In Netflix’s ‘Bodies,’ location plays a key role in driving and unraveling the plot. The story takes place across four timelines, where each detective comes across a mysterious dead body in the alley on Longharvest Lane, all initially unaware of the fact that they are not the only ones trying to solve the murder. When time travel enters the picture, the alley becomes an important location for those leaving their timeline and going into the past to execute a plan that would change the fate of the world.
Another location that repeatedly appears in the series and becomes instrumental in deciding the fate of the world is a pub named the Silk. Considering the relevance of these locations in the show, one might wonder if they are real places. Here’s what you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD
Bodies is Set in Whitechapel, But Its Key Locations are Fictional
The events in ‘Bodies’ take place in the East End of London, with Whitechapel being the central location, which is infamous for being the location of the Jack the Ripper murders. While Whitechapel is a very real place, Longharvest Lane and the Silk pub are not. These fictional places are created to serve the story’s plot. These recurring locations are a point that the characters and the audience keep returning to, especially as they begin to understand the true nature of events happening in the story.
Using a fictional location allows the show’s creators to forge these places in a way that would best serve the story. Using the name of a real place would put unnecessary restrictions as the audience would form certain expectations regarding what the place should look like if they’re familiar with it. A fictional location gives the creators a space to give the desired look and vibe to these places and add more depth to the story.
Despite Whitechapel being the center of all the action in the series, the actual place barely shows up on the screen. In fact, most of the filming for ‘Bodies’ took place outside of London, in Leeds and Yorkshire, with Sheffield being one of the primary locations. The reason why the show’s creators chose to shoot outside of London was most likely to lower the production costs as London is a comparatively more expensive place for filming. Moreover, the show’s creators would have had to create new sets to bring Whitechapel to life because a lot of it was destroyed in the Second World War. Considering this, it made sense for them to choose locations that suited the production best while also filling in for Whitechapel and its neighborhoods.
Setting the story in Whitechapel adds a layer of intrigue to ‘Bodies’ because the 1890 timeline overlaps with the Jack the Ripper murders, which happened between April 1888 and February 1891. When the dead body appears across four timelines, viewers might briefly consider it a serial killing over the century because of the same MO in all cases. Once time travel comes into the picture, that possibility is scrapped, but it’s a good one to entertain until the pieces start falling into place. Whitechapel provides that vibe to the story, feeding off of the audience’s knowledge of the serial killings and making the investigation more intriguing.
In the same vein, the show establishes the Silk, a copper’s pub in the area, as one of the key locations because it is yet another thread that connects the detectives and serves as a mode of communication for them. Due to its significance to the story, it had to be set up such that it would make it easy for it to be used in a way that best serves the story.