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Metalhead is the fifth episode of season four of Black Mirror. It was written by Charlie Brooker and was released on December 29, 2017.

Short Summary[]

At an abandoned warehouse, scavengers searching for supplies encounter a ruthless foe and flee for their lives through a bleak wasteland.

Full Summary[]

In a desolate landscape, Bella (Maxine Peake), Anthony (Clint Dyer), and Clarke (Jake Davies) drive to a warehouse to find something to help ease the pain of Jack, who is dying. Bella and Anthony break into the warehouse, while Clarke works to hotwire a van. Using an identification code written on their hands, they find the box they are seeking on a high shelf. As Anthony lifts it, he recognizes a four-legged robotic guard "dog" behind the box and panics. The dog launches an exploding shell that peppers Bella and Anthony with shrapnel. Anthony falls to the floor, dropping the box. The dog climbs down and shoots Anthony with an arm-mounted shotgun. A second shot to the head kills him. Bella flees without the box. She escapes to her car, screaming for Clarke go in the van. The dog chases, then jumps through the rear window of the van, killing Clarke with a shotgun blast. Bella stops to observe when the dog activates the van through an electronic port. Bella flees the pursuing van, eventually being forced from the road. She drives the car through a forest, skidding to a halt teetering over the edge of a cliff. The dog tracks her and climbs into the car, but Bella jumps to safety and the car plummets off the cliff.

Sitting on the side of a creek, Bella uses a knife and pliers to extract the shrapnel embedded in her leg. It appears to be a miniature electronic tracker, which she places into an empty plastic bottle and throws in the water, which floats downstream. She tries to make contact via a handheld radio, but hears mostly static. Unable to clearly understand the person on the other end, she gives them a message to pass onto her loved ones Ali and Graham in case she is killed.

The dog extracts itself from the wreckage by self-amputating one of its forelegs. Following the tracker, it eventually finds the bottle, lodged in some rocks. Bella's radio broadcast signal provides the next breadcrumb. Bella sees the dog and runs into a forest, climbing a nearby tree. The dog's damaged arm prevent it from being able to climb the tree, instead powering down and waiting. During the night, Bella nearly falls from the tree, alerting the dog. Its power-level indicator gives Bella the idea to wake it periodically to drain it of power. She repeatedly throws objects at it, causing it to power up and power down, eventually being unable to respond. Bella climbs down and flees.

Bella finds a fortified house, scales the wall, and picks the door lock. Inside, Bella finds two rotting corpses in the upstairs bedroom, apparently dead from self-inflicted shotgun wounds. Retching at the stench, she takes car keys and a shotgun from the bodies. With the rising sun recharging its battery, the dog has recharged and resumes tracking Bella through her blood droplets on the ground. The dog quickly opens the gate by inserting its proboscis into an access port on the keypad. This appendage also allows quick access into the house. As the dog searches inside, its partially-amputated leg is able to grip the handle of a kitchen knife, deftly wielding and spinning it. Bella hears it in the house and hides. When it gets close, she dumps a can of paint over its visual sensor, then throws the can to the corner of the room. Hearing the clatter, the dog rushes over and stabs and drills at the wall while Bella runs. She tries to start the car, but the engine won't start. The radio plays "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers. Blindly, the dog follows the noise and climbs inside the car, stabbing each audio speaker. Bella shoots the dog with the shotgun, but it stabs her in the leg. She shoots it again, causing it to collapse to the ground. The dog launches another shell, peppering Bella with shrapnel.

In the bathroom mirror, Bella sees shrapnel-embedded trackers in her face. She lifts a knife to start removal, but notices a tracker in her neck. Bella speaks into her walkie-talkie, unaware if she can be heard, saying goodbye to her loved ones. As she puts the knife to her throat, the camera pans out over the landscape where many dogs are approaching and investigating. Back in the warehouse, the box's contents are seen; dozens of teddy bears, spilled onto the floor.


  • Maxine Peake as Bella
  • Jake Davies as Clarke
  • Clint Dyer as Anthony

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode has the lowest number of characters out of all Black Mirror episodes at just three.
  • This entire episode is presented in black and white.
  • When Bella rifles through the drawer a postcard for San Junipero can be seen.
  • Bandersnatch continually references a Metalhead video game created by one of the main characters. The robot dog is seen in various posters promoting the game. There's even a scene that shows how the game is played as a robot dog is seen chasing the human character played by the player, along with commentary about how "you die a lot" during the game and how there is a steep learning curve. Director David Slade is known to have directed both Bandersnatch and Metalhead.
  • The robot dog can be seen in season six episode Demon 79 during a flash-forward scene.


Co-creator Annabel Jones disclosed the following information about the episode: "This film is in black and white which is a new thing for Black Mirror but it feels the creative decision was earned by the world we're portraying."


Episode Stills[]