Is Bodkin’s Gilbert Power Inspired by a Real Podcaster?

In the Netflix crime mystery show ‘Bodkin,’ the narrative follows the investigative journey of a group of people seeking to find the next best story in the small titular Irish town. The mysterious disappearances that occurred in Bodkin two decades ago bring podcaster Gilbert Power and Emmy to the idyllic town in time for the revived Samhain festivities. Dove, a cynical professional journalist, becomes the duo’s half-hearted companion, convinced the podcaster’s venture is bound to fail. However, as the trio peels back layer after layer, the fidgety town reveals many menacing secrets to keep, offering Gilbert the scoop on the true crime story of a lifetime.

The show finds its base premise on Gilbert Power and his inquisitive career that brings him and his team to the small town tucked away in the scenic planes of Ireland. Therefore, as viewers accompany the protagonists in their unravelment of complicated mysteries, they must begin to wonder about the connection between Gilbert and reality.

Gilbert Power: The Key to Exploring The Podcast World

‘The Bodkin’ offers an unconventional detective story substituting classic detective personas for a pair of podcasters and one hard-boiled journalist. Therefore, Gilbert Power’s standing as a professional podcaster remains intrinsic to the show’s storyline. However, even though Gilbert covers true crime within the show, the narrative itself remains crafted, sharing little basis in any actual real-life crime or adjacent investigation. For the same reason, much like the crime uncovered in the show, Gilbert Power and his podcast also remain elements of fabrication.

Creator Jez Scharf spoke about Gilbert’s origin with The Forbes, where he delved into the aspects of his real life that stirred him to create the show. In the interview, the man said, “Whenever I listen to a true crime podcast, I always think about what it must be like to be that researcher on the ground, in that town, knocking on doors, trying to get people to open up about their most traumatic and difficult experiences, and how absurd that might feel.”

Thus, Gilbert’s character seems to have originated from Scharf’s thoughts, opinions, and perception of the podcast entertainment industry— particularly its genre that deals with true crime. Although the show never ridicules Gilbert’s profession, it highlights the general distaste his investigative practices are bound to arise in certain individuals. From the guilty to the victims’ relatives— awkward interactions between Gilbert and other characters provide a unique perspective on true crime podcasts as a form of entertainment.

On the flip side, interactions between true crime podcast enthusiasts and Gilbert bring another depiction of the culture surrounding the world of content creation. Therefore, even without a direct real-life counterpart to back Gilbert’s character, the narrative manages to pitch interesting ideas and themes for the character that revolve around his profession. Consequently, despite Gilbert’s lack of basis in reality, his character does benefit from a real-life entertainment sect.

Furthermore, Brian Reed’s podcast, ‘S-Town,’ reportedly served as a notable inspiration for the creative team behind ‘Bodkin.’ ‘S-Town’ is a podcast wherein a man named John, who holds contempt for his town in Alabama, dabbles in investigative journalism about local crimes. Expanding upon the nature of ‘S-Town’s’ inspiration for his show, Scharf said, “That’s [‘S-Town’ is] one where you come in thinking it’s going to be about a murder, but then the story just spins out in ways that you don’t expect.” He added, “That was the kind of journey that we were trying to map ourselves against — that the truth is always kind of unexpected.”

Yet, despite the connection between Reed’s real-life podcast and the show’s narrative journey, the former holds almost no connection to Gilbert’s character. Thus, while Gilbert and his storyline benefit from the context of real-life true crime podcasts and provide a compelling narrative about the same, the man holds no roots in reality. Ultimately, Gilbert Power is a fictional character with an equally fictitious podcaster career.

Read More: Bodkin: Is the Netflix Show Inspired by Reality?