Black Mirror – Metalhead Review

Hey guys! We’re at the penultimate episode of season 4, and we’re finally at Metalhead. I mean, I’ll just let the review do the talking.

Metalhead is the shortest episode in the series, with a 41 minute run-time. Honestly, it does feel like longer, and whether or not you enjoy that depends on your preferences. The first time around, I didn’t enjoy that. This time around is pretty different. Overall though, this episode doesn’t need to be any longer, as there wouldn’t actually be much in the way of content. In short, the episode is a post-apocalyptic scenario with humans being hunted by these robotic guards, resembling ‘dogs’, so that’s what we’ll call them.

I can’t believe I watched this episode again, after not really enjoying it the first time around. I do love the fact that it was shot in black and white, to make the episode feel more dangerous and oppressive. I’m so used to seeing Black Mirror in colour that it’s very different to have this episode devoid of colour, and if anything makes the episode stands out, it’s this, and the barren wasteland feel. This could have been set in the Fallout universe and, lack of radiation aside, it could blend in very well.

I like post-apocalyptic scenarios, but a set-up for the scenario would have been nice. I can understand that lore-building would have been better for a film or a full TV series variant.

The plot is very minimal though, and I still can never work out the role of the teddy bears at the end, except that they’re supposed to be the only soft and comforting aspect of the entire episode, which through all the tension it’s a nice break, but all the same it threw me off, and I’m not sure whether I like it or not. More dogs would have been better in my personal opinion. I’m aware this is going to be a short review by comparison, but I can praise Maxine Peake’s acting as Bella, the main protagonist of the episode. The episode is supposed to be minimal, and that has it going for it, and the dogs are very memorable as enemies too. They’re smart and dangerous, and that’s hugely terrifying for the episode. There’s some body gore that I absolutely hate, but that’s a me thing.

The score for this episode, because of the nature of the episode, is very stark, and amazing on the quiet. You don’t tend to notice the score in other Black Mirror episodes as much, but in this, you do. It builds up that really nice tension, to go along with the otherwise non-existent music.

Overall, Metalhead isn’t as bad as I remembered it being. While it doesn’t feel like a Black Mirror episode, there are enough tense moments to keep you hooked. I think that because it didn’t feel like a Black Mirror episode, I didn’t particularly enjoy it first time around, but it’s definitely not the worst episode overall.

Next week, we’re looking at the last episode of season 4, Black Museum!

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