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Sunday 26th May 2019

Everything you need to know about Bodies, the Jed Mercurio series now on iPlayer

Mercurio has called it the drama he's most proud of

Jed Mercurio, the celebrated scriptwriter behind Line of Duty and Bodyguard, created another critically acclaimed show in the mid-2000s that came and went with surprisingly little fanfare.

Bodies, which ran for two seasons between 2004 and 2006 and closed with a feature-length episode, was a dark medical drama starring Max Beesley as specialist registrar Rob Lake and Patrick Baladi as consultant obstetrician Roger Hurley.

Max Beesley as Rob Lake (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Line of Duty set to air extra long finale episode next month!

Fans of the doctor-turned-writer's work will want to set something up to fill the void once Line of Duty's over.

Here's what you need to know about Bodies.

How can I watch Bodies?

Jed Mercurio's Bodies has just been added, in its entirety, to BBC iplayer. That's all 17 episodes, spread across a six-part series one and 10-part second season, with a 90-minute feature-length episode titled Finale to close the story.

Bodies is punctuated by dark humour (Credit: BBC)

What's Bodies about?

Bodies is based on Jed Mercurio's own debut novel of the same name, published in 2002.

It tells the story of junior doctor Rob Lake (Max Beesley) working under obstetrician Roger Hurley (Patrick Baladi) at the fictional South Central Infirmary.

Lake comes to realise that Hurley is dangerously incompetent as a surgeon, protected in his job by management because his research brings money into the hospital.

We pulled no punches in portraying the murky realities of medical negligence and NHS politics.

The themes are dark and the surgical scenes far more graphic than what telly fans have come to expect from medical fare such as Casualty and Holby City, but a thread of wry humour runs throughout.

Mercurio has previously called it the "the drama I'm most proud of" and called its production "an extraordinary challenge".

Mercurio was a doctor before turning his hand to writing (Credit:
Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com)

He said in a BBC preview: "We set ourselves the goal of making the medical sequences as realistic as possible in an era before visual effects had achieved today's technical prowess, and we pulled no punches in portraying the murky realities of medical negligence and NHS politics that was groundbreaking then and sadly remains relevant to scandals that have continued into the present day."

Who stars in Jed Mercurio's Bodies?

Since starring in Bodies, Max Beesley has gone on to act in some of the best dramas of the last 10 years, including Suits, Homeland and Jamestown.

Patrick Baladi was best known in 2004, when Bodies first aired, as Neil from The Office. His acting credits since then include a stint in Line of Duty series four, Hotel Babylon, Mistresses and the 2013 racing film Rush.

Patrick Baladi was also in The Office (Credit: BBC)

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Also starring in Bodies are Neve McIntosh (Doctor Who), Keith Allen (Shallow Grave), Susan Lynch (From Hell) and Tamzin Malleson (Poirot).

What did the critics think of Bodies?

Bodies was well received when it hit TV screens in the mid-2000s and has gone on to garner something of a cult status.

In 2010, The Guardian listed Bodies 20th in a ranking of the 50 greatest TV dramas of all time.

On IMDB, the show has a rating of 8.6 out of 10, putting it on a par with Line of Duty (8.6) and ahead of Bodyguard (8.2).

Did you catch Bodies when it was originally on? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.