Vier Ermittler/innen, vier Zeitebenen und eine Leiche

“Bodies” nach der unkonventionellen Graphic Novel von Si Spencer ist eine Krimiserie der etwas anderen Art. Nachdem in den Jahren 1890, 1941, 2023 und 2053 eine Leiche – genauer gesagt dieselbe Leiche – in der Longharvest Lane im Londoner East End aufgefunden wird, wird in jeder Epoche ein Ermittler mit dem Fall betraut. Als sich Verbindungen zwischen den Jahrzehnten aufzeigen, wird diesen klar, dass ihre Ermittlungen zusammenhängen und der rätselhafte Politiker Elias Mannix (Stephen Graham) eine zentrale Rolle zu spielen scheint. War er in den Mord verwickelt? Oder sind hier viel teuflischere Mächte am Werk? Wenn sie das Rätsel lösen wollen, müssen die vier Ermittler irgendwie zusammenarbeiten und eine Verschwörung aufdecken, die 150 Jahre umspannt.

Interview mit Schöpfer & Autor Paul Tomalin

How would you describe Bodies?

How long do you have? The phrase bandied around by all of us at the time was ‘mind-bending’ but I’m going to go for ‘mind-snapping’, a full on lobotomy. It’s a police-procedural show that shifts and transforms from moment to moment so you never know what’s coming next.

What was the process like adapting from graphic novel to screen?

Intoxicating! Doing justice to author Si Spencer’s incredible premise was seriously daunting, and in the end we just had to throw our hearts and minds in wholesale and get freaky together, staying true to as many of the maddening tentpoles and spirit of the graphic novel as possible. With a show of this complexity, it was important not to get bogged down in fears of plot contradictions or ‘we can’t do thats!’, in the end it was the pulse of the story that defined our road map… Being on the other side of the show now feels like coming out of a three year trance.

Luckily I didn’t fly alone. Moonage has a brilliantly creative script team, and we were lucky to have screenwriter Danusia Samal as my co-pilot. She was so game, so up for it, and brought her voice and pizazz to everything she touched. Without that team, I’m not convinced I’d be sane.

Each detective is a bit of an outsider in their own time. Can you tell us about some of the challenges they each face?

The DNA of the Detectives was pretty much baked in to Si Spencer’s novel right from the get-go. There’s great power in showing isolated outsiders in their own timelines oblivious to the fact that all four of them are involved in a mystery that unites them all. Whether they come to realise that or not, and what they do from there, you’ll have to watch to find out. But each of their own shadows become the thing they have to confront to crack the mystery.

Tell us about the casting. How did you go about getting the right actor for each role?

With Hillinghead and Whiteman we knew who we wanted from the get-go and we got ‘em! Jacob [Fortune-Lloyd] as Whiteman had such a matinee idol presence in The Queen’s Gambit. He’s got that smouldering, dangerous Sean Connery vibe that’s rare these days, but he brings such tenderness to later moments that we knew he’d have Whiteman nailed. Same with Kyle [Soller], you could see the fear of his own secrets trembling behind his eyes, it’s all there in the auditions. As a Star Wars geek myself, seeing him in Andor then seeing him in the rushes play this complex Victorian character shows just what a versatile, nuanced, intelligent presence he is.

Without spoiling too much, how will the stories in each timeline intertwine?

That’s a contradiction in terms! The fun for the audience is being the all-seeing-eye over the four timelines in a way the characters aren’t aware of. The joy in writing it is seeing how the audience will then put things together, sometimes ahead of the characters, but also sometimes there’ll be behind. It’ll be a trip.

Would you say this is more than the average detective drama?

I bloody hope so! This is no airport paperback transplant, nor cosy crime 9pm terrestrial slot. In fact if anybody calls this show cosy I’d be insulted. This is a kinetic, ambitious thrill ride, a wolf in detective
drama’s clothing. That’s what streamers should offer right? A binge that feels like a trip.

8 Folgen, ab 19.10. auf Netflix.

Bilder: (c) Matt Towers/Netflix