Mystery comes to Longharvest Lane

Nov. 16, 2023

By Rina Tishuk
Staff Writer

In the eight-episode limited series “Bodies,” which was released on Oct. 19, four detectives find the same unidentified body on Longharvest Lane in Whitechapel, east London. However, a phenomenon occurs, as they are all following different timelines. While viewers are aware of this, the characters are oblivious to such a situation and struggle to adapt to the secrets that unravel as the series goes on.

“Bodies” begins when Detective Shahara Hasan (Amaka Okafor) is called to a protest to maintain order. Suddenly, all the streetlights flicker and explode. She notices a suspicious teenage boy who viewers later learn is Syed Tahir (Chaneil Kular) and chases him through an alleyway when she realizes he is armed. Once they reach Longharvest Lane, Syed points his gun at Hasan while a naked, dead body lies beside him. 

The body appears to be shot through the eye and has a tattoo of three lines on his wrist. However, Hasan did not hear Syed’s gun go off, which indicates he cannot be the killer. This is in itself a great mystery, but it intensifies when the clock winds back.

In 1941, viewers are introduced to Detective Charles Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd). During this period, the Germans are carrying out a bombing campaign against the United Kingdom. Whiteman is called in by his boss because the police department is convinced it has a snitch. 

After this meeting, Whiteman gets a call from a woman who gives him a specific order to go pick up a dead body on Longharvest Lane and then dispose of it. She hangs up on him with the words “Know you are loved,” and the streetlights flicker and explode. The suspense escalates when Whiteman gets to Longharvest Lane and sees the same body Hasan saw 82 years later.

The plot is already suspenseful, and the soundtrack adds an element of horror.

The clock reappears on the screen and winds back to 1890. As Detective Alfred Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) gives orders to patrol officers who try to take a child away from his mother, the streetlights flicker and explode. An officer brings him to Longharvest Lane, where, once again, the same body that Hasan and Whiteman found appears. Henry Ashe (George Parker), a journalist and photographer, takes photographs of the body, which come in handy later.

The weird thing about the dead body is that there is no bullet embedded in the victim’s brain, and there is no exit wound either. Hasan thinks Syed might know something about this, but when the police department tracks him down, he is anxious, and what he says does not make sense. Syed tells Hasan, “Know you are loved” before ending his life. 

This part of the series includes both the most and least interesting characters. Whiteman is the most intriguing because he has a unique personal motive that moves the storyline forward. He acts tough, but viewers also get a chance to see his softer side. 

One of the less captivating characters is Henry. As Henry and Hillinghead work together, a romantic relationship develops between them. Henry knows Hillinghead is married with a family, but he continues the liaison. Both parties are at fault, but in the end, Hillinghead is honest, telling his family the truth.

Finally, the plot fast forwards to 2053, which is the highlight of the show. Detective Iris Maplewood (Shira Haas) is driving when all of the streetlights flicker and turn off, including those on her electric vehicle. The whole block is fried, so Maplewood tells her car to scan for the anomaly, and it finds the source in Longharvest Lane. She goes there, and by now, viewers know she sees the same body as the other three detectives. However, this time, the body is alive. 

The plot is already suspenseful, and the soundtrack adds an element of horror. When a significant event is about to happen, it is signaled by ominous music.

The acting and production in this show are equally well done. The screen splits to show the parallels in the various timelines, and it is exciting to observe the way the environment changes when the timelines switch.

“Bodies” is an outstanding limited series, so if you are in the mood for a thriller filled with crime and murder, this show is definitely for you.

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