Bodies (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bodies title card.jpg
GenreMedical drama
Created byJed Mercurio
Written byJed Mercurio
Rachel Anthony
Richard Zajdlic
StarringMax Beesley
Patrick Baladi
Neve McIntosh
Keith Allen
Susan Lynch
Tamzin Malleson
Preeya Kalidas
Simon Lowe
Hattie Morahan
Vicky Hall
Nicholas Palliser
Saskia Reeves
Mary Stockley
Theme music composerJohn Lunn
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes17 (list of episodes)
Executive producersJohn Yorke
Mark Redhead
Gareth Neame
ProducerJed Mercurio
CinematographyNick Dance
Running time60 minutes
Production companyHat Trick Productions
Original networkBBC Three
Picture format16:9 (576i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release23 June 2004 (2004-06-23) –
13 December 2006 (2006-12-13)

Bodies is a British television medical drama produced by Hat Trick Productions for the BBC. Created by Jed Mercurio, the series first broadcast on 23 June 2004, and is based on Mercurio's book of the same name. The series is centred on specialist registrar Rob Lake (Max Beesley), who starts in a new post in the Obstetrics and gynaecology department at the fictional South Central Infirmary, under the guidance of consultant obstetrician Roger Hurley (Patrick Baladi).

The series differed from most other archetypal British hospital dramas, in that the surgical scenes were notable for their graphic nature, offering intimate detail of various procedures, and the operational complications dealt with in explicit detail. As a result, the themes were also often dark and depressing, including negligence, manipulation and death. Bodies has been described as a "dark, sometimes funny" take on a genre that had been made popular through shows such as Casualty and Holby City. In December 2009, The Times ranked Bodies in ninth place in its list of "Shows of the Decade", and in January 2010, The Guardian ranked Bodies number twenty of "The Greatest Television Dramas of All Time".[1]

The first series was released on DVD on 30 October 2006.[2] The second series, including the finale, was released on 26 December 2006.[3] A complete box set was released on 9 April 2007.[4] The show was made available via the BBC iPlayer service on 6 April 2019.[5]


The first series started on BBC Three, as the channel was trying to break into hour-long dramas. BBC Two aired the series at the end of 2004. The channels co-commissioned a second series and increased the number of episodes to ten. The second series started in September 2005. The BBC did not order a third series, so a feature-length final episode was subsequently broadcast to conclude the programme in December 2006. The entire first and second series were also broadcast to American audiences on digital channel BBC America during 2005.



Series 1 (2004)[edit]

Lake (Max Beesley) realises that despite his friendly, professional demeanour and strong academics, his boss, Hurley (Patrick Baladi), is an incompetent surgeon who regularly bungles surgical procedures, to the detriment of his patients. Hurley is, however, protected by the principle "Doctors look after doctors", a phrase often repeated throughout the series. Initially, Lake is also protected by this principle, when his involvement in a death of a patient is covered up, although this death haunts him. Initially, Lake seeks to become a whistleblower, after seeing Hurley's gross incompetence and negligence, particularly after he badly mishandles a birth in which an abruption occurs, leaving the mother with substantial brain damage. The anaesthetist for the operation, Dr. Maria Orton (Susan Lynch), makes an official complaint against Hurley, but her colleagues close ranks around him. The pregnant Dr. Orton is ostracised, and the stress of the situation causes her to miscarry. She is eventually sectioned and admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Pressure from outside authorities, hospital politics and blackmail from Hurley eventually forces Lake into silence. Unable to oust him yet forced to work with him, Lake soon seeks a way out and finds a post at another hospital. But Hurley, despite agreeing that he should move on, changes his mind, ruins Lake's chance to escape by informing his new employers of Lake's mistakes and his real reasons for wanting to leave. At the end of the season, Hurley is shown to be in line for promotion as the hospital's clinical director. Lake, trapped in his job, comes clean to the relatives of the patient whose death he caused, so that, in his own words, he may be judged. The series ends on this cliffhanger.

No. Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1"Episode 1"John StricklandJed Mercurio23 June 2004 (2004-06-23)
2"Episode 2"John StricklandJed Mercurio30 June 2004 (2004-06-30)
3"Episode 3"Richard LaxtonJed Mercurio6 July 2004 (2004-07-06)
4"Episode 4"Richard LaxtonJed Mercurio13 July 2004 (2004-07-13)
5"Episode 5"Jon EastJed Mercurio20 July 2004 (2004-07-20)
6"Episode 6"Jon EastJed Mercurio27 July 2004 (2004-07-27)

Series 2 (2005)[edit]

