events that continue to unfold over the subsequent timelines. The year 1890 sees the arrival of Defeo, whose journey through time intersects with that of Elias, further complicating the narrative.

The plot thickens in 1941 with the introduction of Charles Whiteman, a character whose discovery of the dead body intertwines with the machinations of Julian Harker's cult. In 2023, the story takes a turn with detective Shahara Hasan’s investigation into the mysterious dead body, drawing her into the web of time travel and its consequences.

The narrative culminates in 2053, where the discovery of Defeo’s body by Iris Maplewood leads to a series of events that ultimately seek to resolve the paradoxes created by the time travel narrative. The story is a complex interplay of cause and effect, where actions in one timeline have significant repercussions in another, creating a narrative that is both intricate and engaging.

"Bodies" masterfully balances its ambitious time-traveling plot with deep character exploration, revealing how individuals' choices can echo through time, affecting not just their own lives but the fabric of history itself. The series is a compelling exploration of the implications of time travel, wrapped in a mystery that challenges and rewards its viewers with each twist and turn.

Despite this occasionally labyrinthine plot, "Bodies" is a rewarding watch, especially for viewers willing to invest in its intricate storytelling. It harkens back to the classic era of high-concept science-fiction drama, unafraid to explore ambitious ideas. While the series may not always hit the mark with its narrative precision, it compensates with a captivating, exciting puzzle that keeps viewers engaged till the end.

In essence, "Bodies" is a sci-fi murder mystery that challenges and rewards its audience in equal measure. Its blend of time travel, mystery, and character-driven drama makes it a unique addition to Netflix's roster, one that is well worth the time for fans of the genre.


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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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