English-language Franco-Belgian sci-fi miniseries adaption of the Metal Hurlant anthology comic book, better known in the states as Heavy Metal.
Across the reaches of space, a shard of a once living planet sails through the stars. It is known as Metal Hurlant. This mysterious piece of debris wanders across the galaxy, frequently passing by random planets in its endless travels.
These random planets are where our stories take place. From a bloody contest to succeed the corrupt king, to protecting the last hope for humanity, Metal Hurlant is the constant piece in them all.
Made its stateside debut on Syfy in April of 2014.
- Anthology: Featuring unconnected, episodic stories every episode. Though there are exceptions.
- "Second Chance" and "Loyal Khondor" which take place in the same setting, and share characters.
- "Kings Crown" and "Second Son" take place in different locations on the same planet.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The titular being from "The Endomorphe"
- Brain Transplant: As Guillam from "King's Crown" finds out a little too late, the King Contest is so the corrupt king could get himself a new body.
- Cassandra Truth: "Shelter Me" opens with a young woman waking up in a bomb shelter with an older man who claims he rescued her from a nuclear attack. It becomes increasingly clear that he was stalking her, obsessed with her resemblance to his deceased wife; she finally figures this out, beats him to near-death, and escapes into a nuclear-blasted wasteland. He may have been a creeper, but he genuinely had her best interests in mind.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: In "3 on a Match" the rescue ship starts pulling the escape pod in just as the last survivor on board asphyxiates to death. But the guy they tossed overboard survives because he found an O2 tank in the debris.
- Cleavage Window: Kelly Brook's character Scarr in "Master of Destiny" is a space mercenary dressed in a leather catsuit with a boob window.
- Cold Sleep, Cold Future: "Cold Hard Facts", a cryonically frozen person is thawed out in the 24th century. But he lost most of his memory and does nothing but draw, and due to overpopulation "useless" people are executed so their organs may be harvested. Then it shows he was drawing Mickey Mouse
- Diabolus ex Machina: When Metal Hurlant appears mid-story it is usually credited for worsening the situation.
- Downer Ending: Many episodes end with the protagonists dead, or worse.
- Feudal Future: The first episode, "King's Crown", has a king who uses drones to reduce his planet to a medieval state, but he's dying and the drones are holding a tournament to decide his replacement.
- Gainax Ending: "Second Chance" ends with the protagonists sucked into a black hole and dumped into what appears to be the Garden of Eden.
- Genius Loci: What the opening narration identifies Metal Hurlant as.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The protagonist from "Master of Destiny" hears that the Turtle-Sapiens have a book that lists the deaths of every human. He thinks it must be huge, then the Turtle elder pulls out a small book and explains that it only covers those few humans who make it to their planet, and whom they observe for their own amusement.
- Healing Hands: "Whiskey in the Jar" has a doctor who develops these when the Hurlant passes overhead. But because of his powers the people of the town start shooting each other for the slightest things knowing that he'll heal them. Eventually the sheriff kills him to save the town, but preserves his hands in a jar of whiskey that he drinks whenever he is wounded.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Khondor from "Loyal Khondor" gives up his life due to his blood containing the cure for his princesses condition.
- Hong Kong Dub: It's painfully obvious at times when the French actors have had their voices dubbed over.
- Humans Are Bastards: "Red Light". The protagonist is a Rubber-Forehead Alien, his armored jailers are human.
- The debris that pierced the ship in "Three on a Match"? An oxygen tank.
- Many of the stories rely on this, frequently for a plot twist as many trope entries show.
- Killer Rabbit: The true identity of the Endomorphe from "The Endomorphe"
- Killing for a Tissue Sample: The trope is acknowledged in "Loyal Khondor", where Khondor willingly gives his blood and life to save his dying princess, specifying that all the blood is needed. It's still played straight since no effort is made to capture the blood and we last see her lapping at his cut throat with a large pool of blood on the ground. That waste combined with the inherent renewal abilities of blood, it seems likely that she's either still doomed due to the lack of effort to catch it all, or he could have easily survived giving her a more standard transfusion.
- Mythology Gag: The theme from the Heavy Metal film, Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal" is heard prominently in "Master Of Destiny".
- Also like the Heavy Metal animated film, the different parts of the anthology are linked by a malevolent sphere.
- In "3 on a Match", one items the maintenance man finds in the escape pod is a copy of Metal Hurlant magazine.
- Not Just a Tournament: The King Contest is not to decide the King's successor as the drones made it seem, so much as to determine whose body his brain will be transplanted into.
- Out with a Bang: In "Three on a Match" the captain of the USS Atlanta is having very rough sex with one of her crew members. The two of them have The Immodest Orgasm at literally the exact instant Metal Hurlant collides with her quarters and sets off the Chain Reaction Destruction of the Atlanta.
- The Reveal:
- In "Red Light" the prisoner is an alien, and the colonists that wiped out his people and imprisoned him are human
- The demon from "Pledge Of Anya"? An adolescent Adolf Hitler.
- The guy operating a Lotus-Eater Machine in the series finale? Is inside a Lotus-Eater Machine himself, operated by a prison's parole board to see what he would do with his freedom.
- Robot War: In "The Endomorphe", which incidentally started just as a certain meteor passed by.
- Showing Off the New Body: The King flexes his new muscles a lot when he possesses Guillaum's body.
- This Is Not a Floor: In "Back to Reality", the bad guy makes a woman jump off a building by making her think she's about to jump into a pool.
- Turtle Power: The Turtle-Sapiens from "Master Of Destiny".
- Virtual Reality Interrogation: "Back to Reality" is actually the main character's virtual parole hearing.
- Walking Disaster Area:
- The Metal Hurlant seems to cause many of the things that happen on the planets it passes due to its psychic screams of anguish.
- In "3 On a Match" it crashes into the characters' ship.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Brad from "Shelter Me". Creepy stalker? Yes. But he was keeping Jennifer safe from radiation down in his bomb shelter.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Turtle-Sapiens, "How tedious it is to never sleep and to live a minimum of thirty thousand years."
- Wild West: The setting of "Whiskey In The Jar".
- You Can't Fight Fate: A Turtle-Sapien prophecy never fails to pass as foretold. Hondo learns this the hard way.