Métal Hurlant Chronicles is an English-language Franco-Belgian television science fiction anthology series based on the popular comics anthology magazine Métal Hurlant, known in the United States as Heavy Metal.
Each episode is a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with a different cast, and the episodes are linked together only by the idea that an asteroid, the “Métal Hurlant”, passes the planet in question during the events of the story.
The show’s premise originated with Guillaume Lubrano, who put together a self-financed pilot to pitch the show, which was broadcast as the series’ third episode. Lubrano and Justine Veillot produce the show through their company WE Productions. It was largely filmed in Bucharest, Romania.
The series premiered on French television on 27 October 2012 on France 4. Broadcast rights for various European countries such as Germany, Austria, Luxembourg were bought by Sony Pictures Television.
As an anthology series, each episode is a self-contained science-fiction story taking place in a different world, with different characters played by a different cast and adapted from a story previously published in the Métal Hurlant magazine. However, the show also proposes that all the stories are linked together by an asteroid, called the “Métal Hurlant”, which is passing close to the planet where the episode’s story is taking place.
The opening credits, narrated in French by voice actor Benoît Allemane, inform that the “Métal Hurlant” (Screaming Metal) is the last fragment of what was once a living planet, led to destruction by the madness of its inhabitants and condemned to travel ceaselessly through space and time, screaming its sadness and despair.
A number of notable British, French, American and Dutch actors have performed in various episodes of the show, including Scott Adkins, Karl E. Landler, Michael Jai White, James Marsters, Michelle Ryan, David Belle, Dominique Pinon, Kelly Brook, Joe Flanigan, Frédérique Bel and Rutger Hauer among others.
After being initially expected for early 2012, all six episodes of season one were broadcast on France 4 in a late night time slot over the course of two nights in either default dubbed French or optional subtitled original English audio tracks, between 27 October and 3 November of the same year. Nolife was expected to rebroadcast season one in France sometime in 2013.
Sony Pictures Television has bought the broadcast rights for several European countries, where it was at least aired on Animax in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Syfy Channel began airing the first season of the series in the US on 14 April 2014 on Mondays at 8:00 and 8:30 pm with various repeats during the week following.
Shout Factory released both seasons on 14 April 2015 on Blu-ray and DVD.
Broadcast on 27 October 2012 after 3 episodes of Doctor Who that gathered a 1.4% share on the night, Métal Hurlant succeeded in raising the global share for channel France 4, bringing it to a tie with W9 and beating out Gulli, NT1 & D8.
The premiere episode attracted 347,000 viewers, garnering a 2.2% share at 11 pm, but lost about 100,000 viewers for the next two episodes broadcast on the same night. Overall the night held 2.4% of 15- to 34-year-olds and 3.5% of men aged 15 to 49.
When it debuted on SyFy in 2014, its viewership was slightly below normal for a pilot in its time slot, and then steadily declined. Its critical reception has been tepid, from the start. Generally, the series is described as having decent visual effects, but being poorly written and produced, with inconsistent acting.
Metal Hurlant Chronicles Series
- Series 01 (2012):
- Series 02 (2014):
Series 02 is also known as Metal Hurlant Chronicles: Resurgence or Metal Hurlant Resurgence.
Production & Filming Details
- Guillaume Lubrano.
- Fabrice Giger … executive producer (12 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Justine Veillot … producer / line producer (12 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Pierre Spengler … executive producer (11 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Guillaume Lubrano … producer (6 episodes, 2012-2014).
- David Claikens … associate producer (6 episodes, 2012).
- Alex Verbaere … co-producer (6 episodes, 2012).
- Daniel J. Cottin … line producer (6 episodes, 2014).
- Sylvain Goldberg … co-producer (1 episode, 2014).
- Jim Alexander … (comic book) (2 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Fred Beltran … (graphic novel illustrator) (1 episode, 2014).
- Richard Corben … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Matt Cossin … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Karl E. Landler … (translation) (1 episode, 2014).
- Christian Gossett … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Adi Granov … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Marem Hassler … (translation) (1 episode, 2014).
- Alejandro Jodorowsky … (comic book) (2 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Geoff Johns … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- R.A. Jones … (comic book) (2 episodes, 2012).
- Stéphane Levallois … (comic book) (1 episode, 2014).
- Guillaume Lubrano … (4 episodes, 2012-2014).
- James MacDonald … (comic book) (1 episode, 2014).
- Brian Robertson … (comic book) (1 episode, 2014).
- Ryan Sook … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Justine Veillot … (2 episodes, 2012).
- Mark Vigouroux … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Dan Wickline … (comic book) (1 episode, 2012).
- Jesper Kyd … (12 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Matthieu Misiraca … (11 episodes, 2012-2014).
- Anima Rolland … (1 episode, 2012).
- WE Productions.
- Nexus Factory.
- Dupuis Audiovisuel.
- France Télévisions.
- Fortis Film Fund.
- Les Humanoïdes Associés.
- Humanoids Inc. (2019) (World-wide) (all media).
- Universal Pictures (2013-2014) (Germany) (DVD).
- Universal Pictures (2013-2014) (Germany) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
- Shout! Factory (2015) (USA) (Blu-ray) (DVD) (complete series).
- Shout! Factory (2015) (USA) (DVD) (complete series).
- France 4 (original network).
- Release Date:
- Series 01: 27 October 2012 to 03 November 2012.
- Series 02: 2014.
- Rating: 15.
- Running Time: 26 minutes.
- Country: France and Belgium.
- Language: English and French.