There is a surprise coming for thriller lovers: it's about The Head, the head, even if we are not allowed to reveal it to you. This is the new series co-produced by The Mediapro Studio, Hulu Japan and HBO Asia, landed on June 12 exclusively on some international markets, arriving on Amazon Prime Video on August 5. The ambitious project was written by the Spanish brothers Àlex and David Pastor, already authors of Incorporated, and is directed by Jorge Dorado (The Red Pier). The Head promises to be a mystery like no other, a survival thriller set in Antarctica, the most remote and inhospitable place on earth, despite paradoxically the series was shot in Tenerife.
In this puzzle, the public will have to decide what really happened in the Polaris VI research station during the winter, because most of the research team is dead and the only survivors will certainly not be the most reliable narrators of this story, which will unfold through separate timelines. Who can we trust to unravel the mysteries preserved by the ice?
An international breath
One of the key elements of this production is undoubtedly the internationality of the cast and crew, for a total of six countries involved in development and three languages spoken within the show (English, Danish and Swedish). Among the members of the cast also stands out one of the actors symbol of the Netflix seriality; we are talking about Alvaro Morte, whom most will recognize for the role of the Professor in the cult series The Paper House. This broad scope is due not only to the obvious co-production of the work, but also to the internationality that in fact characterizes the Antarctic missions.
In addition to the Spanish Morte, in the cast we find the Japanese Tomohisa Yamashita (Code Blue), the Irishman John Lynch (The Terror), the Danish Alexandre Willaume (Tomb Raider) and the American Amelia Hoy (Tom of Finland). Even in the staging The Head exudes an international style, with a direction that looks overseas, while keeping firm on Nordic realism, a photograph that does not hide gender influences, well-made special effects, which make us forget the fact that the series was shot in the Canaries, and beautiful scenographies, based on the real structure and furnishings of a research station, in which the varied polyglot cast moves with ease, prepared to face the experience through specific training.
A sub-zero thriller
We have briefly mentioned some elements of the plot, but it is good to immediately clarify the nature of The Head. Contrary to the assumptions and hopes of many, the setting and mood should not be misleading. This is not the serial version of John Carpenter's The Thing, but it's a real mystery in the ice. We don't know the solution to the mystery of the show, but we know for sure that it's not supernatural; nothing sci-fi drifts, the monster hides among the characters.
The Head it is proposed as a powerful narrative with a universal character. There will be ample room for psychological study, in the relationship between decisions and errors, between present and past of the expedition and the protagonists, who will all be connected. The unique condition of the setting will allow human madness and brutality to spread to Polaris VI, linking to the station the emotions of real characters who will try to connect the dots to finally reach the truth and discover how human nature can be sublime and bewildering at the same time, through a series of unsettling turns.
The six episodes that will make up the series will overall guarantee the classic structure in three acts, so The Head will in fact be a limited series, a self-contained series, although the authors do not close the doors to any new anthological seasons. A choice also dictated by the cancellation of the American show of the Pastor brothers who, embittered by the impossibility of completing the narration, decided for their next work to tell a complete story. We will see if the result will live up to expectations.