The new Netflix show Black Knight has landed on the streaming service, and it looks set to be another hit series out of South Korea.
Reviews are coming in for the dystopian K-drama, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland right out of Mad Max, after a meteor annihilated 99% of the population and left the earth near-uninhabitable. Stylish couriers called ‘Black Knights’ help carry crucial resources (such as oxygen) to the pockets of humanity left, but have to ramp up their efforts when rich interests inevitably decide it’s easier to wipe out the poor than keep them alive.
Season one of Black Knight has got a promising critical response so far, with The Telegraph giving it 4/5 stars, saying it “delivers thrill, spills and chills with dead-eyed efficiency” – though also claims it's “far too cartoonish to become another phenomenon for Netflix” in the vein of Squid Game.
The Guardian gives a cooler 3/5 stars, but enjoys the absurdity of glorified and gorgeous postmen with perfect haircuts rampaging through the desert: “Black Knight treats couriers as unsung heroes, with 5-8 having to drive through a desert that teems with rogues – electrocuting them with the press of a dashboard switch if they manage to climb on his delivery truck. If he gets pulled over, he has a full repertoire of firearms, baseball bats and martial arts skills to subdue them. It’s all endearingly silly – imagine that your [delivery] driver is Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road, and you won’t be far off.”
Collider praises the action sequences as the best parts of the show, calling Black Knight a mix between George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (grumpy but excellent driver causes havoc in the desert) and the new Apple TV show Silo (scarce resources and population control in post-apocalyptic sci-fi).
Comparing Black Knight to Fury Road, Collider writes: “Though none of the six episodes of Black Knight are as ambitious and assured as that film, with some of its special effects often glaringly hollow, there is still an enduring charm to the experience that breaks free in some of the more chaotic sequences. When the action begins to pick up and the series starts to focus on a brewing uprising that will change the world as the characters know it, this is where Black Knight really finds its footing. It takes a bit to get there, but the journey still pays off in the end.”
Netflix is ramping up its productions out of South Korea, keen as expected to replicate the success of its reality-show satire Squid Game, Netflix’s biggest global hit to date.
Black Knight uses the same special effects studio as Squid Game – VFX Studio Westworld, which also worked on the high school zombie drama All of Us Are Dead – so you should expect at the very least a similar level of polish, even if it doesn’t quite reach Squid Game levels of narrative power.
Those after a less over-the-top doomsday drama may well rather spend time with Apple TV Plus’s Silo, which is a more grounded take on the genre, though anyone keener on car chases and high-octane fight choreography should find much to enjoy here. It could be one of the best Netflix shows so far.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.