Director: David Slade
Starring: Maxine Peake, Jake Davies, Clint Dyer
In the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Scottish Moors, a woman attempts the survive the land full of “dogs”.
Inevitably, in every season of Black Mirror there is the risk of a dud episode; season 3 had Men Against Fire, and now season 4 has Metalhead. Of course, this is all subjective, and I don’t doubt that this episode will find its fans, but I found it to be a swing and a miss.
It started off promisingly, with the gorgeous black and white photography giving off a neo-noir vibe. The direction of David Slade is frantic and slick, suiting the cat-and-mouse thriller vibes; it has shades of I Am Legend via the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Mad Max: Fury Road. Whilst three cast members are listed, this is really a one-woman show for Maxine Peake, who is on absolutely fine form as always. When the script doesn’t give her a huge amount to play with, much of the story has to be told through her face and gestures and she does a really wonderful job.
Whilst it is always beautiful to look at, the story is somewhat lacking. I’m all for being thrown into a world with little context, hell this is something the aforementioned Fury Road excels at, however in this case the lack of context made it extremely difficult to connect with.
The ending revealed a surprisingly simple motivation for one of the characters, and there is the chance that this could grow on me from a repeated watch. For now however, this is easily the weakest episode of an otherwise excellent season, but it is not totally without merit.