Metalhead is the fifth episode of Black Mirror Series 4 and takes place in an alternate society where, and is aiming for a Mad Max vibe, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with scant dialogue, albeit shot in black and white. However, that last aspect is to its credit, as is how a film process has been used – possibly where every other frame has been removed – to give the image a stilted look, to aid its fast pace.
Maxine Peake, as Bella, soon gets separated from Clarke and Anthony, the two men we first see her with, and Mad Max moves over to The Terminator for influence, as this feels like a low-budget version of that, although James Cameron’s first entry in the series was fairly low-budget itself, at $6m.
Metalhead, basically, gives us the end-of-the-world scenario as she’s on the run from an ever-resourceful ‘dog’ robot, so-called since it resembles a dog… naturally. Yes, the machines are coming after us… again, although this time, they fire a tracker into you, in order to continue their relentless pursuit if you somehow get separated, so that plot point was pretty clever.
Ms Peake is superb, as always, and Metalhead is, so far, one of the best episodes of series 4. It’s also the shortest at just 41 minutes. USS Callister could’ve done from being chopped down from its way overlong 76 minutes.
Black Mirror: Metalhead is available on Netflix now. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can buy a DVD boxset of Series 1 & 2 and the 2014 Special.
Running time: 41 minutes
Widescreen ratio: 2.20:1
Director: David Slade
Producer: Annabel Jones
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Bella: Maxine Peake
Clarke: Jake Davies
Anthony: Clint Dyer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.