As October comes to a close, this week sees another new Netflix number one series rise to the top of the stack (in the UK anyway, it's in third place in the US charts currently). It's a Netflix Original mystery-drama series called Bodies, a show which follows four detectives across four timelines (past, present and future) that intertwine around one very specific event.
However, while many Netflix Original shows have been posting rave reviews of late – I've highlighted Lupin season 3's 100% score and the Beckham documentary's 97% score in recent weeks – Bodies has landed an 82% critics score and 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. That's a solid four-out-of-five, sure, but I think this new eight-part show deserves even more.
Bodies is anchored by Stephen Graham, who plays Mannix, a high-profile character who, as the differing timelines reveal, exists throughout them all. It's designed to keep you guessing, 'whodunnit' style, mixing together mystery, drama and sci-fi into one big melting pot. And I think it works really well, as you can get a taste of in the trailer embedded above.
Right from the off the show's intro music and art style gave me Westworld vibes (in the best possible way – the less said about that show's demise the better), and while its London-based setting is a far cry from that show's manifested lands, the portrayal of the UK's capital across the differing timelines is a fascinating backdrop that's always visually superb and cinematic.
I know that 80% Rotten Tomatoes rating isn't a bad score by any means, but it's been some time since I've seen a show that keeps you guessing, without being overcomplex, while delicately adding in additional characters and plot twists that gradually carry the story along. Despite each episode being around the 50-minute mark, I smashed through four episodes on a Saturday alone.
Graham is joined by a stellar cast playing the four detectives: Kyle Soller as DI Hillinghead; Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as DS Whiteman; Amaka Okafor as Officer Hassan; and Shira Haas as Maplewood. Each brings their own unique aspect to their respective timelines, and the way the show jumps between them never feels jarring. There are a couple of 'look away now' and 'don't eat your dinner during' scenes, as this isn't one for younger viewers, but it all adds to the grit and believability of the show's otherwise far-fetched premise.
Having just cancelled my BT TV subscription owed to rising prices and affordability, it's great to see the best streaming services continue to deliver: while Netflix's recent price rise was questioned by many, so long as shows such as Bodies continue to release then that's where my money will be going. There's the 'real life Squid Game' to look forward to in November too, so plenty to keep me entertained. So despite the Netflix password crackdown, I won't be unsubscribing any time soon...