The series continues with the main overlying storyline of the constant struggle between Hurley and Lake. This season also saw the arrival of a new departmental manager, Chrissy Farrell (Vicky Hall). At the start of the second series, Lake is about to leave the hospital but, with no real job prospects elsewhere, he decides to remain. Lake and Hurley then begin to form a respectful professional relationship, with Lake turning a blind eye to Hurley's incompetence. Despite this, Donna Rix (Neve McIntosh), a nurse with whom Lake was having an affair, views Hurley's ineptitude with increasing alarm. She starts to voice her distress and sends anonymous letters to management in an attempt to bring wider attention to this issue. Lake, seeing this, pleads with Donna to act with restraint, claiming that Hurley will be brought down but not in this fashion. Towards the end of the series, Hurley's life begins to unravel. Attempts to have a third child are scuppered after he finds out he has a low sperm count and furthermore, is suspected of having an affair with a fellow doctor, soon leading to the breakdown of his marriage.

No. Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1"Episode 1"John StricklandJed Mercurio18 September 2005 (2005-09-18)
2"Episode 2"John StricklandJed Mercurio1 October 2005 (2005-10-01)
3"Episode 3"Iain B. MacdonaldJed Mercurio2 October 2005 (2005-10-02)
4"Episode 4"Iain B. MacdonaldJed Mercurio9 October 2005 (2005-10-09)
5"Episode 5"Douglas MackinnonJed Mercurio16 October 2005 (2005-10-16)
6"Episode 6"Douglas MackinnonJed Mercurio23 October 2005 (2005-10-23)
7"Episode 7"Iain B. MacdonaldRichard Zajdlic6 November 2005 (2005-11-06)
8"Episode 8"Iain B. MacdonaldRachel Anthony12 November 2005 (2005-11-12)
9"Episode 9"Jed MercurioJed Mercurio20 November 2005 (2005-11-20)
10"Episode 10"Jed MercurioJed Mercurio20 November 2005 (2005-11-20)

Finale (2006)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1"Finale"John StricklandJed Mercurio13 December 2006 (2006-12-13)
Lake is now placed at a University Hospital, and is about to father a child with co-worker Polly Grey (Tamzin Malleson). Hurley's life, however, has continued to deteriorate. He is forced to resign from his position after being arrested for indecent exposure and takes up a new job, coincidentally at Rob's new place of work. Donna on the other hand has left nursing altogether and has become a journalist. When Lake and Hurley meet up once more, old tensions are revived. However, Hurley's reputation has experienced significant decline and is a far weaker figure in Lake's eyes. Consequently, he renews his attacks on Hurley's incompetence with renewed vigour, especially after encountering another maternal and foetal death at the hands of Hurley; and also by the fact Lake has begun to show symptoms of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease due to Hurley cutting Lake during a surgical operation, so feels he has little to lose. Lake's girlfriend Polly then goes into labour. Complications soon arise and the baby has to be delivered surgically, bringing Lake into direct conflict with Hurley. Hurley begins to operate, however halfway through, Lake, fearing further harm to mother and child, forces him to step aside and allow him to finish. The birth goes through successfully, but Polly is so distraught by the process that she promises that he will never see her or his baby. Consequently, Lake, without a family and with a potentially fatal disease, decides to fully indict Hurley. Knowing that it will ruin his career, Lake reports Hurley to the General Medical Council, which subsequently suspends him from his position as consultant at University Hospital. Lake decides to find out whether or not he has contracted the human strain of Mad cow disease.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2004 Royal Television Society Best Drama Series Jed Mercurio, Mark Redhead, Sue de Beauvoir Nominated
2004 Royal Television Society Best Drama Writer Jed Mercurio Nominated
2004 Royal Television Society Best Make-Up Effects Davy Jones Won
2004 BAFTA Best Drama Series Jed Mercurio, Mark Redhead, Sue de Beauvoir Nominated
2005 Royal Television Society Best Drama Series Jed Mercurio, Mark Redhead, Sue de Beauvoir Won
2005 Royal Television Society Best Drama Writer Jed Mercurio Nominated
2005 Royal Television Society Best Make-Up Effects Millennium FX Won
2005 BAFTA Best Drama Series Jed Mercurio, Mark Redhead, Sue de Beauvoir Nominated


  1. ^ Lusher, Tim (12 January 2010). "The Guardian's top 50 television dramas of all time" – via
  2. ^ "Bodies - Series 1". 30 October 2006 – via Amazon.
  3. ^ "Bodies - Series 2 & Finale". 26 December 2006 – via Amazon.
  4. ^ "Bodies : The Complete BBC Collection". 22 October 2007 – via Amazon.
  5. ^ "BBC - Jed Mercurio's Bodies available now as a boxset on BBC Three - Media Centre". Retrieved 7 April 2019.

External links[edit]